Arts & Culture

The Best, Worst, and Noteworthy of Delhi University Through 2019-20

From celebrity appearances and festivals, marches and protests to crimes against faculty, University of Delhi has seen a rollercoaster of a year – we bring to you, some of the highlights from this journey.

The Worst:

June 2019 

  • Student organisations have organised multiple protests till now, raising various demands related to the admission process and alleged fee hikes. In the series of protests, a one-day hunger strike was called on 20th June, 2019.


July 2019

  • Controversy over academic matters arose in the  University of Delhi (DU), with some members of the Standing Committee and the Academic Council (AC), along with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) taking objections to some of the proposed changes in the syllabi of various undergraduate courses. 

Decoding the Controversy: The Syllabus Row

DU Syllabus Row: Political Tension and Ideological Warfare

DUSU Forms Students’ Forum to Review Syllabus

  • Delhi government turned a blind eye to the written request made by the ad-hoc teachers of the University to ensure the renewal of their term from 20th July 2019 and demand funds for the creation of new teaching posts. In retrospection, the office bearers, the karamcharis and the active faculty members of the Delhi University Teachers’ Association flocked the streets in front of the University Grants Commission office to express their discontent and demand immediate action.

August 2019 

  • The Delhi University Colleges Library Employees Association (DUCLEA), had organised a protest at the Arts Faculty and have also notified that libraries will be shut across the University if their demands regarding the implementation of an approved report aren’t met.

  • Aryabhatta College Principal was accused of plagiarism by a whistle-blower, DUTA demanded an independent probe in the matter.


September 2019 

  • Over 2,700 teaching and non-teaching staff of 12 Delhi University (DU) colleges did not get salaries for two months as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Government withheld release of funds over non-formation of Governing Bodies (GB).

  • The Faculty of Law suspended the mid-semester break for its students due to the delay in commencement of the session creating outrage among the students.

  • Controversy and arguments surrounded the decision to field an all male panel during Day 1 of Kirori Mal College’s Women Conclave, organised by National Service Scheme unit’s Women Empowerment Cell, Sahas.

  • The past year’s voter turnout for the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) polls saw a considerable dip. The voting process in a few centres and colleges saw hiccups pertaining to a clash between the students and the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

  • Student politics at the prestigious University of Delhi (DU) college Shaheed Bhagat Singh College (Morning) had taken a bizarre turn when the annual elections to the Students’ Union were marred by unprecedented violence that ended with a student sustaining an injury in his head.


October 2019

  • The sexual harassment complaint filed by an Ad-hoc professor against the Chemistry Head of Department (HoD), Delhi University (DU), moved into its 18th month of investigation as a third panel was appointed while the accused roamed free. 

  • Students of Kirorimal College alleged sexism in the imposition of dress codes by the B.Sc. Faculty.

Kirori Mal College | Credits: DU Beat Archives
Kirori Mal College | Credits: DU Beat Archives
  • University of Delhi students and faculty opposed the construction of a 39-storey private high-rise building in an educational area such as the North Campus of the University of Delhi citing reasons that was completely illegal and was also a big threat to the security and integrity of the Delhi University and that it also stood as a major environmental concern. 

  • Sarvjeet Singh charged in a molestation case filed by Jasleen Kaur, a St. Stephen’s alumnus was acquitted after four years due to untrustworthy testimony by the complainant. 

  • Sar Geelani, the former professor of Arabic at Zakir Hussain College, famed for his political opinions and alleged affiliations with the 2001 Parliament Attack, passed away on Thursday, October 24th, following a cardiac arrest.

  • The decapitated body of a Delhi University professor was found on a railway track near the Sarai Rohilla railway station. Around half-an-hour later, the man’s 55-year-old mother was found hanging at their flat in northwest Delhi’s Pitampura. 

  • The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA), on Tuesday, called for a complete shutdown of the University of Delhi (DU), after the protests against the new Institute of Eminence proposal which aims to set up nine new centres with power to decide their fee structure, admission and appointment criteria. 

As An Institute of Eminence, Will This Be DU’s Institutional Decadence? 

  • An audio was circulated on WhatsApp amongst the students of Delhi University (DU) on 11th October narrating an alleged case of hypnotism followed by a brutal rape near Kamala Nehru College. 

  • Despite protests by teachers, the University of Delhi (DU) signed a contentious tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) with regard to its funding. 

  • A political drama-thriller web series by the name Tandav came under scrutiny after students expressed their distress with the shooting of the same interfering in their day to day college life. A letter had been sent to the Delhi University’s (DU) Registrar with respect to the shooting that took place at the Faculty of Law, University of Delhi. 

