Dear Students, Colleagues and Alumni,
Today, 1 May 2020, is a momentous day for the University of Delhi as we celebrate its 98th Foundation Day. This day is also an exceptional one for each one of us as it offers a unique opportunity to celebrate what we have accomplished, to express our gratitude to those who have contributed to the growth of the University and to strengthen our resolve to continue developing our institution for our future generations.
The University which started in 1922 with just four colleges and two faculties has grown by leaps and bounds. Today, we are 16 faculties, 86 departments and 91 colleges strong community. But more than the quantitative and infrastructural expansion, what drives us more is our university’s qualitative and intellectual expansion. Also, what makes us euphoric is the growing strength of our brilliant students and eminent alumni.
Looking back on last year, we are proud of our collective efforts and accomplishments. We were not only recognized as an Institution of Eminence (IoE) by the Ministry of Human Resource Development but also conferred with graded autonomy Category-I by the UGC on the basis of our consistent performance and progress.
Also, 2019-2020 was an important year of institution-building for us. To cater to social needs and to give major impetus for cutting edge research we established four new institutions: Delhi School of Public Policy & Governance; Delhi School of Public Health; Delhi School of Skill Enhancement & Entrepreneurship Development; and Delhi School of Climate Change & Sustainability. In addition, we have started the process of building a new women’s college at Fatehpur Beri Village in South-West Delhi to help uplift the standard of education mainly in the rural areas of Delhi. We are sure that the network of interdisciplinary research institutions along with wider social outreach programmes that we are envisaging is going to be richly endowed by your illustrious contributions.
We have renewed our cherished dream of making our North Campus an integrated campus, and we deeply appreciate all those who are helping us in realizing this dream.
Whatever we have been achieving till now is an outcome of the inspirations, efforts and contributions of each one of you. The University is proud of and honored by those who have made constructive contribution peacefully.
As we navigate the new decade especially with so many challenges presented by COVID-19, we have to set the agenda for the future that must be based on the edifice of inclusion, diversity, innovation and sustainability for humanity. Let us also remind ourselves of those areas that we must pursue in our departments, faculties and colleges and also at an individual level to fulfil our dream of getting our university placed in the top 100 institutions of the world. Quality education, research & innovation, equitable ambience, sustainable campus, and partnerships with new knowledge producers are the major areas where we must continue to improve. Surely, each one of you has been gifted with enormous potential to do much more to take us to the league of the world top 100 universities.
Always remember that our country’s greatest strength is our people. Our colleges and universities’ greatest strength are our students. It is a sacrosanct duty of every faculty member to impart high-quality education to our students, produce world-class research, abide by the rule of law, and render national service when the occasion demands.
Today, we cannot ignore that COVID-19 has caused a massive disruption in our socio-economic life. It has taken the lives of more than two lakh people the world over. It has rendered millions of people unemployed, stranded, or vulnerable. Several professions are now inactive. The economy of every country is in jeopardy. The number of have-nots has increased dramatically in every nook and corner of the world.
All this has or is likely to have an adverse effect on poor people. They warrant our support. There is a need to mobilize additional resources so that crucial lives can be saved and vulnerable people can be helped diligently. In these circumstances, people who are at an advantage have a special responsibility to set examples of social sensitivity and philanthropy. This is one of the most crucial responsibilities of the University and its faculty members, in particular.
We all have a duty not only to consolidate the intellectual foundations of our university by following a rich teaching-learning process but also to strengthen the moral foundation of the University with the help of our exemplary philanthropy demonstrating our sensitivity toward vulnerable people who cannot overcome the present crisis without collective support. Let the University be known not only for its academic excellence but also for its philanthropic flagrance.
On our foundation day, let’s take a pledge to further solidify our resolve ‘to strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavour and achievement.’