The Delhi University has, among other things, cautioned foreign students applying to its courses against “sexual harassment” and “substance abuse”. The university’s introductory rulebook for foreign students states that DU is “a no smoking zone and does not allow any form of substance abuse”.
The introductory message about the university, on the Delhi University Foreign Students Registry website, also states that “there is zero tolerance towards sexual harassment and any form of discrimination”.
These rules, however, are mentioned only in notices and rulebooks for foreign students, and not for Indian students. They also find a mention in an announcement about a special drive launched to enrol students from African countries.
In the press release about the outreach programme, the university stated, “While in the university, the well being of international students is ensured through various rules/ordinances enforced through the office of provost and head of institutions. There is zero tolerance towards sexual harassment and any form of discrimination. The university is a no smoking zone and does not allow any form of substance abuse.”
While no such rule has been spelt out for Indian students, the rules do caution them against indulging in physical assault or threatening any teaching and non-teaching staff, carrying weapons, or violating the status, dignity and honour of SC/ST students. It also warns them against bribery or indulging in any form of corruption.
The university maintained that rules are the same for all and there is no discrimination between Indian and foreign students. The deputy dean foreign students registry and also the officer on special duty admission, Ashutosh Bhardwaj, said, “These are generic lines explaining the policy and outlook of the university. Everyone is on an equal footing and there is no discrimination among students.”
Ezengonnamdi Lawrence, a member of the Association of African Students, said such rules “don’t help in integration” and that “central universities should concentrate on providing a protected environment” to students.