  • The woman who was reported to have conducted a series of thefts from Delhi University’s Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) was arrested by the police on 2nd October. 

Theft at SRCC’s Girls’ Hostel – Money and Debit Cards Stolen

  • Hostel dwellers of Hindu College protested in front of the Principal’s office against the new stricter criteria of attendance and GPA to be maintained to retain hostel accommodation in the second and third year by residents. 

Hindu College Hostel | Credits: DU Beat Archives
Hindu College Hostel | Credits: DU Beat Archives
  • Students from the Department of English organised a protest near Faculty of Arts, to express their anger and condemn the “illegal raid” at the residence of an Associate Professor from their department, Professor Hany Babu. Professor Babu has been a professor in the varsity for over a decade and had come under the scrutiny of the Pune Police due to his alleged links with the Maoist ideology that incited violence in Koregaon Bhima villages of Maharashtra in 2017. 


November 2019

  • Students of the Campus Law Centre (CLC) protested against the unjust students’ elections to elect the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) for sexual harassment. 

Campus Law Centre, DU | Credits: DU Beat Archives
Campus Law Centre, DU | Credits: DU Beat Archives
  • On 17th November, Sunday, students of School of Open Learning (SOL) held a funeral march to symbolise the death of the varsity’s Vice Chancellor (VC) for them, and sent tonsured hair to the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) to protest against the hasty implementation of the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) system in SOL. 

  • A DU student studying in the School of Open Learning (SOL) was killed by a man who suspected her to be harassing her niece.

  • DUTA demands boycott over delays in processing promotions, parity for librarians, opposition to proposed New Education Policy (NEP) and other changes.


December 2019

  • On December 10, 2019, discrepancies in question papers for the General Elective (GE) Political Science and Sociology surfaced in the examination halls of Lady Shri Ram College (LSR). Students expressed their grievances.

  • On 15th December, Delhi Police was seen openly firing at Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) students protesting against the CAA. This came after the JMI students were accused of setting four buses on fire as a means of protest.

  • The JNU administration decided to conduct the end-semester examination, in a peculiar alternative method amidst protests by the students. The student body has boycotted this alternative system adopted for conducting the examinations.


January 2020

  • Students’ Union of Lady Shri Ram College proposes cancelling Tarang, their Annual Cultural Fest in the current political scenario, however, receives arguments on both ends.

  • On 13th January 2020, the students of Hansraj College, University of Delhi (DU) stopped peaceful protests from happening while a student in the protest alleged violence by a faculty member.

  • In consequence of the incident that took place in the premises of the University of Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), the students of the Institute on 13th January 2019 surrounded the Vice-Chancellor (VC), Najma Akhtar’s office.

  • Students of Ram Lal Anand College (RLAC) condemned guest speaker Balbir Punj regarding the statements made during his most recent address at the College’s seminar.

    RLA College | Credits: DU Beat Archives
    RLA College | Credits: DU Beat Archives
  • 19th January has been a dark day in Indian history, marking the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits in 1990 after increasing attacks by Islamist insurgents. This day has hence been remembered by the country as a mark of respect to the community but has also been extremely politicised, mostly by the far-Right in various ways. One example of this can be what went down at Hindu College. Like many other parts of the country, the protests against the ruling government’s controversial Citizenship Amendment Act are in full swing especially among the student community in Delhi.

  • A play titled ‘Aksariyat Akliyat’ to be performed in Delhi University’s Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies (SSCBS) was cancelled by the college due to being based on Kashmir.


February 2020

  • The warden of Ambedkar Ganguly Students House for Women (AGSHW) allegedly remarked on the ‘revealing’ clothes and ‘disrespectful’ dancing of the students on Hostel Night. The residents broke the lock as a symbol of protest against the comments and arbitrary rules.

  • The residents of Hindu College Boys’ Hostel ended their strike after the administration agreed to their demands. Meanwhile, Hansraj College hostellers have boycotted the mess due to the poor quality of food being served.

  • Gargi College on its Annual Fest Reverie 2020 was befallen with overcrowding, harassment and molestations causing uproar throughout the nation on security in a girls college. After a weeks-long protest against the administration, several testimonies, fact-finding committees and CBI involvement, the accused were arrested. However, they were later released on bail.
Gargi College | Credits: DU Beat
Gargi College | Credits: DU Beat

  • Retired DU teachers demand release of their pension, the Executive Council and DU Court urged the administration for the urgent release of pensions. Meanwhile, the remaining DU teachers raised objections for proposing to recruit foreign faculty at competitive salaries.

