'Unfortunate and regressive,' says academic council member as DU forms panel to keep watch on social media 

The Democratic United Teachers' Alliance expressed concerns over the move saying it should be rejected by all those who value education, accountability, and democracy. 
University of Delhi.
University of Delhi.

NEW DELHI: The University of Delhi, in an official notice dated December 8, has formed a six-member committee tasked with devising a policy governing the use of social media by university staff. The notification, widely shared on social media platforms Wednesday night, states, “The competent authority of the university has constituted a committee pertaining to the use of social media platforms in respect of the employees of the University for framing of such policy of the university.”

However, faculty members argue that this move is an attempt to monitor academics who express criticism of the university on social media platforms. Professor Sanjeev Singh, the Director of the Delhi University Computer Centre (DUCC), has been appointed as the committee’s chair. 

Other members include Professor Ajay Jaiswal, Principal of SOL; Dr. Kshitij Kumar Singh from CLC; Manish Minocha, an advocate; Anup Lather, PRO; and Dr. Manisha from the Department of History.
Responding to this development, Mithuraaj Dhusiya, an elected member of the academic council, voiced concerns, stating, “Public universities are meant to foster free speech and multiple perspectives. If DU attempts to censor ideas and speeches of its employees on social media platforms, it will be very unfortunate and regressive. We will strongly protest against such draconian measures both inside and outside the Academic Council.”

Meanwhile, Professor Sanjaya Bohidar from Shri Ram College of Commerce expressed dissent on social media. “Rejecting the idea of hiding from public scrutiny and absorbing the intolerance of the bosses. The DU administration responds to the exposure of its plagiarism-ridden policy proposal and its attempt to undermine the public character of the University through an action plan of ever-increasing dependence on private funding,” the professor said.

“It’s not surprising, considering the action plan tabled in the Academic Council aimed to concoct only positive stories to create a brand image for greater private funding,” he added. Criticism of the university’s notification has also come from other members of the academic council and the Democratic United Teachers’ Alliance. The teachers’ body expressed concerns over the move saying it should be rejected by all those who value education, accountability, and democracy. 

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