“We don’t think the government can take a decision on this. Delhi University is a Central university, governed by University of Delhi rules. The government would have to pass an Act to get implement the reservation,” Dr M S Rawal, principal of Delhi College of Arts and Commerce (DCAC), said.
Rawal also expressed concern over such a move having a grave impact on the student-mix, since more than 50 per cent students studying at DCAC came from outside Delhi.
Colleges in the target group — which receive 100 per cent government funding — too expressed concern over the tentative plan. “Our college is fully funded by the Delhi government, but we run by Delhi University rules. If Delhi University doesn’t agree to the proposal, we may have to give up on our affiliation — something that will not just lower our cut-off marks, but will also change the status of our college from national to local,” principal of one of these 12 colleges said.
Those colleges, which are located near the borders, however, said the proposal would have “little impact” on their functioning.
“Eighty-five per cent students in my college are from Delhi. The remaining come from nearby states such as Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. For us, things will mostly remain the same,” Dr Purabi Saikia, principal of Bhagini Nivedita College, Kair, said.
Several others demanded that the government set a definition for ‘local’ students. “ I doubt the government’s ability to implement such a move, especially when it comes to colleges partly funded by it. We get five per cent grant from the government, and if at all, will only reserve seats in that proportion. But if it does, it should clarify who will constitute a local student,” Dr Renu Sahni, principal of Vivekanand College, said.
But, top colleges of DU, which get more than 50 per cent of their student strength from outside Delhi, strongly feel that the move is against the “national character” of the university.
Principal of Shri Ram College of Commerce, P C Jain said, “A central university should be representative of the country. It is against the whole philosophy of such a university if only one state is represented.”
SRCC receives approximately 70 per cent of its students from outside Delhi. Echoing Jain, Miranda House principal, Pratibha Jolly, said, “Central universities replicate the democratic profile of our country and that is a healthy trend. We like the eclectic nature of the university.” She added that the college receives at least 80 per cent of its students from outside Delhi, a figure that increases every year.
St Stephen’s College has approximately 50 per cent and Lady Shri Ram College for Women about 60 per cent of its students from outside Delhi.