The Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS), a student organization, staged a protest on Thursday outside the Ministry of Education against alleged irregularities in Delhi University’s School of Open Learning (SOL), non-commencement of offline classes, and not providing study materials. The protesters were briefly detained by the Delhi Police. Meanwhile, Officiating Principal of SOL, Uma Shankar Pandey, termed the protest as a “publicity stunt by a few people”.
The KYS said that a hundred students took part in the protests outside the ministry. Several of the KYS activists were detained at Mandir Marg Police Station but later released. “Thirty-three people, including men and women, were detained but later released,” said a senior police officer.
The KYS said a delegation met a senior official of the Ministry of Education and apprised him of the issues and “rampant corruption in SOL”. The delegation also submitted a list of demands which included a high-level inquiry into the “various irregularities and corruption” in SOL, the KYS informed. “It should be noted that despite the DU reopening on 17th February, the SOL has not started the offline classes (academic counselling sessions) that it organizes for the students. Moreover, the situation is compounded for the students as the SOL is distributing incomplete study materials to only 1st-year students till March, while the exams are to begin in March itself,” the KYS said in a statement. The KYS also submitted a memorandum to the Ministry of Education authorities demanding that it should direct the Delhi University administration to immediately sack SOL officiating principal Pandey. Reacting to the protest, Panday told PTI: “We are not bothered. We are doing all academic activities. Weekend classes of several courses are starting this weekend. There are five-six elements that are disturbing the activities to remain in the limelight,” he said.