DUTA questions decision to convert Maharaja Agrasen College into Community College

It has been known that a constituent college of DU, the Maharaja Agrasen College is sought to be converted into a Community College under the new scheme floated by the UGC as a part of the previous government’s commitment made to the US in the Indo-US Higher Education Summit. The DUTA is principally opposed to the idea of converting existing Degree Colleges into Community Colleges. It believes that by doing so, the government can conveniently evade its responsibility of founding more institutions and instead, resort to diluting existing degree-programmes. In this specific case, the DUTA is dismayed at the fact that without discussing the Community Colleges Scheme in any of the statutory bodies, DU allowed the Maharaja Agrasen College to seek Community College status. Further, it is clear that neither the Staff Council nor the Governing Body of the College were consulted and hence, no formal permission was obtained by any recognised authority before the College sought the Community College status. The UGC is also complicit in this illegality as it never considered whether the necessary statutory processes have been followed before recommending the Maharaja Agrasen College for a Community College status.
The Community Colleges scheme envisages a formal and parallel system of vocational programmes at the Certificate, Diploma and Associate Degree levels wherein students become eligible from the secondary level of school education. According to the UGC document, “these colleges provide education above the secondary level and below the degree level with appropriate skills keeping in view the needs of local industry and community there by leading to gainful employment and option for horizontal and vertical mobility.” DUTA believes that this is a devious ploy to bring in forced vocational training through the backdoor and erode the academic standards of existing colleges.