Name change row: DU college questions HRD minister’s decree

Name change row: DU college questions HRD minister’s decree

Renaming institution: DU college questions jurisdiction of HRD Minister

Union Minister for Human Resource Development Prakash Javdekar

A Delhi University college has questioned Union Minister for Human Resource Development (HRD) Prakash Javadekar's authority to summarily dismiss in public its governing board's decision to name the evening shift of the institution as Vande Mataram Dayal Singh College.

Raising the issue of autonomy of higher education institutions, Chairman of the college's governing board Amitabh Sinha, who is also a BJP member and a lawyer, charged the HRD minister with throwing his weight around the issue to stop the naming of the evening college as approved by its highest body.

He also accused Union food processing industry minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal and other leaders of her party of “provoking and misleading” the HRD minister to reject the decision taken by the governing board on naming the evening college under it.

This comes after Javadekar, earlier this week, told media that Dayal Singh evening college will not be named as Vande Mataram Dayal Singh College.

"Action will be taken against those in the college's management committee resorting to such mischief," the HRD minister had said.

“The stand taken by the MPs (members of parliament from the SAD) led by the HRD minister defies history, the law as well as relevant university rules. Selfish and politically motivated groups misleading the government and Parliament,” Sinha said in a statement.

Last year in November, the governing board of the college had decided to name Dayal Singh College (evening), set up in 1958, as the Vande Mataram Mahavidyalaya.

The HRD ministry intervened as a row erupted over the governing board's decision with a section of the college's teachers, educationist and other stakeholders opposing the move. 

On ministry's advice to resolve the issue amicably, the governing board reviewed its decision and approved the naming of the college as Vande Mataram Dayal Singh College.

The decision of the college's governing board continues to remain pending for a decision by the Delhi University.

Dayal Singh College was established in 1959 while its evening college bearing the same name was set up a year later.

Why change the name?

The apex body of the college “unanimously” decided to give a name to the evening college to “rid thousands of students of the stigma” of being enrolled in an evening college.

“The HRD minister’s over-enthusiastic misplaced intervention in this matter is ironical. The ministry has maintained studious silence on the recent issue of Mohammed Ali Jinnah's portrait at Aligarh Muslim University, Maybe reaction and action would be better suited there,” Sinha added.