Abhinav Kumar


Dr. Subramanian Swamy entered the Convention Centre of Delhi University to the chants of ‘Modi, Modi…’ on 29th January during a lecture being organised by Delhi University’s Faculty of Law. The BJP leader arrived almost 4 hours after the scheduled time because of the Supreme Court proceedings over one of his petitions. He was accompanied by Ashwani Kumar Bansal, Dean, Faculty of Law and his wife, Roxna Swamy.

Dr. Swamy was scheduled to speak on the topic- ‘Indian Taxation Laws and Economic Reforms’. He started his address without adhering much to the topic and speaking on general issues like economic growth and the need for a more liberalised economic reforms. Pressing over the point of free market, he said that democracy and market economy are twins. He advocated for globalisation in agriculture and appreciated the Hindu religion and its relevance around the world.

Initially, he took care as to not relate his address to politics. But, he could not help bantering his political opponents like Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi and Kapil Sibal. Gradually, he delved into the politics of market economy in India since his early days in politics, citing an example as to how Indira Gandhi dismissed him once, when he proposed a liberal economic policy in the parliament. He cited various examples of Indians excelling around the world and the Indian products at par with the best in the world. He added it was to encourage the young audience listening to him. He recalled as to how he was not allowed to become a professor at the Delhi School of Economics and was removed from the post at IIT-Delhi because of political conspiracy by his opponents. Later, coming back to the designated topic, he told amid thumping claps that income tax should be abolished. He added that 2G scam and the black money stashed outside the country could more than cover up for the income tax. At some instances, he used the terms- ‘Tommy Gandhi’ and ‘Buddhu’, clarifying that he was not referring to any particular person.


Ashwani Kumar in his addresses recalled his college days when they used to hear about his stories during the emergency, described by him as the ‘legends’ of Dr. Swamy. In the end as well, there were conspicuous shouts of ‘Modi’. Dr. Swamy left the hall saying, “Modi hi aayenge”.

Other BJP leaders have also visited the Faculty of Law Campus in the recent past. Leader of Opposition, Sushma Swaraj visited the institution last year in August, while Rajnath Singh spoke to students on 28th January, a day before Dr. Swamy’s address.

Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga, founder of Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena (BSKS), along with his group is up in arms to oppose the Aam Aadmi Party’s move to reserve seats for students of Delhi in the University of Delhi.

Under the tagline “Khoon se khelenge holi gar watan mushkil mein hai, sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab humare dil mein hai“, BSKS shot to fame after assaulting one of the founding members of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Prashant Bhushan in his Supreme Court chamber in October 2011. In the past, the group has also protested against Kapil Sibal, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Arundhati Roy.

However, the group is taking a rather softer approach this time against the reservation move, by sending a petition to the Chief Minister of Delhi and going on a hunger strike. The group has also resorted to hunger strikes in the past, a previous one in the support of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).

Taking on AAP’s proposal towards reservation for Delhi domicile students in DU, Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga has started a petition on which will be sent to the C.M. of Delhi. In its petition, Tajinder Pal Singh terms the move to reserve seats in DU as ‘completely partisan, myopic and self-serving decision for petty vote bank politics’. According to him, the move could have severe ramifications for India’s identity of pluralism. Citing examples of electricity and water, that are supplied to Delhi from other states, he reasons that DU should be open to students from all over the country. He plans to go on a hunger strike at Jantar Mantar from 27th of January.

He says that the solution to the dearth of seats could be setting up of new colleges and granting university status to some colleges, as has been the case with the Presidency College of Calcutta University. “It is a dream of many students to study in DU. A better solution to the problem of lack of seats for the regional students could be creation of new colleges and evening shifts in the existing colleges”, he tells us in a telephonic conversation.

The DUTA Secretary, Dr. Harish Khanna was recently appointed an MLA from the Aam Aadmi Party. DU Beat, amidst his busy schedule, managed to catch an interview with him.

1. From being active in Delhi University Teachers’ Union (DUTA) to being a Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-How has this transition come through?

