NOT Just another Open Letter [to OUR Vice-Chancellor, University of Delhi]


Vice-Chancellor,
University of Delhi,
Delhi 110007
September 27th 2012

(CC: Department of English)

Dear Mr. V-C,

How are you? Hope well! Anyway, that is enough of formality. Let me come down the point. Oh! Before you read beyond this line, I would please you to come out of your air-conditioned office and leave that comfortable seat you are sitting at. Hope you don’t mind in coming out in open and looking around the scenario. No-No you do not need to look at that beautiful garden you have outside your office, walk another half-mile or so and walk till Cavalry Lines, North Campus. So, do you recognize this place? I believe no, because I know it as a fact that you have never came to this place since you became “OUR respectable V-C.” Well, you are standing exactly in front of School of Open Learning; the only place at North Campus, where almost 3.2 lakh students enroll every year and I am among them too. Just to make this statistic more realistic, let me tell you that these numbers of students are nowhere near the total strength of students at (Regular) University of Delhi. Yes! You read it correct (Regular) University of Delhi. Over these three-years of my graduation one thing that I have learnt is that there are two-universities running under you; one that I have mention above and other is Correspondence University of Delhi.


The regular college folks are like your ‘eye’s apple’ as you never let them down. You always visit their colleges early in morning and get time to have a coffee with them. You arrange good faculty for them and students get their results on time as well. But when things turn towards students of correspondence, you end up having a ‘blind-fold’ on your eyes; for obvious reasons. I mean its OK, I understand we do not get YOUR university medals in drama, sports, social-service and other activities. Though, it is a different thing that we never get that opportunity; but still, the point is WE do not give you anything in return. And believe me I do not want to mention that SOL is recognized by UGC to conduct distance-learning studies. Just in case, you don’t know about it; almost like everything you do not know about School of Open Learning.

For years and years now, your examination department and English Department is conducting exams for English Honors—both for SOL and regular students. The subjects, syllabus, exam pattern, question paper, exams dates and exam time; everything is always same, but the result for regular is declared first and then comes the ‘lucky’ day for SOL students. May I ask why? (FYI: Regular college result for Third-Year was declared on July 22 2012).
Since, the declaration of regular college’ result – 65 days have passed and SOL is still nowhere near a result. Do you know? We do not even get space in notification published by YOUR examination department ‘Expected date of result declaration’; another awful thing (Anyway we are habitual now).

Please tell me are we so different? I know we are after all not from St. Stephens or may be Venky College as a matter of fact, but, still we are students of University of Delhi. If everything goes same-way for both regular and correspondence students, then why not result declaration? Are you scared? Or are you so much influenced by regular colleges that you do not want ANYBODY from SOL to get into MA English or may be other P.G. courses? At SOL, we are already deprived of facilities and to add more to it, you follow a strict policy of ‘harassing SOL students’. May I ask why?

You arrange academic conferences, you make sure that regular colleges are running classes on time or not, you want to make colleges and campus- women safe and handicap friendly, yet fail to understand that a certain section of students at DU demands equal opportunities. And to top it all, when we ask a clerk at examination department to tell that why our result is not yet declared- we are told that “Our priority is regular college students and not SOL” and that hurts; very
much.
One day those hooligan nature people at DU demanded that their result for BA Pass should be declared soon as they are unable to file nominations for elections and you simply go ahead and declare same over-night. WHY? Is that because you want a bunch of people to keep on protesting for things that make no sense to a college student’s life?

In a media report it was stated that SOL answer sheets have now been segregated from regular college answer sheets. May I ask why? Are we not students, did we not study whole year, are we not supposed to get results or it’s just that you guys are not bothered, if our answer sheets are checked or not? See we are already suffering way too much from stereotypical attitude of our department teachers and to give an example let me tell you an incident that happened last year:
A teacher from one college in North Campus posted some photos on Facebook. These photos were of answer-sheets. And he gave these photos a caption “Look at SOL students and see what crap they write”.

So please answer me, how come this teacher came to know that those answer-sheets were of SOL students? And let’s presume that he said that with his experience, but then even why only ‘SOL’? He could have said another college also. And please! Do not tell me that ALL regular college students are genius and they write awesome-answers. Because if you take a look at previous years result, there were two-students from St. Stephens who failed (the same college you studied from).

Regards
A Student; a very frustrated student.

