A notice inviting students to participate in a logo-designing contest invited the ire of students in distance learning programmes, since it specifically stated that it was not open to students of distance and open learning.
Delhi University’s Women’s Studies and Development Centre of Advanced Study had published a notice inviting students to design a logo “reflecting the core ideas” of the centre.
The notice read: “The contest is open to all students enrolled in all Universities located in Delhi, barring students of distance and open learning”.
The contest, with a cash prize of Rs 10,000 for the winning entry, had March 10 as the last date for submitting entries.
Amid an outcry, on Monday, a new notice was put up, extending the last date for submissions to March 22 and stating that “this contest is open to all students enrolled in all Universities located in Delhi”.
Earlier in the day, a protest had been organised by activists of Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS) against the earlier notice on grounds that it was “indicative of a class bias” and showed “unwillingness to encourage participation of students who are already barred from the elitist regular university system”.
“The ODL institutions in Delhi comprise students of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), Delhi University’s School of Open Learning and Jamia’s Centre for Open and Distance Learning Learning, where lakhs of students from deprived backgrounds are forced to take admission… Coming from lower middle-class and working-class families, these ODL women students and their issues are seen as different, as apart,” said Aarti Kushwaha, a member of KYS.