The Students’ Council of the Ambedkar University Delhi Students’ Union (AUDSU) has written a letter to the university administration on June 21, with an appeal to stop “sidelining” the student community.
The council wrote that since the lockdown due to COVID-19 began in March, the Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD) Administration has “rolled out several anti-student measures and policies” which the council has condemned “at every step”. “Instead of helping its students in these unprecedented circumstances, the Administration has been, very actively, propping up obstacles in our way,” the letter added.
The AUDSC listed out the “obstacles” which the administration has introduced. It said that the “arbitrary” revisions to the Code of Discipline issued in April attempt to “curb a student’s democratic rights and liberties and puts unrealistic and undemocratic restrictions on them”. It added that the revise reservation policy “makes it even more difficult” for SC/ST/OBC and EWS candidates to take admission.
With some restrictions due to the pandemic still in place, most educational institutions have resorted to virtual teaching, and the AUDSC said that the university administration has not helped with “facilitating learning and examination for students who might not be able to virtually connect”. The letter mentioned that the aforementioned instances “show the pro-activeness of AUD Administration to turn the University into an anti-student, anti-poor, anti-minority space.”
The AUDSC wrote that the alacrity with which the administration has moved ahead with the changes has not been extended in responding to students and students’ bodies.
“One would think that this proactiveness of the Administration would also be extended to being accountable and answerable to the student community and the democratically elected Student Council when the two bodies demand a justification to the revised Code of Discipline and reservation policy, a promised reimbursement of 4G packs bought by students to attend online classes and exams, and when we demand for the Student Welfare Fund (SWF) and Scholarships to be distributed on time. The Administration has not only remained silent on these issues and demands, they have in fact started sidelining the entire student body and AUDSC,” the letter said.
The AUDSC added that it was a “shame” that a university built on “foundation of social justice and a pro-student ethos” was being reduced to an “unsafe and a violently undemocratic and anti-intellectual space.”
“AUDSC and every student of the University recognises that these tenets are under threat of administrative authoritarianism driven by extra-academic interests,” the letter added.
It said that the letter was an appeal to the administration to stop “sidelining its student community” and have an open and transparent dialogue with key stakeholders of the university.