New Delhi, October 2: During a latest meeting of Delhi University’s (DU) Executive Council (EC), a number of burning issues were taken up for discussion, including a long standing controversy ailing the Delhi School of Journalism (DSJ), which has been in news in the recent times for all the wrong reasons. DSJ, which was said to be DU’s answer to world’s best media schools, is said to be suffering from a number of administrative problems such as poor infrastructure, contractual appointment of teachers, exorbitantly high fee structure and self-finance mode of its courses. Started only last year, DU’s first institution dedicated to a five-year long integrated journalism course had already drawn flak from all quarters.
“We were told that DSJ will be akin to Columbia School of Journalism but we do not even have a library. In the name of library we have a reading room, capacity of which only allows 10 students at one time,” said one of the students who is enrolled in the course and feels disillusioned with the whole idea.
During the much-awaited “zero hour” meeting of the EC, member Rajesh K Jha took up the issues that have been raised by the students from time to time in the recent few months. Protesting against the college administration on account of poor infrastructure, inadequate facilities and exorbitant fees, some students even went on a hunger strike recently. Eight students had been suspended by the college for the protest.
The school has faced criticism for appointing only two contractual faculty members to take classes for 248 students. Apart from this, the institute has widely been criticized for its astronomically high fees - pegged at Rs 77,500 per year - highest for any college operating under Delhi University. Earlier in February, the council had raised the issue of abysmal student-teacher ratio and exorbitant fees with the vice-chancellor.
Director of DSJ, JP Dubey told a leading news website that the administration understands the needs of students and recognizes them as valid. “We have accepted the charter presented to us by the students and we are extending all help possible,” he was quoted saying.
“DSJ is a premier school brought into existence to show that DU can have a self-sustaining institution, adept of surviving on its own. We do not want to create institutions that need to be rescued in the future,” he said.
The debate gains special importance in light of the fact that DSJ is considered V-C’s dream project.