Two months after all central university vice-chancellors resolved to install the national flag “prominently and proudly” on their campuses at a meeting chaired by Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani, the Delhi University is set to implement it at a grand ceremony.
The Tricolour will be permanently installed atop the Vice-Regal Lodge on campus, V-C Yogesh Tyagi told The Indian Express. It will be hoisted on May 1 on the occasion of the university’s Foundation Day. Three sitting Supreme Court judges, Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri and Justice Madan Lokur, have been invited for the event. All of them are alumni of the university.
“I have invited them (the three judges) on behalf of their alma mater and they are expected to attend the event,” Tyagi said. Sources said the V-C had also met Irani and Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week to invite them for the event. While Modi is learnt to have turned down the invite on account of prior engagements, Irani is likely to attend, ministry sources said.
Although flag hoisting has been part of Foundation Day celebrations in the past, this year will mark the beginning of the Tricolour being permanent displayed in DU.
The university’s plan doesn’t end there. “Since the Vice-Regal Lodge (which houses the V-C’s office) is a heritage structure, we can’t alter it too much or install something heavy on it. So, apart from the Tricolour on this building, we are also planning to have another tall flagpole elsewhere in the estate. The location of the pole and dimensions of that Tricolour are being worked out. That will take some time,” Tyagi said.
The resolution to install the national flag on campuses was adopted on February 18 and is aimed at “instilling nationalism and pride” in students. The decision had come against the backdrop of a raging controversy over alleged anti-India slogans being raised at a event in Jawaharlal Nehru University in February.
After the February 18 meeting, the HRD Ministry had tasked the University Grants Commission to oversee the implementation of the resolutions at 40 central universities. UGC sources told The Indian Express that many institutions, like DU, are planning to hoist the national flag permanently from now on.
Banaras Hindu University V-C Girish Chandra Tripathi told The Indian Express, “Like DU, we also want to install the flag on our Foundation Day, which is in February. We are working on the details and trying to identify the location for it.”
Gujarat University V-C Syed Bari said, “We have written to the HRD Ministry requesting the flag protocol. Unlike other institutions, which have a permanent campus, we operate out of a school building. We are waiting for the government’s advise on how to implement the resolution.”
Jamia Millia Islamia has done it already, but without pomp and show. “We used to hoist the flag on a pole near the university auditorium on Independence Day. After the resolution was adopted, it has been on display there permanently,” V-C Talat Ahmed said.