On Tuesday, the Delhi Cabinet took a decision to de-affiliate from Delhi University and merging it with Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD). The college is supervised and run by the Delhi Government. “The Delhi Cabinet has approved the merger of Delhi University’s College of Arts, functioning under the Directorate of Training and Technical Education, and Delhi Institute of Heritage Research and Management (DIHRM) affiliated with GGSIP University, functioning under the Directorate of Higher Education. Together they will now be part of Dr B R Ambedkar University,” the Delhi government said.
A similar kind of situation was experience in the year 2009. The Delhi College of Engineering got de-affiliated from Delhi University and established a separate university, that later came to known as the Delhi Technology University. Likewise, in the year 2019, the Netaji Shubhas Institute of College split up with Delhi University to become Netaji Subhas University of Technology under the Delhi government.
The Delhi Government officially announced its decision on 2nd March, but as per DU Registar Vikas Gupta said any decision on College of Art’s de-affiliation with DU was yet to be taken. “They had written to us about 8-10 days ago saying they would look to de-affiliate from DU. We said we would place it before our Academic Council (AC) since it’s a major policy decision. We can’t take any decision without the approval of statutory bodies,” he said. In a report, a government official said that, The Delhi College of Art is fully funded by the Delhi government. Therefore, the decision to bring it under Dr B R Ambedkar university does not need any form of clearance from DU.”
However, four AC members – Kapila Mallah, Sudhanshu Kumar, Alok Ranjan Pandey, Chander Mohan Negi and two Executive Council members – Seema Das and J L Gupta has opposed the decision. “Such attempt at de-affiliation of DU colleges leading to the dismemberment of the University of Delhi is in contravention to the Acts, statutes and ordinances of DU, which must be stopped at all levels,” they wrote.
Additionally, B S Chauhan, principal of the College of Art, remained non-committal when asked if he agreed with the decision. However, he said the college was facing several issues.
“Our intake is decided by AICTE but academic approval comes from DU. But DU doesn’t conduct our admissions or exams. We have received no support from DU even though we are affiliated since 1974. We are not able to recruit permanent faculty; there has been no permanent principal since 2012. There are too many agencies and issues. I just want that whatever happens should be for the benefit of students,” he said.
The College of Arts has been in existence since 1942. Art education stalwarts such as Ramendranath Chakravarty, BC Sanyal, Biswanath Mukherjee, OP Sharma, have since their inception, headed and nurtured this institution. The present Faculty also includes such members, Professor BS Chauhan (Principal), Professor Meera Sarvanan, Professor Jyotika Sehgal, Dr Amargeet Chandok, Ashok Ninawe, Kripal Singh, RK Mahajan, Omkarachari, Kandagiri Ramesh, Dr Sumita Kathuria, Dr Kumar Jigeeshu. It offers six undergraduate and five postgraduate courses in applied art, art history, painting, printmaking, visual communication, and culture. Around 1,400 students are currently enrolled with the college.