Inadequate infrastructure stalls Ambedkar University’s expansion plan
New Delhi: The BR Ambedkar University’s ambitious plan to introduce new courses and increase student intake five-fold has hit a roadblock as the construction at two of its upcoming campuses is yet to begin with the projects awaiting approval from the Delhi Cabinet, officials said.
Established in 2008, the university has around 3,000 students across 70 undergraduate, postgraduate and research programmes at its three existing campuses in Kashmere Gate, Karampura, and Lodhi Road.
The state-run varsity, which functions as a multi-campus unitary, plans to introduce multiple new courses while increasing the student capacity to 15,000 and was allotted land for two more campuses in Dheerpur and Rohini. However, the work is yet to begin at the sites, they said.
The construction of another campus in Ghumanhera village was approved by the university several months ago but the Delhi government is yet to clear the proposal, they said.
Speaking to PTI, Vice Chancellor Anu Singh Lather said, “We have two full-fledged campuses as well as a small campus in Lodhi Road. We plan to build new campuses at Rohini and Dheerpur and are waiting for the Cabinet approval to start work”.
“The University’s main campus in Kashmere Gate is housed in a 400-year-old heritage buildings complex. So, we can’t make any changes there,” Lather added.
With the new academic session to begin soon, varsity officials said they are struggling to accommodate the increasing number of students and have urged authorities to undertake the expansion of its Karampura campus.
Talking to PTI, Registrar Nitin Malik said the university is constructing 15 additional rooms on the campus.
“We met officials recently as we are hoping to expedite the construction of new rooms before the academic session,” Malik said.
We are also collaborating with other universities to share their resources, he said.
“We will be signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Delhi Technological University, Delhi University and other universities to ensure that our students get proper training,” he added.
A query sent to the Delhi government’s education department did not elicit an immediate response.
Last year, an amount of Rs 2,306.58 crore was sanctioned by the Delhi government for the campuses at Rohini and Dheerpur.
According to Lather, the Dheerpur campus will be spread over 50 acres and developed and maintained by the Centre For Urban Environment and Sustainability (CUES) of the university in partnership with the DDA.
The campus will house 4,500 full-time students and about 2,000 students in part-time/short-term programmes in its first phase, the vice chancellor said.
In addition, it will have hostel facilities for 750 students as well as 256 units of faculty and staff housing, officials said.
“Other facilities will include an auditorium, convention centre, exhibition centre, seminar and conference facilities, library, cafeterias, students centre, indoors and outdoors sports facilities, guesthouse, health centre, display and performance areas, convenience/utility centre and crèche,” an official said.
The Rohini Campus will be spread over 18 acres with a capacity of 3,500 full-time students with hostel facilities for 900 students.
“It will also have staff and faculty housing with 132 units. The campus will have auditorium, convention centre, seminar and conference facilities, library, cafeterias, students centre, indoors and outdoor sports facilities, guesthouse, health centre, display and performance areas, convenience/utility centre and crèche,” the vice chancellor told PTI.
Lather highlighted that the university gave its approval to set up another campus at Ghumanhera village in southwest Delhi if provided with the necessary infrastructure and requisite manpower.
“The villagers and the panchayat in Ghumanhera have donated land for the campus. We visited the site and gave our approval but are waiting for the government to take action,” Lather said.
Lather said the Directorate of Higher Education had identified the piece of Gram Sabha land in the village to set up the campus in 2018 but the project has remained stalled since then.