Continuing debate on fee and coffee

IT WAS a candid statement all right, but when the Delhi University Vice-Chancellor, Deepak Nayyar, remarked, casually enough, at a recent press conference that college students were getting too comfortable about spending more on coffee from Barista than on their fees, he raked up a dormant issue which has been worrying many in the academic fraternity for long.

Restructuring of fees at the University level is an issue that has sparked off a debate every time it has been raised, and yet little has changed with the system. "I could meet my entire expenses on Rs. 125 when I was studying at Delhi University, and this included spending on entertainment. Today, students are ready to spend on their entertainment but not studies,'' Prof. Nayyar summed it up.

Subsidising education may be important but, as many academics point out, a good majority of students who come to Delhi University can afford to pay a little more for higher education. The idea is to make sure that they take their studies seriously enough. "They don't seem to value it'' is the general refrain.

And while the reasons for raising the fees for decades now varies from lack of consensus within the University's Academic Council to lack of political will, students continue to pay a measly Rs. 15 as tuition fees is something that has been welcome news for not just those parents who cannot afford to spend lavishly on their ward's education but also those who spend nothing less than Rs. 24,000 a year for educating their children at public schools.

Hardliners, however, insist that increasing fees is not really the answer. "What about those who cannot afford to pay the fees. So many students who come to Delhi University from outside have to spend a lot on just staying here. The idea should be to educate as many as possible by making it affordable,'' argues a Delhi University professor.

Well, as of now, the debate continues. And till then, students can savour their cup of hot or cold Barista coffee without a worry.

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IT IS admission season once again, and Delhi University seems to be learning from past mistakes. Last year had seen the University go the Internet way with much fanfare before finally ending up with a dud show when the overloaded website server crashed.

Also helping them will be 16 information centres opened by Delhi University in different parts of the city. These include five centres in North Delhi, at the Dean of Students Welfare office in North Campus, Kirori Mal College, Satyawati College, Keshav Mahavidhyalaya and Swami Shradhanand College in Alipur.

South Delhi will have a centre at the Joint Dean Students Welfare in South Delhi Campus at Benito Juarez Marg, Acharya Narendra Dev College, College of Vocational Studies, Dyal Singh College and PGDAV College. The East Delhi centres include Bhim Rao Ambedkar College, Vivekananda College and Maharaja Agrasen College.

While West Delhi will have two at Rajdhani College and Bharti College, Central Delhi will have just the Janki Devi Memorial as its centre.

Delhi University has this year introduced an M.D. course in three subjects in Ayurveda and Unani medicine. The schedule for admission to various post-graduate courses in the Faculty of Science has also been announced.

The last date for receipt of complete forms has been announced as June 24, with the entrance examinations for M.Sc in Physics, Zoology, Chemistry, Botany, Geology, Anthropology and Environmental Biology being held between June 2 and 5. Students can contact the Faculty of Science in the new administrative block at University of Delhi.

The admission to M.Sc (P) Biochemistry, Microbiology and post B.Sc diploma in Electronic Instrumentation will be done in the first week of July.

For admission to various courses in the Faculty of Music and Fine Arts, students can contact the Music Faculty of University of Delhi at 7667608.

Lakshmi Balakrishnan

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