  • A 22-year-old DU graduate was attacked with a stone in Maurice Nagar, North Delhi. Police suspect a victim’s male friend behind the incident.

  • A Kirori Mal College student was harassed and called ‘Coronavirus’. Several other North Eastern students who faced such racially coloured slurs wrote a letter to the Principal. 

  • Kashmiri DU student alleged discrimination and harassment by a Delhi OYO hotel, although the staff and police claimed otherwise and refuted the statement.


March 2020

  • A 25-year-old Delhi University MPhil student from Manipur was spat on by a man at North Campus and called ‘coronavirus.’ Several other students from the North-East complain of such racial slurs and harassment inflicted on them.

  • A fake article was circulated in Hindu College stating that a first year student tested positive for Coronavirus. However, it was later identified to be edited as the text failed to match the headline.


  • Three police officials have been alleged to attempt sexual assault on a woman from Uganda near Green Park. Pinjra Tod called for a Twitter storm in order to seek justice for her.

  • A series of stories by a survivor alleged that a DU student Vaibhav sexually assaulted and forced himself on her at midnight of 13th March.

  • Two DU students, a 23-year-old man and woman, belonging to Ladakh were found dead in his Jamia Nagar flat. Police suspect suicide, two suicide notes were also recovered.

  • A student of Kirori Mal College broke the locks of the undergraduate hostel gates. She was served a letter claiming she indulged in activities that brought embarrassment to the Hostel.

  • Due to the apocalyptic COVID-19 lockdown, countless assumptions, doubt and uncertainty surround DU and its proposition with end semester examinations of 2019-2020 even session. From initial apprehension of cancelling the examination to UGC’s concerns of online examination, DU leaves students in the dark.

  • Owing to the global pandemic leading to lockdowns and hysteria, several organisations expressed concern over the well-being of students. UGC suggests setting up mental health helplines while DUSU introduces remedial classes for the well-being and betterment of the students. Owing to massive inequality and inaccessibility, Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS) demands to make online classes voluntary.

  • Ambedkar-Ganguly Student House For Women (AGSHW) residents barred from entering the hostel as the security guards were instructed by the Provost, Dr Anu Aggarwal to throw out any student trying to enter. Amidst the pandemic, students complain of inappropriate living conditions and basic food standards.

  • Come April, the shadow of admissions looms large upon prospective students. Likewise, they are left in the dark as entrance tests remain postponed indefinitely while deadlines for research are likely to be extended.

  • DUTA underwent months-long strike demanding unpaid salaries, positions of ad-hocs and guest faculties and several other unkept promises. From receiving delayed salaries to seeking work from home benefits to objection of recruiting foreign faculty, 2019 was a hectic year for DUTA!

  • While universities shuffle amongst conducting online exams to cancel the even semester, DU proposed to collaborate with Delhi University Computer Centre. However, this resulted in immense dissent from DU students who criticised the exclusive nature of online exams.

  • Online examinations were the focus of April 2020, as students, DUTA, and Deans, wrote and protested against the exclusionary nature of the proposal.

    DUTA File Photo | Credits: DU Beat Archives
    DUTA File Photo | Credits: DU Beat Archives
The Best: 

June 2019 

  • Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) representatives were able to get the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia to release the funds of 28 University of Delhi (DU) colleges funded by the Delhi Government on Saturday. This order comes two days before the protest planned by DUTA.

  • DU to set up research centre on public policy and governance.

July 2019 

  • The University of Delhi (DU) is all set for the commencement of the new academic session that officially starts from the 20th July. The varsity has issued guidelines to curb ragging in the campus.

  • Ramanujan College offered a six-month course in ‘happiness’ free of cost for undergraduate students, aimed at tackling rising stress.

August 2019

  • Amidst all the worry that lies related to climate change around us, Robin Suyesh, Amphibian Biologist and Assistant Professor at Sri Venkateswara College found new species of amphibians.

  • On 3rd August 2019, the University of Delhi (DU) witnessed one of its most vibrant pride marches ever in the North Campus, starting from the hostel of Hansraj College, till the office of the University’s Vice Chancellor.

  • After gaining prominence with his groundbreaking reporting on shows like Prime Time, Hum Log, and Ravish Ki Report, NDTV Journalist and Senior Executive Editor, and DU Alumna Ravish Kumar was conferred with the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2019.

September 2019 

  • This September, saw the youth, especially students from all over the world organising strikes for action against climate change. 

