Student groups collectively demonstrate against DU's mandatory attendance policy

As the semester examinations are in full swing at few of the DU colleges, the student groups are alleging that almost 1,400 students were barred from giving their semester exams
Students submit memorandum to the  Dean of Students' Welfare, DU.
Students submit memorandum to the Dean of Students' Welfare, DU.(Source: EdexLive Desk)

Despite numerous pleas, dialogues, and protests from students opposing Delhi University's (DU) mandatory attendance policy, the rule remains in effect. 

On Monday, May 20, student organisations such as the All India Students’ Association (AISA), Students' Federation of India (SFI), BSCEM (Bhagat Singh Chhatra Ekta Manch), and Disha Students' Organisation demonstrated in front of the DU Arts Faculty and submitted a memorandum to the Dean of Students' Welfare. 

The letter dated May 20, 2024, demanded the abolition of the policy as "There have been continuous attacks on the student community of Delhi University in the name of attendance", it stated.

Why are the student groups alleging harassment?
According to the letter, the decision to conduct a parents' teacher meeting (PTM) for students having attendance below 67% at DU's Hansraj and Aryabhatta colleges, and debarring of nearly 1,400 students from exams at the Shaheed Bhagat Singh College has been deemed as totally unacceptable by the student organisations.

Layana, SFI secretary, Hansraj College also added that the administration is giving no prior notice before debarring students from examinations. She said, "No information was relayed to the students before debarring them from appearing for their core paper examinations in Hindu College. They were only allowed to appear for the additional Skill Enhancement Courses (SEC) and Value Addition Courses (VAC)."

The memorandum further called their attention to the insensitivity displayed towards these 1,400 students as a few were unable to maintain their attendance due to other career commitments and financial limitations. 

"This shows how the university has been tightening its grip of surveillance on students to curb participation of students in any form of co-curricular activity i.e. societies...", she said.

According to Layana, students get limited time to pursue these activities as they have to mandatorily complete the SEC and VAC courses, apart from their core papers.

Immediate release of admit cards
The letter additionally demands that the signed admit cards be made immediately available to the students of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, Aryabhatta College, Hansraj College and other colleges of DU, for students to appear for their exams conveniently.

In September 2023, DU implemented a compulsory attendance policy requiring students to maintain a minimum attendance of 67 per cent. Those who fail to meet this requirement will be barred from taking their exams. 

Additionally, students with medical issues must provide a medical certificate and submit a Letter of Undertaking, pledging to meet the attendance criteria in the semesters to come.

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