About Aditya Bhasin

Aditya Bhasin hails from India, Delhi-an avid reader, who enjoys his cup of tea over it, a racist in purest form as he hates chocolate and coffee. He does not like traveling much, but, if he gets an opportunity to travel he chooses to do that by a train instead of a car or a plane. He is an ambivert person and is happy that way.
Fb.com + About.me + Twitter.com + StumbleUpon.com + LinkedIn.com+ FourSquare.com + Pinterest.com + Digg.com + Reddit.com = /meadityabhasin
Email: adityabhasin81 (at) (gmail) (.com)

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20 thoughts on “NOT Just another Open Letter [to OUR Vice-Chancellor, University of Delhi]

  1. #Revised
    Aditya,
    Your letter seemed immature first. After a deep thought and reading the reply, I learned I might be wrong. Justified anger man! I feel professors are the ones contributing to the easygoing ways of University of Delhi! The professor jobs are more of comfort zones than actual work. At the same time Mr. Singh is very right, bringing the change is an arduous task. It will take time.
    Hope things turn for good!

    • Hey Darpan, Thanks for reading and giving your time to pen-down your opinion.

      Well, I feel happy that reading my complete letter made you think that I am not ‘that’ immature that you thought I am. I agree that good things take time and as sir has already mentioned I am also optimistic about those changes to take place sooner or later.

      Best,
      Aditya Bhasin

  2. Dear Aditya,

    I have followed your comments (in response to my comments) and those of some other interested persons through your blog.

    Please rest assured that I do not have objections to any of your comments or those that have been made by others on this blog.

    I would have responded far sooner but for the fact that my schedule does not easily allow me much time. As an indication of my preoccupation with matters of the University you may be surprised to learn that even on this Sunday (September 30) I am in my office (without the AC!) working since the morning with several colleagues to try and make the University of Delhi a little more organised and better for students and other stakeholders.

    This effort includes a huge exercise to re-organise the SOL as well.

    The task is not easy but we are optimistic.

    As regards the three queries that you have posted:

    1. The SOL results take more time than those of the students of the other streams simply because we do not have any freedom or power to get examiners for the SOL answer scripts.

    The number of SOL faculty is about 70 or so and the number of scripts run into lakhs and lakhs. For the last 30 years or so it seems the University has tried to get more examiners but there is reluctance to help examine by teachers who are not teaching in this programme. As of now, we can only persuade them and cannot force them.

    What is the solution? I am surprised at the fact that no one (for the last 30 years) has even thought of attending to this problem. When I took over 22 months ago my biggest challenge was to try and get the existing programmes-in the colleges-to start functioning properly and to get the semester system in place (which was only halfway through).

    Now we have turned our attention to fundamental issues such as looking at the SOL and at trying to reorganise the UG programes in a holistic manner that allows open learning a more prominent position and shall allow the SOL results to be prepared more scientifically and in a regular and timely fashion. Please remember that in a system such as ours all this takes huge amounts of time but I shall-hopefully-be able to bring some change for the better soon enough.

    2. We segregate the answer sheets because our regulations-as they exist-do not allow them to be mixed. we hope to change this to some extent but all major changes take time and thought. Changing regulations in the University is not easy.

    3. The attitude towards SOl must change and it will change else this country will be in some difficulty. Open learning is the only way we can educate in a proper manner our students in the coming years and I believe that this system has enormous power.

    With regards
    Dinesh Singh
    VC

    • Your letter seemed immature. After a deep thought and reading the reply, I learned I might be wrong. Justified anger man! I feel professors are the ones contributing to the easygoing ways of University of Delhi! The professor jobs are more of comfort zones than actual work.
      Hope things turn for good! 🙂

    • Dear Sir,

      Thanks for answering my other questions, your efforts now shows me and other SOL students that yes OUR V-C is working for us. Though, me and most of my friends are now graduate and we probably would not be in much of contact with SOL. But, we are happy that the coming batches would surely be able to make benefit out of your continuous efforts.

      Now I don’t think that I have any other thing to question you about. My only concern that now lies is that many of my other friends are now asking me to write another letter to ask you when the result for 2nd year and Ex-students be declared. But, I am resisting myself to do that.

      Regards,

      Aditya Bhasin

  3. greeat work man!!

    Though he didn’t answered to our problems clearly, i am happy he paid attention.
    At least the concerned person is aware of our pains now.

  4. Aditya
    Hats off man

    for Mr V-C,

    Dear V-C,

    I was wondering about Aditya’s post and was sure that nothing was going to happen but today when I saw your reply, I was astonished to witness the proof that SOL-ians, do get the attention (at least on the web).

    With all the due respect and all the formalities (which a mere SOL-ian can think of), I would like to tell you that you haven’t given any information about our results in your reply, which is the biggest concern for each one of us. So please consider this as a humble request on behalf of all the English Literature students of SOL, and please release our results ASAP or just let us know that our B.A(H) English has got metamorphosed into a course of 4 years.

