Delhi University off-campus colleges no less attractive than on-campus ones – The Sunday Guardian

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The days when off-campus colleges of Delhi University (DU) were considered “backward” compared to on-campus ones—especially North Campus colleges which include St Stephen’s, Hindu, Kirori Mal College, Sri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), Ramjas, Miranda House, Khalsa, Hansraj and Daulat Ram College—are a thing of the past.
According to a senior DU official, specialised courses, sprawling college buildings and well-qualified teachers are some of the features that attract aspirants to prefer “off-campus” colleges over “on-campus” ones. Various off-campus DU colleges like Lady Shri Ram College, Indraprastha College For Women, Sri Venkateswara College, Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma, Kamala Nehru, Jesus & Mary College, Delhi College of Arts & Commerce, Dyal Singh College, Deshbandhu College, Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Shaheed Rajguru College of Applied Sciences For Women, Shivaji College, Maharaja Agrasen, Shyam Lal, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya and Keshav Mahavidyalaya, among many others, have come up with improved infrastructure facilities for students.
“The campus colleges are old and in the beginning they had better infrastructure, but the off-campus colleges, which were earlier being run from school buildings, now have new buildings and infrastructure as land was allotted to these off-campus colleges. Now, several of these off-campus colleges have better facilities than on-campus ones,” Brij Mohan Bhalla, former principal of Dayal Singh College, told The Sunday Guardian.
Rajendra Prasad, former principal of Ramjas College, said: “The off-campus colleges have been competing with the on-campus ones and that is how many off-campus colleges now have better facilities than on-campus ones.”
Rajesh Jha, associate professor and Executive Council (EC) member of DU, said: “It seems that over the past few years, the rise of off-campus colleges has been weaning students away from on-campus colleges. With high cut-offs, state-of-the-art infrastructure and well-qualified teachers, off-campus colleges are no less attractive than the on-campus ones.”
Babli Moitra Saraf, principal, Indraprastha College for Women, said: “Our college is situated out of campus, but it is one of the constituent colleges of DU. Compared to other on-campus DU colleges, our college has a great history of excellence.”
Shashi Nijhawan, principal of Shivaji College, an off-campus college, said, “We don’t have a legacy or glorious past; therefore, we focus on hard work and dedication to achieve better academic results. Factors which have earned us ‘Grade A’ ranking from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) in 2015 include quality education, research, sports, cultural activity and social awareness.”
A “low profile” off-campus college like Shyam Lal College (SLC), under the administration of principal Rabi Narayan Kar, has gained a good repute among the academia and students. The college offers almost all the courses available in most of the on-campus DU colleges. “Our extensive focus on quality education, research, extra academic activity, and providing knowledge through seminars, have translated into success,” Kar said. Another off-campus college, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya (DDU), has sprawling infrastructure which has started attracting applicants. “The new college building was built in South West Delhi’s Dwarka area, keeping in mind new technologies and the needs of the students,” Dr S.K. Garg, principal, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya college, said. 
Gyantosh Jha, principal of Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma (ARSD) college, an off-campus one, said: “Promotion of research work from the undergraduate level, state-of-the-art laboratory for science students, a theatre society and campus placements, are some of the features that attract aspirants to our college.” Since Jha took charge of the college, the ARSD has won “A” ranking from the NAAC and it has also secured the fifth rank from the National Institute Ranking Framework under the Ministry of Human Resource Development.


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