Kejriwal writes to Centre seeking amendment in DU Act; says ready to start new colleges

Delhi has asked the Centre to do away with certain provisions in the Delhi University Act as they act as a hindrance in starting new colleges in the Capital, said chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday.

He said he has written to Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal in this regard, adding that his government is ready to start new colleges and universities if the legal provisions are eased.

In its 2019 Lok Sabha election campaign, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had promised that it would start new colleges and universities in the Capital and offer reservation to students who are Delhi residents.

“Students are facing a tough time getting enrolled in colleges because of high cut-off marks. With cut-offs touching 100%, what will happen to students who secure 70%, 80%, 85%, 90%? The problem is that the number of seats in colleges and universities in Delhi has failed to keep pace with the increase in the number of applicants,” said Kejriwal in a video press briefing on Friday.

He added, “Every year, Delhi has around 250,000 students graduating school, but around 125,000 of them manage to get admission in Delhi-based colleges. What will happen to the remaining 125,000? Currently, Delhi University has 91 affiliated colleges, Indraprastha University has 127, there are nine universities under the state government and then there is Jawaharlal Nehru University. We need to start more colleges and universities in Delhi. The Delhi government is ready. But there is a legal issue we confronted.”

“There is the Delhi University Act which was enacted by the British. The Section 5(2) of the Act says that any new college in Delhi has to be affiliated to the Delhi University. In Delhi University, no new college was affiliated in the last 30 years. In 1998, an amendment was introduced in the Act and IP University was accommodated for professional courses. But that has reached a saturation point too,” said Kejriwal.

“It is important to change the law. Today, I have written to Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal, urging him to remove Section 5(ii) of the Delhi University Act so that new colleges can be started in Delhi. It will benefit students. Students are immensely stressed because of the high cut-off that has reached 100%.”

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