I have been active in DUTA since 1981. I have been a part of DUTA Executive Council six times and a part of the Academic Council twice. I never thought about being associated with the local politics. In the University, going among teachers and asking for votes is easy. But in local politics, one is confronted by the problems of the general public. This has been a totally different experience for me.

2. Since when have you been associated with AAP?

Earlier, I had been a sympathiser of the Jan Lokpal movement. Initially, when I was given an offer by AAP to contest the assembly elections, I denied. Subsequently, I joined AAP after being convinced by my friends in DUTA and in the party to join AAP.

3. You could have contested from Congress or BJP too. Why AAP?

If I would have wanted to, I could have joined politics much earlier (giving example of Kiran Walia, Congress MLA and the Health Minister in the last government, joined politics in 1987 who was also a member of DUTA). I was initially sceptical of contesting elections because of the murky politics. I can’t do the things that elected members from BJP and Congress do. I joined AAP because they are honest and I was impressed by their manifesto. I fought the elections with the resources provided by the party.

4. What is your take on the Four Year Undergraduate Program (FYUP)? How do you wish to take this issue up as an MLA?

We are fully against FYUP. It is indirectly opening ways for foreign universities and inviting them. This will lead to privatisation of education whereas education needs to be responsibility and priority of the government in a developing country like ours. Foundation courses in FYUP are a mix of all subjects and students from different streams are forced to study various different subjects when they have opted for specialised subjects. I will go to any extent to pressurize the centre to roll-back FYUP. Before the elections, I met the President, the Chief Minister of Delhi and the HRD Minister asking them to roll-back FYUP.

5. In your last press conference, you termed FYUP as ‘anti dalit and anti poor’. What makes FYUP ‘anti dalit and anti poor’?

FYUP imposes burden of an extra year on the students that approximately translates into extra 2 Lakhs accounting for everything for staying 1 year in Delhi. Poor students coming from faraway areas can barely manage to study for 3 year and now an additional year has been imposed on them. Dalit students will be forced to leave mid-way between the courses. FYUP is a conspiracy to admit students only from the rich families.

6. What is your take on the Vice- Chancellor and the reforms introduced by him in the University?

The VC is pro-Congress and the Congress government and the Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry are completely listening to and following him. The last state government and the HRD ministry supported FYUP under the name of autonomy.

7.       How do you plan to continue your association with DUTA, now that you are an MLA?

Technically, there is no problem in serving as DUTA secretary as it functions as a trade union. Besides, I have been attending various events organised by DUTA even after getting elected as an MLA. I plan to continue my work in the University and with DUTA.

With inputs from Shaily Sharma | Image Credit: Abhinav Arora

With the last Delhi government bringing in the proposal to provide 90% quota to Delhi students in Delhi University colleges that are 100% funded by it and 50% quota in colleges that are partially funded by it, political parties seem to be jumping on to the bandwagon to reserve seats for the local students in the premier university. Taking a leaf out of their agenda, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) seems geared up for state reservation in the 90 year old University.

The new education minister Manish Sisodia in a recent interview to a national daily about reservation for local students in Delhi University said- “They (the last government) had merely announced it, but we are going to enforce it”. He has his own reasons to take up this issue of reservation in DU. He says that since the citizens of Delhi are paying for these colleges, it should be used by them. Besides, he emphasises the need of a roadmap for 2.57 lakhs students passing out of the city schools every year.

On the contrary, in an interview to DU Beat (one that will be published soon), AAP MLA from Timarpur and Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) Secretary, Harish Khanna had said that since DU is a central university, students from all over the country have equal right to study here. Consisting mostly off-campus colleges, in all there are 12 colleges that are fully funded  and 16 that are partially funded by the state government.

Rohit Chahal of Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) comes out against the move. He said that it has been 14 years since a new college has been established in DU and a central university like DU should be open to students from all over the country. He added that rather than finding a permanent solution to this problem by opening new colleges, AAP and Congress are to be misleading the people.

On the face of it, DU being a Central Educational Institution is governed by the Central Educational Institutions Act, 2006 that does not provide for reservations in the central universities on the basis of domicile. Even the HRD ministry and the DU officials seem sceptical of the futility of this issue. Principals of various colleges have called this move impractical and one that violates DU rules. Nonetheless, this move seems to be a top priority for the new education minister.