Climate Change se Aazadi: The Delhi Chapter of the Global Climate Strike

Delhi University Stands Against Climate Change

  • A demand to introduce Maithili as one of the languages offered by the University was raised by a section of teachers from the University of Delhi. 

  • The University of Delhi’s long-time pending demand for the construction of two hostels finally bore fruit with the University ready to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Central Public Works Department (CPWD). This stands as one of the key developmental issues that will take place in the University. 

  • DU Beat spoke to Avinash Chanchal, Programme Specialist of Greenpeace India, about the global climate crisis and the student movement that has emerged to fight against it. 

  • The DUSU election results were announced, with ABVP’s Akshit Dhaiya elected as the DUSU President and ABVP’s Pradeep Tanwar winning the post of Vice President, NSUI’s Ashish Lamba securing the post of Secretary, and ABVP’s Shivangi Kharwal winning the post of Joint Secretary. 

  • Rajib Ray, was elected as the president of DUTA for the second term, defeating AK Bhagi by 269 votes. 

Mr Rajib Ray, President, DUTA | Credits: DU Beat Archives
Mr Rajib Ray, President, DUTA | Credits: DU Beat Archives


October 2019

  • With the second season of Comicstaan being won by a University of Delhi (DU) alumnus, the game of comedy has changed forever for aspirants. DU Beat had a candid conversation with the winner of Comicstaan Season Two, Mr. Aakash Gupta.

  • The University of Delhi got the green light to conduct five online undergraduate courses by the UGC from 2020, to be conducted by the School of Open Learning (SoL): B.A. Programme, B.A. (Hons.) English, B.A. (Hons.) Political Science, B.Com, and B. Com (Hons.)

November 2019

  • The University of Delhi (DU) organised its 96th Annual Convocation on 4th November 2018 at the Sports complex in North Campus.

  • From 2021, University of Delhi (DU) is said to offer Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Environmental Science as per the approval received by the University Grant Commission (UGC). The course is set to create 144 undergraduate seats. 
  • Ramanujan College, one of the constituent colleges of Delhi University signs a deal with Management Centre Innsbruck (MCI) to promote knowledge.


December 2019

  • DU will receive INR 100 crore grant from the government for achieving IoE status and aims to raise the equivalent amount on its own.


January 2020

  • The National Green Tribunal has ordered a halt and a status quo on the construction of the housing complex being built adjacent to the University Campus.

NGT File Photo | Credits: DU Beat Archives
NGT File Photo | Credits: DU Beat Archives
  • Delhi University’s (DU’s) St. Stephen’s is set to provide short-term courses on Public Policy and International Relations, and other disciplines.

  • University Grants Commission (UGC) has requested the current government to introduce on-demand examinations at the undergraduate level to reduce failures and malpractices that happen during scheduled exams. UGC also wants to ensure that the decision to appear for the exam comes from the students and not the institution. –

  • On 3rd January 2020, Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP) led Delhi University’s Student Union (DUSU) met with foreign students of University of Delhi (DU) for establishing DU’s first foreign cell to cater to the needs of  foreign students studying in DU.-

  • Delhi High Court placed an interim order against the new JNU Hostel manual and asked JNU administration to keep registration fees, reservations, and priorities according to the old manual.

  • Owing to the aftermath of multiple incidents of violence against student fraternity, National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) is all set to deliver a peace petition campaign to Ram Nath Kovind, President of India.


February 2020

  1. The National Green Tribunal suspended environmental clearance for the 37-floor high-rise that was to be constructed near the Vishwavidyalaya metro station, claiming that the approval for the building was given “without application of mind” and that the project was “simply not viable”.


March 2020

  • As students leave behind educational resources back in Delhi, DU library resources have been made accessible online for students, the students can use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection to access the data.
  • Even though DU professors remain stranded with unpaid salaries for months, DU staffers’ one day salary was donated towards the coronavirus relief fund.

  • DU is all set to digitalise the admission process for the academic session 2020-21. The new admissions portal is soon to be released.


April 2020

  • Devika Malik who was featured in Forbes 30 Under 30 Entrepreneurs List, talks candidly with DU Beat about her life struggles, her strategy behind success, business acumen, bravery and much more. BEST

  • The University Grants Commission recommended to begin a new academic session in September for freshers and August for 2nd and 3rd years.

  • Students of SSCBS won big at Global Case Competition, Harvard University 2020, in first-ever win for India of this kind.
The Noteworthy:

June 2019

  • With the onset of the new admissions season in DU, the University announced a new admissions criteria as well as other changes in its admissions procedure. Several issues were being faced by the applicants while filling up the registration form despite various attempts by the University to conduct a problem free online admission registration process.

