Anticipating an increase in the number of applicants for admission this year, PC Joshi, acting vice-chancellor, University of Delhi, recently hinted at increasing the number of seats. The idea has seemingly not gone down well among academic fraternities.
The University is already struggling with infrastructure challenges, says Sangit Kumar Ragi, head, Department of Political Science, University of Delhi. “There is no official communication on seat increase yet. Adding more seats to accommodate more students will increase the pressure on physical infrastructure as well as on faculty members.” He adds that to impart quality education, the administration first needs to address the shortage of faculties and infrastructure crisis that the University is grappling with currently.
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According to the data shared by Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan in the Lok Sabha recently, DU has the highest number of vacancies with 846 of its sanctioned 1,706 posts lying vacant among other central universities.
A professor from Dyal Singh College, who does not want to be named points at the infrastructure challenges faced by his college. “Colleges are admitting students more than the sanctioned strength as students are making it to the cut-off lists. Colleges are managing with their limited infrastructure, and if more seats are included, it will hit the quality of education,” he says, adding that a judicious decision is needed to address current challenges and rising needs.
DU is one of the most sought-after universities across India. In 2018, the varsity had received 2,78,544 applications. With a slight decline as compared to 2018, 2,58,388 candidates had applied in 2019 and over 5.63 lakh registrations were received in 2020. Presently, the University has close to 70,000 seats for undergraduate courses.