Delhi University will have nearly 5,000 more seats for the OBC students in the new session starting July. But the colleges are hardly ready to take the extra load. The expansion plans are ready, but only on paper. Colleges say the construction of more classrooms and laboratories cannot start before getting approval from various agencies which is unlikely to happen before the freshers come in. The number of applications from OBC students had been dismal last year. However, if sufficient number of OBC students turn up in the second phase of reservation this year, DU V-C Deepak Pental agreed that the infrastructure in the colleges would fall short. 'The grants have been sanctioned, but the maps are not getting cleared. The regulatory authorities are taking long to complete the process. (When the new batch starts) the infrastructure won't be sufficient, it never was,' said Pental. The university had released INR 4-6 crore to individual colleges late last year to augment their infrastructure. He added that new teachers will also have to be appointed, but the process of recruitment is still to take off. 'We will hire teachers as we go along and till then, we will manage with the current strength,' Pental said. With this, the new students might have to sit in cramped classrooms, teachers may have to hold lectures of the same batch by turns, laboratory equipment may have to be shared and the non-teaching staff would have to be asked to work on Saturdays.
Meera Ramachandran, principal, Gargi College, agreed, 'Our college building is protected by ASI. Once they give a clearance to our plan, we will approach the DDA. The government should cut the red-tape so that expansion can start.' She added that besides the classrooms and laboratories, the college has to make its campus disabled-friendly, install lifts and widen the roads. In addition she said, 'We will need extra electricity so we have to make a sub-station also. All this won't be ready by the start of the next session. The class strength will be larger and there will be tremendous pressure on the staff.' Bhim Sen, principal, Kirorimal College, says his college will also have to wait for MCD's clearance before expansion work gets off the ground. 'We have applied for the clearance to build more rooms. But it may take at least two to three more months,' said Sen. However, Hans Raj College and Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) are among a few colleges that have already renovated their buildings. P C Jain, principal, SRCC, said, 'We are ready to accommodate more number of students this year. Getting the infrastructure ready depends on how seriously one takes up the matter with the agencies.' The college had received a grant of INR 4.46 crore besides the contribution from its alumni.