Monday, November 29, 1999

V-C bypasses teachers to amend ordinances

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With the help of emergency powers provided to him under Statute 11(G)(4) of the Delhi University Act, 1922, Vice-Chancellor Deepak Pental has recently taken many decisions bypassing the normal procedure."If in the opinion of Vice-Chancellor, any emergency has arisen which requires that immediate action should be taken, the Vice-Chancellor shall take such action as he deems necessary and shall report the same for confirmation at the next meeting to the authority which, in the ordinary course, would have dealt with the matter," reads the statute."If the action taken by the Vice-Chancellor is not approved by the authority concerned, he may refer the matter to the Visitor (President of India), whose decision shall be final," it adds. Using the emergency powers, the V-C amended eight ordinances on June 14.According to the Act, the amendments are required to be drafted by the Academic Council, then passed by the Executive Council and placed before the University Court and the Visitor for approval.On May 25, the university informed principals of various colleges that the BSc Applied Physical Sciences courses in Electronics and Computer Science had been merged into a semester-based BSc (Programme) — Physical Sciences course. The matter was not presented before the Academic Council.Taking strong note of Pental's actions, DU Academic Council member Abha Dev Habib said:" Policy matters like amending/making/repealing of statutes which require assent of the Visitor should in no case be decided by the Vice-Chancellor by invoking emergency powers."In fact, a Ministry of Human Resources Development notification of June 11, 2001 read: "The emergency powers by the Vice-Chancellor should be exercised with restraint and only in emergency situations."

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