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Beyond Classrooms: My lessons from DU’s learning spirit

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The learning spaces beyond classroom teach us how to deal with lives, one book each time. We must strive to save them as well.

Stones were flying from one side to other. Students, slogans, and their attempts for the salvation of university spaces from turning into hostile hubs were quite visible and somewhat violent. In such a circumstance, the law and order situation was fragile in the campus. With time I had learned how to cover violent protests, and the students who had protested learned lessons about how to fight violence in a non-violent manner. Despite various drawbacks and flaws, the University of Delhi has remained to be an incredible place of learning for everyone.

The vividness of extracurricular activities constitutes a major part of the University’s unique identity. College societies which provide a platform for honing talent in diverse fields ranging from dance to culinary skills deserve major credit for creating and maintaining this culture. Since these societies are student-run, peer review becomes a major way of learning and evaluation.

As a part of this newspaper, I had to cover and sometimes write features about societies that did exceptionally well. This experience provided me with a bird’s eye view of how students strived for excellence, with a competitive spirit. Although sometimes, this spirit turned out to be sour and the competitiveness was escalated into fights. However, the larger vision of learning has stood the test of time.

The organisation of events and fests, ranging from a small guest lecture to a large scale spectacle of a star night, has also constituted as a major learning incentive for students. Everything from hunting sponsorships to printing certificates is executed by the students. Managing these affairs teaches the nitty-gritty of certain roles and helps them manage bigger responsibilities with ease in their careers ahead.

In these past three years, I have learned much more about India than what I had learned from the course books till class 12th. The student diversity of Delhi University, which takes pride in being the alma mater to scholars from all states of India, has its own advantages. As students, we learn remarkably about issues, ground realities, and politics from the experiences of those around us. Be it the ground reality of Kashmir, the experiences of queer community, the discrimination against Dalits, or the perspectives of residents of Ayodhya, Delhi University students learn about these things from those they share classrooms with.

In a nutshell, despite grave problems like lack of faculty members, improper infrastructure, lax administration, and mismanagement, Delhi University continues to flourish. Intake of bright students might be the reason behind the same. But the question appears: for how long?

With the clamour of autonomy, fee hikes, and reduced funding, how long can the University sustain its diversified student culture? This is the question that one needs to ask today.


Feature Image Credits: India Today

Srivedant Kar

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Srivedant Kar is the associate editor of DU Beat. A journalism student at Cluster Innovation Centre, he spends more time thinking about tomorrow than today. Having interned with United Nations, he is an avid reader, fierce debater, poet and religious follower of politics who aspires to be a diplomat some day.

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