Another group of incoming students at the University of Delhi (DU) will start classes off campus as online classes begin on November 22. In-person classes at DU colleges have remained suspended since March of last year, when the university was closed after the Covid -19 pandemic.
While the university has allowed final year undergraduate and postgraduate students to return to campus for practical and lab work in September, regular student classes are unlikely to start anytime soon, as another semester starts in online mode.
AU officials said the semester will begin in online mode, to begin with. Teachers and students have expressed concerns about the delay in resuming regular classes.
Manoj Sinha, secretary of the association of directors of DU and director of Aryabhatta College, said the university faces a dilemma about resuming physical classes as a large number of outside students constitute the student population of DU. Sinha said the university and colleges should determine the modalities for the resumption of the hostel’s facilities and other preparations.
“About 50% of DU’s workforce includes students who are not from Delhi. The university and the colleges must make up their minds and set up facilities accordingly. Other preparations must also be made before students can be called to campus. We are currently conducting a survey to obtain details on the immunization status of second and third year students, ”Sinha said.
He said admissions for incoming students are currently underway and it would be too early for colleges to verify their immunization details, due to in-person classes for students starting university on the 22nd. November was not on the cards. “It is possible that some students among the incoming class are under 18 years old. It is a matter of concern. We cannot call them for lessons in such a situation. The university is looking for solutions and I hope that by January things will be clearer, ”Sinha said.
He also indicated that the academic calendar had been prepared keeping in mind that the semester was already delayed and that it was necessary to start classes as early as possible. The management of logistics and other facilities would take time, because of which the courses would start in online mode.
Incoming students, however, said an online semester would prevent them from having the college experience. Sanjay (who goes by his first name), who will be pursuing his studies in political science at Ramanujan College, said that while he preferred face-to-face lessons over online lessons, there was little there was for students to do. “There can never be a replacement for physical classes. I hope that regular classes can resume as soon as possible so that we can get a taste of life on campus, ”he said.
Abha Dev Habib, who teaches physics at Miranda House, said the university is to publish a schedule specifying when physics classes for different semester students are likely to resume. “Now the university should produce a schedule outlining the resumption of in-person classes. It should bring third-year students, who are the weakest class, back first. In order of priority, second and first year students should also be called back to the university, ”Habib said.
She said that while first-semester students could be called to campus by March of next year, there was a need for the university to prepare them for the possibility of physical exams in March so that there would be an initiation of the routine cycle in one way or another. As per the academic calendar shared by the university, exams for first semester students will take place in March, but the exam mode is unclear. For students currently studying in the second and third year, the open book online exam is scheduled from the end of November.
A number of student groups and organizations such as AISA, KYS, SFI, among others, are currently carrying out an indefinite strike to demand the reopening of the university for three days. The students said the strike will continue until admission issues a notice describing the reopening.
DU declares ECA merit list
The University of Delhi on Wednesday declared the centralized merit list of eligible applicants for admission to undergraduate courses in the ECA category. Like last year, the university did not organize sports and ECA events this year. The list of eligible applicants according to the centralized ECA Merit List is available on the university’s admission portal and eligible students can register their preferences for course and college assignment from Wednesday to Friday of this week. Applicants will have no further chance to save their preferences for course and college assignment after Wednesday.