DELHI UNIVER­SITY On Makeover Course

India Today - - EDUCATION - By Son­ali Achar­jee

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

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