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Zakir Husain College

Zakir Husain College asks teachers to pay Rs 500 for science festival, sparks criticism

April 4, 2024

Zakir Husain College, a well-known institution affiliated with Delhi University, has recently become embroiled in controversy following the issuance of a notice requesting faculty members from the Science and Psychology departments to contribute Rs 500 each towards an upcoming science festival. The notice, dated April 1, stipulated that these funds would be utilized to cover the expenses associated with the festival, alongside departmental funds and registration fees collected from participants.

Principal Narendra Singh sought to clarify the purpose behind this financial request, emphasizing that it is purely voluntary and serves as a registration fee rather than a mandatory obligation. He highlighted that the intention is to facilitate the smooth organization of the event and ensure active participation from faculty members. Additionally, students have also been asked to contribute to the event, with a registration fee of Rs 250 requested from each participant.

However, this move has encountered criticism from a segment of teachers within the institution. They argue against placing the financial burden of organizing such events on the shoulders of faculty members and students alike. Abha Dev Habib, representing the Democratic Teachers Front (DTF), expressed concern over this approach, asserting that charges of this nature should ideally be integrated within the existing student fees structure.

Furthermore, Habib directed criticism towards AK Bhagi, the President of the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA), for agreeing to attend the event in question as its chief guest. This development has further fueled the debate surrounding the financing of academic events within the institution.

In response to the dissenting voices, Principal Narendra Singh reiterated the rationale behind the college’s stance. He acknowledged that while registration fees for events are a common practice across many academic programs, attendance at the event will not be contingent upon the payment of this registration fee. This assurance aims to uphold inclusivity and accessibility for all interested parties, ensuring that financial considerations do not hinder participation in academic activities.

Also read: UGC’s announcement on CUET syllabus elicits mixed reactions from experts

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