College of Art: What is the tug of war between Delhi University and Ambedkar University?

Ambedkar University issued a notification last week stating that the Delhi government had directed it to initiate admissions to the 2022-2023 academic session.

college of art delhi
Admissions to the college were suspended for the 2021-2022 academic session due to this tussle. (IE)

Elected members of the College of Art’s Executive Council, Academic Council, and teachers have reacted sharply to the formal beginning of admissions under the aegis of Ambedkar University.

COLLEGE OF ART AND AMBEDKAR UNIVERSITY

The issue surrounding the “de-affiliation” from Delhi University began in March 2021. The college, fully funded by the Delhi government, has been affiliated to the central varsity since its inception in 1942. In March 2021, the Delhi cabinet approved the merger of the college with Ambedkar University, a Delhi state university.

It had said in a statement at the time: “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 affiliated with GGSIP University (Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University) functioning under the Directorate of Higher Education. Together they will now be part of Dr BR Ambedkar University.”

Admissions to the college were suspended for the 2021-2022 academic session due to this tussle.

HAS DELHI UNIVERSITY AGREED TO THE MERGER?

The Lieutenant Governor’s office approved the merger in-principle, subject to the college’s de-affiliation from Delhi University. However, the Executive Council, varsity’s highest statutory body, rejected the de-affiliation proposal.

In April, Delhi University Vice-Chancellor Yogesh Singh said he had written to the College of Art, asking it to continue conducting admissions as part of the central varsity.

ADMISSIONS UNDER AMBEDKAR UNIVERSITY

Ambedkar University issued a notification last week stating that the Delhi government had directed it to initiate admissions to the 2022-2023 academic session.

Ambedkar University Dean (Student Services) said in a notification: “With reference to letter… dated 28/01/2022 from the Govt of NCT of Delhi, Department of Training & Technical Education – Secretariat Branch, it has been stated in the letter to initiate the process of admission in Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) & Master of Fine Arts (MFA) courses in College of Art w.e.f. academic session 2022-23, as a part of Dr. B R Ambedkar University Delhi.”

THE CRITICISM

This week, 11 teachers, including elected members of the Executive Council and the Academic Council, in a letter to the Delhi University vice-chancellor, appealed for intervention and said this move was in violation of the Executive Council’s decision.

In their letter, the teachers wrote that the act was in contravention of the Delhi University’s acts and statutes and also violated the Executive Council’s decision to reject the de-affiliation of the College of Arts. The teachers added that the Lieutenant Governor had ruled that any such step was subject to “the de affiliation of College of Arts from Delhi University”.

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