Delhi University has around half a million students on its rolls. Delhi has a total of 1.15 crore voters on the electoral rolls. Even if half of the University students are eligible voters, that accounts for roughly 2.8% of the total vote bank of Delhi. Shouldn’t that make the political parties look out for these young voters?

We have been contemplating if the student elections in the university are any way a measure of the upcoming Delhi assembly elections. Well, Congress absolutely would not want this to be the case. Most of the university students are first time voters. The timings, though, have made sure that exams are the buzzword, not elections, in the university campus.

(Also see: Political parties set out to woo voters from Delhi University)

Karan Marwah from Zakir Hussain College says, “My vote would go to Congress, more specifically to Sheila Dikshit, because she has been in power for three terms and no one would know Delhi as well, as she does. Her track record for development has been good, although the law and order problem should have been taken care of through stricter regimes of security”.

Gauri Khanna from Shyam Lal College says, “I would vote for Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). Choosing to vote for Congress again would be nothing but stupidity on our part. And as far as AAP is concerned, I think they deserve a fair chance but, I want to go with Narendra Modi’s patry this time”.

Besides, there is no dearth of students supporting the newly formed Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Most of the students are first time voters. Vishal Upadhaya and Monika Bansal from the College of Vocational Studies are ecstatic about their first vote and they say that that they will vote for AAP as they want to be a part of the change that is so badly needed in the country. The Election Commission together with some NGOs have started campaigns to woo university students to vote on December 4.


With the state elections just around the corner, Delhi University happens to be a stage for political campaigning by different parties. In the university elections itself, many bigwigs come out in support of the students’ wing of their respective parties.

Besides, two of the most prominent politicians of Delhi happen to be DU alumni. The present Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit, did her graduation in History Honours from Miranda House and Vijay Goel of Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) is an alumnus of SRCC, who was also the Delhi University Student Union President in 1977-78. Congress has fielded Ragini Nayak and Amrita Dhawan for the upcoming elections, who have been former DUSU office bearers. Parties have been fielding young leaders to attract young voters.

Let’s have a look at the campaigning activities of major political parties in the University:

Aam Aadmi Party

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is the most visible among all the political parties in its campaigning in Delhi University. Arvind Kejriwal visited St. Stephen’s College in August to interact with students. Many students from different colleges have joined AAP and are volunteering for the Delhi Assembly Elections. Yogendra Yadav addressed a rally on 30th October in the University. Recently, MTV VJ Raghu Ram could be seen campaigning for AAP in different colleges of DU and in IIT Delhi. Prashant Bhushan has also addressed students on various occasions.

Adding to this, in the party manifesto released on Wednesday, the party declared that if brought into power, they would open more colleges in the state and roll back the Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP).

Bhartiya Janata Party


BJP has its share of young leaders who have been DUSU office-bearers. Nakul Bharadwaj, popular face of Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of BJP, contested elections last year as well. ABVP has organised a bike rally to spread awareness about voting among the youth. ABVP has also initiated a campaign ‘Youth For Change’, to spread voting awareness. The emphasis on the youth is apparent in the campaigning by the party where it promises to open 15 new colleges and one university under the Atal Yuva Mission, if voted into power. They are also promising to exempt all taxes on computers, laptops, tablets and smart phones for college students.


National Students Union of India (NSUI) the students wing of Congress had organised a protest march against Vijay Goel. At least four ex office-bearers of NSUI are fighting elections from Congress ticket in the upcoming Delhi Assembly elections. With the release of the party manifestos, the Congress promises to increase the number of evening colleges across the University, a new university for health sciences and 5 more medical colleges. Besides, the state government had also proposed 90% quota for Delhi students in the state funded colleges of DU in October.

The Election Commission is leaving no stones unturned in roping in the young voters. It has started campaign with many NGOs to rope in the young voters and enrol students of various colleges to vote in the upcoming elections.


Zakir Hussain Delhi College, University of Delhi is organising a two-day national conference on “Challenges of Development: Re- Visit to Inclusiveness”. The conference is scheduled to be held on 4th and 5th of November 2013 in the College campus at Jawaharlal Nehru Marg, New Delhi.

