Amid growing demand for reopening of the campus, Delhi University Vice-Chancellor Yogesh Singh on Tuesday said a decision in this regard will be taken after Diwali as there is a fear of recurrence of COVID-19 cases. Singh also said that in a recent meeting of teachers and principals, he had suggested increasing the timing of colleges by a couple of hours to accommodate the extra number of students admitted and to avoid overcrowding. Read || Latest update on DU colleges reopening.
Members of the Left-affiliated All India Students' Association (AISA) and other student bodies are on a hunger strike to press for their demand of reopening the campus for students. The Delhi University had resumed laboratory classes for final year undergraduate and postgraduate students from September 16 but the attendance has been thin.
"We will decide after Diwali. There is a fear that Covid might recur. If the situation remains fine, we will think," Singh told PTI. The vice-chancellor also shared that there are plans to increase college timings by a couple of hours. He had made the suggestion at a recent meeting of principals and teachers.
The Delhi University already has some evening colleges. "We can increase the timing of the existing colleges by a couple of hours, which could lead to the addition of more sections. This can help in adjusting the extra seats created and the EWS seats. This will be better than opening new colleges.
"In Delhi Technological University (where Singh was the VC earlier), we had kept the timings from 8 am to 6 pm, which was helpful. In case it is done, the staff will come in a staggered manner and the teachers who have classes in the latter half of the day can come late. This was a suggestion in case colleges want to do it," he added.
Singh the move will lead to flexibility, and avoid overcrowding during the time of a pandemic while the timings of administrative staff will be from 9 am to 5 pm. In a related development, members of the AISA and other student outfits continued with their hunger strike for the second consecutive day to demand the reopening of the campus.
On the second day of the strike, students raised slogans against the pro-corporate methods of the education establishment, according to a statement said. "An all out attack on corporatisation must take place and the students, farmer and workers will continue to lead the way," said Jasbir Natt, leader of the farmer movement at Tikri Border addressing the students. Professor Nandita Narain, former DU Teachers' Association president, spoke about the pitfalls of online education.
"Our students, the thinking minds of our country, are being converted into cheap labour for corporates. This plot of the government must be resisted," she said. The students have decided to continue the hunger strike and shall assemble at the Arts Faculty. Earlier, they had decided to hold a 48-hour hunger strike but on Tuesday decided to continue it till they get an assurance from the administration on reopening of the campus.
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