    Another frustrated student.

  5. Aditya,

    I read your piece with great interest. I admire your passion and forthrightness. However it may be worthwhile for me to clear some misconceptions that you seem to have. I have been visiting the school of Open learning regularly. This includes surprise visits as well. On Tuesday September 25 I had a meeting with two senior officials of the SOL and we are to meet again this coming week. I am undertaking a very massive exercise to revamp the SOL. I have been trying to get the staff of SOL to understand that the SOL has a great responsibility on its shoulders and that we-together-should work to make it better.

    I am not very fond of air conditioned offices and I generally do not use the AC. I have been meeting students of SOL as regulalrly as I have been meeting other students. Many times I have grought them to my office to try and understand the situation.

    In any case I am undertaking a massive exercise to create a better and technology based system of open learning because I believe that open learning is the need of the hour and the future of education is going to be through open learning.

    More importantly I am planning to integrate open learning as much as possible with ‘regular’ learning. Thus students shall have some choice and chance to take credit from either of the two systems for the same kind of degrees.

    I also wish to state that that i like your interest in trains and I shall be sending hundreds of students of the SOL on the Gyanodyaya Express train in the month of June or thereabouts.

    with best wishes

    Dinesh Singh VC

    • But sir, this doesn’t quite answer the question. What is the ‘situation’? Why are the results of SOL delayed to death? Why is the university so unfair to us when it comes to something as basic as exam results? Personally, I truly admire the course and curriculum of B.A. English Hons. but I regret to admit that university really lets us down for no fault of ours, unfortunately this has become an yearly norm which is bizarre. I don’t have any problems with ‘Regular’ students and many of them are my good friends but somehow we’re made to believe that it was a mistake to take admission in SOL in the first place. We’re students, sir, not cattle!

    • Dear V-C,

      Thanks a ton for your reply. Take my words I was not counting on same. I thought you would not even read this piece. I am obliged that you went ahead and also made a reply to this blog. I am also keen to apologies if in case I may have offended you in any terms- which was never my intention.

      I appreciate that you are taking many efforts to strengthen how SOL works and other things related to SOL. But, on the other hand I also feel that you did not answer many of our questions.

      1) Why there is so much delay in terms of result declaration for SOL students;
      2)Why were our answer-sheets segregated from regular college students;
      3) Will the stereotypical attitude towards SOL students ever change?

      Regards,
      Aditya Bhasin

      • Dear Aditya,

        I have followed your comments (in response to my comments) and those of some other interested persons through your blog.

        Please rest assured that I do not have objections to any of your comments or those that have been made by others on this blog.

        I would have responded far sooner but for the fact that my schedule does not easily allow me much time. As an indication of my preoccupation with matters of the University you may be surprised to learn that even on this Sunday (September 30) I am in my office (without the AC!) working since the morning with several colleagues to try and make the University of Delhi a little more organised and better for students and other stakeholders.

        This effort includes a huge exercise to re-organise the SOL as well.

        The task is not easy but we are optimistic.

        As regards the three queries that you have posted:

        1. The SOL results take more time than those of the students of the other streams simply because we do not have any freedom or power to get examiners for the SOL answer scripts.

        The number of SOL faculty is about 70 or so and the number of scripts run into lakhs and lakhs. For the last 30 years or so it seems the University has tried to get more examiners but there is reluctance to help examine by teachers who are not teaching in this programme. As of now, we can only persuade them and cannot force them.

        What is the solution? I am surprised at the fact that no one (for the last 30 years) has even thought of attending to this problem. When I took over 22 months ago my biggest challenge was to try and get the existing programmes-in the colleges-to start functioning properly and to get the semester system in place (which was only halfway through).

        Now we have turned our attention to fundamental issues such as looking at the SOL and at trying to reorganise the UG programes in a holistic manner that allows open learning a more prominent position and shall allow the SOL results to be prepared more scientifically and in a regular and timely fashion. Please remember that in a system such as ours all this takes huge amounts of time but I shall-hopefully-be able to bring some change for the better soon enough.

        2. We segregate the answer sheets because our regulations-as they exist-do not allow them to be mixed. we hope to change this to some extent but all major changes take time and thought. Changing regulations in the University is not easy.

        3. The attitude towards SOl must change and it will change else this country will be in some difficulty. Open learning is the only way we can educate in a proper manner our students in the coming years and I believe that this system has enormous power.

        With regards
        Dinesh Singh
        VC

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