DELHI UNIVERSITY On Makeover Course
The vice- chancellor of Delhi University ( DU) is a man on a mission. When he’s not rolling out plans to introduce a controversial new four- year bachelor’s system, he’s busy setting up an online retail store for selling university memorabilia. Having been associated with the university all his life, Dinesh Singh, 55, is keen to give this 90- year- old university a 21st century makeover without letting go of its rich cultural heritage. In November 2012, he hosted 600 scholars from around the world for a special university conference in celebration of Srinivasa Ramanujan’s 125th birth anniversary.
“I was born on this very university campus as my father taught here and later went on to become DU’s pro vicechancellor,” says Singh. “What makes DU special today is the role it has played in nurturing people from every walk of life. The university has seen it all, right from the days when the viceroys would host balls here for political leaders to a few days ago when Akash Jindal, an 18year- old student from DU, became the youngest to climb Mount Everest.” The goal now is to offer an even better learning experience, he says.
True to his vision, the university’s 150,000 regular students, 250,000 distance- learning students and 900 faculty members will now be part of a system where a bachelor’s degree will be completed over four years instead of three. Despite a bumpy process, the four- year degree course is due to be implemented across 28 departments this year. The new programme awards a diploma if a