Professor Dinesh Singh will be the first person in the varsity's 92-year-old history to get a second term in office
Delhi University might continue to have Professor Dinesh Singh as its Vice-Chancellor, making him the first person in its 92-year-old history to get a second term in office. In the university’s Executive Council meeting held on Thursday, an amendment was made to Statute XII-F (4) which contained a clause stating that a Vice-Chancellor is not eligible for a second term. This amendment qualifies him to re-apply for the post.
Prof. Dinesh Singh has been mired in controversy because of the intense opposition to most of his reforms and initiatives. The most vociferous opposition, however, came from the Delhi University Teachers’ Association when he replaced the university’s three-year undergraduate course with a new four-year undergraduate course that was inter-disciplinary in nature and also had some compulsory subjects.
Even on Thursday, after the meeting ended, there were several cries of foul-play in the manner in which the Executive Council meeting was called using his emergency powers. “It is the blackest day in the history of the university. We are going to oppose him tooth and nail if he does get appointed again,” said DUTA president Nandita Narain, explaining that the appointment was given since the three-member committee to appoint the next Vice-Chancellor would have two of the current V-C’s nominees.
Another proposal that was accepted is to attach the UGC Code of Professional Ethics to Ordinances XI and XII to enforce as an actionable code of conduct. “This will also allow the V-C or the university administration to take direct action against established professors in the colleges based on personal prejudices or on account of not toeing the administration’s line,” Ms. Narain said.
The DUTA is also worried about the code since many of its clauses are so subjective that if they are made actionable, they may be misused through biased interpretation. “For example, there is a clause that says ‘Teachers should refrain from inciting students against other students, colleagues or administration’, which may be used by the Vice-Chancellor to punish any democratic expression of disagreement or criticism of the administration,” said Ms. Narain.