Organised mainly by the Department of Commerce, the conference seeks to adjudge various government policies and its impact at ensuing equality and social justice in the society. The conference also envisages at evolving futuristic policies to forge ahead with a motive to correct the mal-adjustment cropped up in the society. The conference will address the need to foster a bridge between growth and social justice with the effective intervention of the state by providing more emphasis on equality over growth, between pro-capitalist economists and economists with a sociological background.

Corporate, academicians and research scholars can submit their papers for the conference. The deadlines for sending the abstract and the full length papers along with the registration fees are 10th August and 10th September 2013, respectively. The authors will be intimated about the acceptability of their papers by 30th September, 2013. Selected articles along with a souvenir and a proceeding will be published into a book.

Dr. M. A. Beg, the conference convener, tells that there will be a lot of activities like paper presentations and panel discussions during the conference. He added that panel discussions will be attended and moderated by professors and scholars from various universities like Himachal University. Accommodation for outstation participants will also be arranged at University Guest House/ International Students Hostel, University of Delhi besides being paid their to and fro travel fare. Best Paper award will be given for each session on the basis of credits earned in Paper Writing Skills and Paper Presentation Skills.

The Conference will be dealing in sub-themes like Sustainability and growth, FDI and growth, Education and growth and Poverty and growth with a focus on trickle-down effect and Pareto optimality. The Conference aims to yield substantial addition to the existing stock of knowledge through various intellectual deliberations during the conference.

University of Delhi’s educational and recreational excursion ‘Gyanodaya- III’ will commence on 2nd September, 2013.

After Gyanodaya- I and II, this endeavour, for the first time, will facilitate the intermingling, interaction and understanding between 150 international students from the UK with their counterparts from the University of Delhi. Conceptualised by the Vice Chancellor, Dinesh Singh, Gyanodaya I and II took place on 8 July and 29 September 2012, respectively. The first part of this educational train journey was declared a hit and Gyanodaya-II followed just 2 months later. Students, this year, will set out on this educational and recreational tour almost a year after Gyanodaya-I.  After Gujarat, Mumbai, Goa, Bangalore and Rajasthan during Gyanodaya – I and II, Gyanodaya- III takes the students to Punjab – a land of rich culture and rapid modernisation.

The trip spans across seven days from 02 September 2013 to 08 September 2013. The tour will commence from Safdurjung Railway Station, New Delhi. The itinerary includes Delhi Safdurjung- Amritsar- Ludhiana- Chandigarh- Kurukshetra and back. Apart from 150 international students, there will be students from NSS, NCC, Sports Council, SOL, non-collegiate and from different colleges. The winners of Antardhavani, 2012-13 will also get a chance to be a part of Gyanodaya- III.

Each college is required to submit a list of 10+5 (wait listed students) along with a faculty member. The form for the same is available on the DU website.

There was recent news of DU searching for options of buying a train for its endeavour of lessons on wheel. The University currently rents a train. “Train journey in India, is an education in itself”, is how the idea behind the whole ‘Gyanodaya Express’ is described.’

Image Credit: University of Delhi official website

Be it Rs 5 ticket to hear NaMo in Hyderabad or the Rambonomics of saving 15,000 persons during the Uttrakhand calamity, recent developments have underscored Modi’s position as first among  equals for the prime-ministerial post in the opposition Bhartiya Janta Party, for the next year Lok Sabha elections. His style of governance and vision polarises and unites the people across various sections in India, alike. Modi, an ardent orator with a right-wing bold approach, rose with the staunchly rising middle-class in India.

‘India- from a Nation of Snake-Charmers to a Nation of Mouse Charmers’- is one of the few quotes that appear at the top on Narendra Modi’s website. At the top of the home-page of Narendra Modi’s website, there are options like, ‘Write to Narendra Modi’, ‘Request an appointment’ and ‘Invite the CM to an event’. It seems, Modi is reaching out to his fans and followers like none ever did. Modi was in campaign mode prior to recently being appointed as the chairman of the 2014 Lok Sabha Election Campaign Committe of the BJP. In the face of Advani’s opposition to Modi’s elevation, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) stepped in to support the move. Since then, Modi has been on a campaign spree.