DU Publishes New Admission Criteria For All Courses

DU Colleges to Verify Original Documents When Intake Gets Over

DU Colleges Increase Annual Fee for Undergraduate Courses

  • Considering difficulties that the applicants might face, Delhi High Court has ordered DU administration to continue with previous year’s admission criteria. The decision comes along with the extension of registration dates.

  • On 2nd June, the Delhi High Court sent a notice to St. Stephen’s College following a plea by three faculty members challenging the decision of the college to have an additional member, from its Supreme Council, in the interview panel for admissions of students.



July 2019

  • The University of Delhi conducted a a special admission drive for students belonging to the reserved categories from 29th to 30th July 2019.

DU to Hold a Special Admission Drive for Reserved Category Candidates


September 2019 

  • In response to the petition filed by the professors of St. Stephens College, opposing the inclusion of a member from the Church of North India (CNI) in the admission process of Christian students, the Delhi High Court sought response from the Varsity. 

  • The Delhi High Court had rejected the Students’ Federation of India’s (SFI) plea to contest for the elections, as well as the postponement of the elections, making it impossible for them to contest the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections.

October 2019

  • Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad won 7 out of the 11 Executive Councillor Posts at the Delhi University Students’ Union Elections.

November 2019 

  • To celebrate the completion of one year since the first sit-in and mandate authoritative action to allow the hostellers more liberty, another sit-in was organised by the Miranda House Girls’ Hostel residents.

  • On the birth anniversary of Late Prashant Yadav, a DSJ student and the architect of the “Stand With DSJ” movement, a seminar was organised to discuss student politics where student leaders from Delhi University (DU), Jamia Milia Islamia (JMI), Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Patna University (PU), and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) spoke about the issues concerning university campuses amidst remembering Prashant.

  • After protests by School of Open Learning (SOL) students against cancelled classes and lack of study material, The Delhi High Court (HC) orders a stay on semester exams scheduled in December for SOL students.

  • Following a court notification, the officials declared SOL students to write combined first and second-semester examinations, in 2020.
December 2019 

  • The University of Delhi’s (DU) administration, principals and teachers have shown support towards the idea of having an ‘integrated North Campus’ ahead of the high-rise construction which is taking place and threatens to change the landscape of the area permanently.

  • Keeping the recent atrocity in mind , the Dramatics Society of Lady Shri Ram College cancelled their theatre events Yavnika and Nukkad that are a part of the College’s Annual Cultural Fest, Tarang to extend solidarity to the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University, Shaheen Bagh, Kashmir, Assam, and all those who choose to break the normalcy and raise their voices against this fascist regime.

  • Six former Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) Presidents will be competing against each other on the day of Delhi Assembly Elections 2020 that is 8th February. Among these six former Presidents, three have been fielded by the Congress and the remaining three by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).


February 2020

  • Sri Venkateswara College’s Nexus and Shri Ram College of Commerce’s Business Conclave were met with cheer, doubt and denial. Amidst the anti-CAA protests and violence in North-East Delhi, several other colleges cancelled their fests as a measure of solidarity.

  • Lady Shri Ram College’s Hindi Debating Society held its Annual Hindi Parliamentary Debate Tarkvyuh, informally outside the college after it got cancelled by the administration a few hours before the scheduled time of the event.

  • National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) claimed to incorporate Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad’s (ABVP) entire North East Cell, however ABVP denied these claims.

  • Following the ‘V-day’ puja controversy at Hindu college, several women and gender cells have risen to support the students’ struggle against the sexist tradition. -WORST


March 2020

  • With the coronavirus pandemic gaining momentum all over the country, the University postponed the annual examinations for School of Open Learning (SOL).

School of Open Learning | Credits: DU Beat Archives
School of Open Learning | Credits: DU Beat Archives
  • Delhi University Student Union (DUSU) requested authorities to look after the hostellers who were unable to travel back home and have to face the pandemic all by themselves. Meanwhile, Hansraj College shuts down the hostel due to coronavirus leaving several students perplexed in the middle of the crisis.

  • DUTA called off the long strike which had gained force in December 2019 amidst the coronavirus outbreak. However, a set of demands were released for the Vice-Chancellor regarding working conditions for DU teachers and seeking permission for Work From Home.
Featured Image Credits: DU Beat Archives 

Khush Vardhan Dembla 

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Anandi Sen 

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Abhinandan Kaul 

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Bhavya Pandey

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