This July, any student who makes it to any of Delhi University’s under-graduate college will get a free laptop to use and return at the end of the year. This was announced by Vice-Chancellor Dinesh Singh on Thursday after the university conducted a survey of around 3,000 school children from across the city, 90 per cent of whom testified to the “liking” of the course and their eagerness to enrol with the university.
“There is a committee which is working out the logistics of the laptops and they are almost through we stand committed, we will not allow cost to be an impediment to learning, the university will put all its resources behind this effort,” said Prof. Singh, adding that the school children from Class XII were drawn from a cross-section of schools across the city ranging from the highly-reputed private schools to the MCD and Kendriya Vidyayala schools. “We think it is a representative sample. After we made a two-hour presentation explaining everything we gave them a feedback form and they all expressed their liking and desire to enrol in the programme, they all said they were eager to join... this is a testament, an affirmation of what we believe is a good thing.”
The university said that several people who were involved in formulating the structure and others were taking strong exception to the negative opinions of “outsiders” and non-stakeholders. This was represented by a written statement signed by around 43 principals including Hindu College, Shri Ram College of Commerce, Miranda House and Kirori Mal College. The statement says: “We take objection to the needless interference of those who are superficially acquainted with the processes and activities. Such people reflect certain elitism far removed from the ground realities.”
Prof. Singh also said that in the new four-year course, no stone will be left unturned to help SC/ST, physically handicapped students and the OBC students. Decentralisation of admissions for all these students is on the anvil and the university intends to have monitoring committees and special orientation sessions to understand their problems. “The colleges will be told not to impose any additional criteria for these students.”
Whether the Common Aptitude Test for English and other entrance exams will be held this year is still under question and things will be clearer by May 7 when the Academic Council meets and all the courses are finalised.