‘I am nationalist. I am patriotic. I am a born Hindu.’ Modi replied in a recent interview to the Reuters when asked about, who the real Modi is that people want to know.  On the goals the next government should achieve, Modi said that it would need to give people confidence, it should build the trust in people. Moreover, he said that polarisation in a democracy is bound to happen, citing the American example of polarisation between Democrats and Republicans.

The ghosts of 2002 Gujarat riots, that killed more than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, continue to haunt him. He told the Reuters that religion should not be an instrument in the democratic process. He says, “For me secularism is, India first.” Still, his secular credentials haven’t many takers. Though, Modi is the biggest crowd-puller for India’s main opposition party, he appears to be a more divisive figure rather than a uniting one. This fact very well embodies in the reluctance of major National Democratic Alliance (NDA) coalition partners in supporting Narendra Modi. Janata Dal United (JDU), a key regional ally, has already cut-off its ties with the BJP. Shiv Sena, another major NDA coalition partner, has also shown its resentment after Modi’s elevation.

Modi’s marketing tactics can give even the best PR and marketing agencies of the country a run for their money. Though, Modi out rightly denies having PR agency, there is an army on social media projecting him as the unmatchable achiever. Modi is reigning supreme in terms of twitter followers, recently moving ahead of Congress leader Shashi Tharoor. After SRCC, Modi recently visited Fergusson College, Pune. Modi, with his aggressive and bold approach, strikes a chord with the youths.

Most recently, a website was taken down after it offended ‘certain people’ of the society. The website has more recently been started again by two people. They say, “There used to be a site on this domain which came under controversy and was deleted. We found this domain orphaned and thought that ideas must not die out of fear. We have no idea what was on the site before, except that it pissed off a lot of people. We are not averse to adding any ideas you have here. Shoot them off to [email protected] We don’t mind offending a few.”

After the sixth cut-off, the ground around the rocketing cut-offs for admissions into Delhi University has begun to sink in. The initial cut-offs were over-hyped with much media coverage, but here is the other side- you can get into DU even with 33% marks.

Could anyone wonder getting into DU with just 40% marks after the likes of Ram Lal Anand fixing 100% mark for admissions into one of their courses? But, here it is, Kalindi College for Women is offering Sanskrit Honours at 33% for reserved category and 45% for general category students. At the famous Daulat Ram College, Sanskrit Honours is available at 42% for all the reserved category students. Hindi Honours is available at colleges like Deshbandhu and Kalindi at 40% for reserved category students and 50% for general category students.

Besides, courses like Economics honours are available at as low as 45% for students belonging to Scheduled Tribes at Lakshmi Bai College and at 50% for Persons with Disability at Deen Dyal Upadhayaya College and Dyal Singh College(Evening). Mata Sundri College is offering Philosophy Honours at 40% and Political Science Honours at 43% for Persons with disability. Popular courses like Economics and Commerce are also available for general category students at a few colleges with lower cut-offs.

Let’s take a look at last year cut-offs. Geography Honours was available at 50% for OBC category students at Aditi Mahavidyalaya in the seventh cut-off list. Political Science and Philosophy Honours was being offered at 45% for reserved category students at I.P. College for Women in the tenth cut-off. Even, the elite courses like Economic Honours were up for grabs at Kalindi College at 55% for reserved category students in the seventh cut-off.

After the initial rush, colleges usually lower their cut-offs, as they get an idea of the actual number of students seeking admissions. Besides, the colleges do not want their seats to go vacant, so they lower the cut-offs in the succeeding lists, especially for reserved category students. Also, the cut-offs for several off-campus colleges usually go considerably down for most categories after the initial cut-off lists.

With around 47,000 students scoring over 90% in the CBSE 12th examination, there was nothing unexpected about the sky-high cut-offs for DU. But as colleges start enroling students, the high requirements are bound to go down. And for several colleges these ‘lower cut-offs’ are not a part of the ‘media hype’.

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