Delhi University wants to establish nine new institutes with themes and sub-themes – from Indian culture and heritage to climate change – if it is given the Institute of Eminence (IoE) status by the Ministry of Human Resource and Development.
This is a part of the academic plan submitted by DU to the ministry as part of its application for the IoE tag. Apart from the nine proposed institutes, it also talks about more academic freedom to diversify sources of finance, and “self-financing” of courses. So far, six institutes, including IIT-Delhi and IISC Bangalore, have been granted the IoE tag, which grants a university more academic freedom. Ten private and an equal number of public institutions are to be selected for the scheme.
“The academic plan of the IoE proposal entails nine thematic areas with a number of sub-themes, which underscore the conception of an interdisciplinary collaborative effort of the University of Delhi community. This endeavour reflects the university’s resolve to respond to the present and future needs of our society as of the globe,” states the proposal.
The nine proposed institutes are: Delhi School of Public Health, Delhi School of Climate Change & Sustainability, School of Governance and Public Policy, School of Transnational Affairs, School of Journalism, Informatics, Communication & Computing, Skill Enhancement, Incubation, and Entrepreneurship Development, Culture and Heritage Education, Performing Art and School of Global History.
Of this, the School of Journalism has already been established, with a second batch of students admitted this year. But students of the school have been protesting over lack of infrastructure. The other schools also are likely to begin on a self-financing mode. The proposal document reads: “We will seek to charge appropriate fees for the new courses offered under the strategic plan albeit with significant (30-50%) availability of financing for meritorious/needy students. The increasing proportion of foreign students will be charged fees commensurate with the costs while encouraging governments and multinational corporations to support meritorious/needy students.”
Each school will have clearly defined ‘themes and sub-themes’. For instance, the School of Global History will teach five sub-themes: Literary Cultures, States and Empires, Conflict and Violence, Religious Networks and Labour and Migration. Different departments at the university’s Faculty of Arts will be a part of it.
The other academic plan enlisted by DU includes having a faculty recruitment policy and achieving a 1:10 faculty-student ratio. As per the proposal, funds worth Rs 793 crore are being sought for teaching, research, skill enhancement and development programmes. The proposal also talks of modern amenities, including hostel facilities for about 5,000 students (to cost Rs 250 crore); recreational facilities for resident students and staff (Rs 100 crore); expansion and upgradation of WUS health and wellness facilities (Rs 100 crore); and faculty housing to offer a residential campus environment (Rs 20 crore).