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College of Art employees write to PM, Vice-President to stay merger with Ambedkar University, halt admissions

Last week, College of Art issued a notification, stating that the Delhi government had asked it to initiate admissions to College of Art for the 2022-2023 academic year as part of AUD, and the varsity has advertised admissions to the College of Art under it.

Written by Sukrita Baruah | New Delhi |
May 19, 2022 7:40:41 pm
The College of Art, New Delhi. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

The employees’ association of the College of Art wrote to the Prime Minister and the Vice-President Thursday, asking that the Delhi government’s decision to merge the college with Ambedkar University be stayed and the ongoing admissions under the latter be stopped.

The College of Art has formally begun its admission process under AUD. Last week, College of Art issued a notification, stating that the Delhi government had asked it to initiate admissions to College of Art for the 2022-2023 academic year as part of AUD, and the varsity has advertised admissions to the College of Art under it.

The College of Art employees’ association has written to the V-P, who is the Chancellor of DU, and the PM, referring to their plea as an “emergency distress call”, asking that they intervene by granting a stay on the Delhi government’s Cabinet decision on the merger, and by issuing an order to the officials of the Delhi government’s Directorate of Training and Technical Education, to stop the process of initiating admissions for the college’s BFA and MFA programmes under AUD for the 2022-2023 academic session. They have asked that admissions for the 2021-2022 session, which did not take place due to this controversy, be conducted under DU “on war-footed priority”.

They have stated that the current advertisement of admissions is in “gross violation of the orders of Hon’ble L-G, which clearly says that the admission process of the 2022-23 session to the new system may be initiated after completing the de-affiliation process from DU”. They have also stated that it is in violation of the statutes, regulations and ordinances of DU.

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Stating that they and students, as the primary stakeholders, were not consulted on the merger, they have said in their letter, “If the issue of ‘Merger’ was known to all stakeholders including students and employees being informed with wide publicity through proper means, they wouldn’t have dreamt of joining the institution because their main dream has been to be part of College of Art in order to remain connected with its unique art and creativity imparted through its historical legacy…. this attack is not only on the 82 years old creative legacy of College of Art cultivated by the doyens of Indian Contemporary Art but also the livelihood, prosperity, mental status, family wellbeing, upkeeping, financial support of the present and future employees/ students of College of Art.”

Last March, the Delhi government announced that its cabinet had approved the merger of the college with AUD. The office of the L-G had given in-principle approval to this merger subject to its de-affiliation from DU. However, the Executive Council, DU’s highest statutory body, had rejected the proposal for de-affiliation.

In April, DU V-C Yogesh Singh had said he had written to College of Art, asking it to conduct admission as part of Delhi University as it had done earlier.

Neither COA officiating principal B S Chauhan nor government representatives responded to queries on this issue.

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