Education is not merely an institutional mechanism, but a process, a demanding procedure which involves various actors with equally important roles. There are several levels of education beginning from primary to higher, with each level holding its own essentiality. These levels do differ, but what remains the same is the basic structure of the institutional machinery involving the administration, the faculty and the students.
In all the actors involved, with sincerity expected from all of them, the administration has a very sensitive role to keep things running smoothly in an institution. With strong power dynamics involved at the administrative level, it is not that easy to keep things sound as they must be. Such a misfortune has befallen the Law Faculty of Delhi University with its dean professor Ved Kumari resigning in the middle of last month. The tenure of professor Kumari was due in three months, however, her resignation before the completion is a serious issue.
Kumari has been in the chair since 2016 and has been actively involved in getting the administrative actions in the right place. As per the resignation letter, she has put serious charges against the inefficiency and non-cooperation of the university authority, and especially the actions of the professor-in-charge, who has allegedly contributed to the problems in the system. Some very concerning issues raised by Kumari are:
1) Allowance of students with attendance as low as 31% are allowed to give exams, where students with full attendance are not been served with justice for their regularity and hard work during class days.
2) Chargers of being arrogant, oppressive and indulged in illegal actions have been put against the professor-in-charge of Campus Law Centre.
3) Professor Kumari has been asserting to the university authorities about providing a work-able space to the faculty which has been given a deaf ear so far.
4) Failure in giving remuneration and salaries of various posts on which people have been working sincerely.
5) Failure of taking any disciplinary actions against a student who physically assaulted a faculty member.
These are a few of some more allegations put through by Kumari. The issues have been very sensitive from her perspective and she claims to be patiently trying to get things in place.
In my personal perspective, the issue is not to be seen from the lens of resignation of an important post-holder. The foremost concern in my personal opinion is that such illegalities are existing in one of the premier institutes of law – a solid irony!
Though it is a serious step, however, the question remains: does the resignation resolve the issues raised by professor Kumari? It is no doubt a significant loss for the faculty, for she had some ethical as well as productive visions for the institute. But now with her resignation, there will be probably another dean who will take over the post. With such allegations hanging on the institute’s head, the future looks dark. After such an incident, the queries must be in the direction of establishing the credibility of the allegations, and if so, what is the scope of improving?
This may not be the first of such cases, and probably isn’t even the last one. In such a scenario, education is the element which is on the verge of a death. As stated in the beginning, education is a process and not a service, and this process has to be taken more sensitively and sincerely by involving all stakeholders.