Angry parents and a belligerent university administration almost came to blows over the university’s refusal to answer valid questions about the four-year undergraduate course at Delhi University’s first “open house” session for its South Campus here on Thursday, with the Dean Students’ Welfare officials constantly asking the audience to “see the website” for most of their questions while reiterating that the session was not being held to “encourage” them to join the university.

“Sir, we read somewhere that Mathematics background is not needed to apply for Commerce courses, so does this mean that you have done away with Mathematics as a subject for B.Com (Honours) and Economics (Honours)?” asked one parent from the audience.

“Yes, Mathematics is a mental burden,” came the reply from the stage which had a smattering of Deputy Deans headed by Deputy Dean Students’ Welfare South Campus Dr. Dinesh Varshney and Deputy Dean (Academics) Sangit Ragi.

“So,” said the parent, “are you telling us that a child will get fully equipped for a B.Com course without any Mathematics?”

“Look here, all those who do not have Mathematics background will find it difficult to pass this course, there is a “Math in Economics” paper which is quite difficult to pass,” replied Dr. Varshney.

The persistent parent did not relent and continued. “People who take B.Com primarily want to pursue CA or ICWA or CS, but if you take away Math like this, then they will be at a disadvantage and will not be able to take these courses later on.”

Blunt reply

“Yes, they won’t, but let me tell you, the university has only 58,000 seats and if any of you see disadvantages in our new structure, then please be informed that there are five other universities in the city. Please go there,” said Dr. Varshney. This statement was then the answer to almost all questions related to the four-year undergraduate course.

“How will the evaluation procedure change under the new structure? Will you have a different examination system or something?” asked another polite parent.

“Look here, this open session is not organised to answer any of these questions. Only if you have any question regarding the admission procedure may you speak,” said one belligerent Deputy Dean.

“How can we admit our children without knowing basic information like evaluation procedure under this new structure? And where else can we get this information if you don’t provide it?” questioned the parent. He was again reminded by Dr. Varshney that there were five other universities in Delhi and he was free to go to any of them.

Loud protests from the audience, however, forced Mr. Ragi to answer the man’s question.

A question about sports quota and how to apply was then answered in this fashion: “Please see the website. We don’t know everything.” At this, many among the audience replied, almost in unison: “But why have we have come here? To look at your website?” The officials, in turn, almost shot back in chorus: “That is why we are entertaining your questions.”