The University of Delhi is the most sought after university in the country offering the widest range of courses. The factor that set it apart from other Universities is that it is a centralized (and not a state) University. DU has a thriving college life, an excellent academic and cultural status, and obviously the highest scorers from around the country. Getting into DU could be the best thing to happen to you. But once you do get to study here, there definitely are some loopholes you will come across if you look closely- things that can be overlooked when we call DU the best in the country but that are extremely relevant to make the university better from a wider, global perspective.
Here are the changes I want to see in DU in the year 2023:
Academic Upgradation: Less of Theory, More of Practicality
In simpler terms, replace old syllabi and obsolete patterns of teaching. The teaching pattern currently is centered mostly around preparing reports and learning answer styles to a particular question. If the question says “discuss” you have to describe, if the question says “critically examine” you have to express for-against views. Get away with all this! This is the stuff we did in school. In the end, what is more important is a person’s practical and conceptual knowledge of the subject matter, not how well he can write out his answer in accordance with question specifications (which is more of a test for literary skills). DU needs to bring in more of conceptualization. So far, a lot of course is centered around referencing a thousand books, making notes and reproducing the same in exams. Do that twice a year, and you’re good. How is college different from school? Change in course structure from TYUP to FYUP, and then the change back doesn’t just show that a particular course structure didn’t work, it shows that there was a need for a new course structure.
Improvement in admissions through the ECA and Sports quota
The ironical thing in DU is that the quotas which are for purpose of equality of opportunity (SC, ST, OBC) are available in all colleges while the quotas that actually benefit the college as well, are non-uniformly available. Students applying through ECA and Sports quota to the colleges face problems due to clashing trial dates, unavailability of field of expertise in the college applied and the worst of all, no such quota in the college at all. You might argue and say that even so these colleges have cultural societies and general category students might also be talented, but my point is why is it such a big deal keeping a maximum of 5% seats for the ECA students when there are even Christian and Sikh minority colleges with reservations for minorities?
Improvement of course distribution across college:
Even though DU provides the widest options for courses, whether or not a course of a choice will be available to a college of your choice is always the first question to ask. Even though most colleges provide the most common Economics, English and B.Com honours courses, some less popular courses are available in a very limited number of colleges, many a time which may not be your preference. What is worse is that there is a gender-bias for courses like Psychology and Applied Psychology honours, which are available in a very few colleges and most of the good colleges are all-girls’ colleges. Even honours in Journalism is available in very few colleges, the good ones of which are all-girls. Besides making such courses out of the reach of boys, it leads to exceptionally high cut-offs in these courses. This is one of the main reasons why many students prefer college over course, something career counselors generally advise against.
Even though DU has now come to be associated with bad infrastructure but good thriving student life, it isn’t really something to be proud of. The University gets maximum funds from the UGC and so far it has constantly been working towards improvement of teaching facilities and better auditoriums, the standard of facilities available is still considerably low. Many colleges don’t have WiFi, the ones that do don’t get enough bandwidth. Bathrooms are maximally unclean, many auditoriums are poorly furnished. But there are more than 65 colleges and the government cannot really afford to spend on college infrastructure so much while also spending on improving academic facilities, which is the priority here. So in 2023, I wish to see DU alumni members rasing funds for the development of their college, and the University as a whole. Imagine that, coupled with government funding. DU will be what it deserves to be.
Centralization within the University: DU first, College next
There couldn’t be enough reasons for how valid centralization is. DU has the same academics all across colleges. There is a central placement cell. The degree awarded mentions only the University, not the college. The fest season is common to all colleges and occurs with coordination in the beginning of the year. Centralisation in DU is important not because it helps the students admitted on lower cut-offs into less good colleges to feel good about themselves. It is important because it fosters so much of learning from other people and a lot of cultural and academic exchange. Even though there is divided centralization in the form of North and South Campus, this year I would want to see more of intra-university exchanges. The University of Delhi, in all its prestige, will continue to soar. And 100% cut-offs will one day be more than just worth it. So this year, Godspeed.