DU Beat


Delhi University has decided to introduce three B-Tech courses namely, B-Tech Computer Science and Engineering, B-Tech Electronics and Communication Engineering, and B-Tech Electrical Engineering from the academic session 2023-24.

The three courses conducted under the Faculty of Technology will commence with a total capacity of 360 students. The eligibility criteria to get a seat in the courses will be through JEE-MAINS.

The university’s Executive Council shall review the proposal on Friday, (9th June 2023). This proposal has been added after the university received approval from the Ministry of Education for the creation of 72 teaching and 48 non-teaching posts for the new programmes. Earlier, in 2021, the university had constituted a committee to deliberate on the introduction of new programmes according to PTI.

“The committee held several meetings in the last one-and-half years and systematically deliberated upon various issues within its terms of reference to facilitate the initiation of the three B-Tech programmes under the Faculty of Technology in the emerging subject areas of computer science and engineering, electronics and communication engineering and electrical engineering,”

-an official said citing the report submitted by the panel.

The report further sighted that the proposal has been submitted to the Union Ministry of Education for the construction of physical infrastructure for the Faculty of Technology which will take time on receipt of necessary financial and other statutory approvals.

The committee recommended that adequate arrangements for space should be made for classrooms and laboratories until the building for Faculty of Technology is built and made functional.

“The committee authorised the vice-chancellor to decide upon the space and other essential physical infrastructure for initiation of these B-Tech programmes,” -the report read.

As far as the strength of the courses is concerned, 120 students should be admitted into each course, making it a total of 360 students that will be admitted in the first year.

The report also stated that the B-Tech programmes would be designed in such a manner that there would be a minimum of 50 per cent weightage given to the major subject area of study with a maximum of 65 per cent weightage. The remaining weightage would be given to the minor subject areas of study.

It is also to be noted that in line of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, the students will have multiple exit options in line. A student who has completed one year of study and earned the requisite credits would be awarded a certificate, those two years of study and requisite credits would be awarded a diploma, with three years of study along with credits would be awarded an advanced diploma. Students who successfully complete four years would be awarded a B-Tech degree.

PTI confirmed that the departments of Computer Engineering, Electronics and Communication Engineering and Electrical Engineering are required to be situated on the North Campus of the university for logistic support and proximity to the majority of the faculties/departments on the campus.


Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Read Also: DU to Launch 18 New Courses in Upcoming Session

Aanya Mehta

[email protected]

A petition filed by College of Vocational Studies (CVS) Professor Dr. Ravindra Singh Kushwah has alleged manipulation in the execution of a proper roster system by the college, which led to general category seats being converted into a reserved category. The Delhi High Court (HC) instructed that the College of Vocational Studies (CVS) cannot appoint any teachers without approaching the HC first.

On May 25, 2023, the Delhi High Court instructed that Delhi University’s College of Vocational Studies (CVS) should consult the High Court before recruiting any teachers since the services of a teacher “cannot be dispensed with” until the next hearing.

Dr. Ravindra Singh Kushwah, an assistant professor at CVS, filed the petition and claimed that the proper roster system was not implemented during the appointments for recruiting teachers due to manipulation and a lack of transparency. Kushwah alleged that a general category seat had been changed into a reserved one, so he could not apply for the position.

… the Teaching Roaster for the year 2023 is entirely manipulated which is ex-facie violence… as a result of which the Petitioner has lost his opportunity to even apply under unreserved category in the Department of Tourism.

– stated the petition filed by Dr Ravindra Singh Kushwah, through advocates Ms. Snigdha Singh and Mr. Kumar Shashwat

The petition was filed under the grounds of impugned advertised, impugned teaching roster 2023, and 2013. The petition also accused other manipulations conducted by the University and CVS. The petition further stated,

The respondent No. 2 [College of Vocational Studies] has diluted the authenticity of Impugned Teaching Roster for the year 2023 by making manual changes by hand and thereafter not even attesting the said changes with either initials or stamp. The same casts a heavy doubt on the veracity of the Roster as to whether the same has been approved by the University/Respondent No. 1 or not.

The President of College of Vocational Studies’ Teacher’s Body, Dr. Kumar Ashutosh, said,

There were four vacancies in our Department of Tourism, out of which one was unreserved. However, when the posts got advertised, all got converted to reserved posts. The court has made important points, including that Kushwah shouldn’t be terminated till the next date of hearing and that the recruitment process cannot take place without the court’s permission. Even in the History Department, an ST post was converted to an unreserved post, and the ad hoc teacher who was teaching against the ST post has approached the court.

– Dr. Kumar Ashutosh, President of CVS Teacher’s Body

Another petition by Mr. Mrinaal Pingua was also filed on the basis of manipulation by the University over impugned advertisements and impugned teaching rosters for 2023 and 2013.

…due to the manipulation in the Teaching Roaster 2023, post of ST Category in the History Department has been deliberately and clandestinely filled by another permanent faculty from unreserved category, and consequentially there is NIL vacancy for ST Category History Department – CVC in the impugned advertisement. Hence, the loss of opportunity for the Petitioner to apply for permanent teaching post against the ST Category.

– stated the petition

Dr. Inderjeet Jagar, the Principal of College of Vocational Studies claimed that the facts were not represented accurately.

Even when the posts were advertised in 2019, there were no unreserved posts. There are a total of four posts and the one unreserved post that is there already has a permanent faculty member. Currently, the vacancies are for three posts only… As per DU rules, ad hoc appointments are made for four months and services can be terminated without notice. Due to changes in the workload, the sanctioned posts also keep increasing or decreasing when this particular ad hoc appointment was done, we appointed whoever was available.

– Dr. Inderjeet Jagar, CVS Principal

The ad hoc crisis at Delhi University (DU) has been contemplated for quite some time. The committee recommended that whenever a vacancy transpires in four months, an ad hoc teacher will be temporarily recruited by a selection committee. Ad hoc teachers need to have their services renewed every four months, yet some have remained with the University for over a decade.

However, the college administration claims that the matter is restricted to this issue itself.

Read also: Keshav Mahavidyalaya’s Non-Teaching Staff on Month-Long Protest

Featured Image Credits: The Indian Express

Sri Sidhvi Dindi
[email protected]

As parts of Delhi record temperatures as high as 46 degrees Celsius and a searing heatwave sweeps the city, Delhi University has issued guidelines granting an extended semester break for the current batch of first-years attending the University.

In a notification dated May 25, 2023, the Delhi Government issued recommendations pertaining to the functioning of educational institutions amidst the expected heatwave. With the national capital recording 40+ degrees Celsius consecutively and the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issuing a yellow alert, the University of Delhi, on May 28, released a modified academic calendar for the batch of 2025/26. Scrapping the former one-day break, the University has now granted a summer break that will last a month. According to the newly released guidelines, second-semester examinations will end on July 28, 2023 (Friday), and the batch will be dispersed thereafter. The new semester will commence on August 23, 2023 (Wednesday).

DU registrar Vikas Gupta reportedly told The Quint that the sudden move by the administration comes in light of the sweltering heat in the city.

I hail from Himachal and Delhi weather is nearly intolerable for me. There is no hope for the weather to get better but at least when colleges are shut, I am hoping to protect myself from the heat by staying indoors.

-commented a student at Shaheed Bhagat Singh College.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Yogesh Singh, stated in conversation that the lack of a semester break was a result of the delayed implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.

CUET was conducted for the first time in 2022. Its implementation was gradual which led to semester lengths being halved. To bring the academic calendar for first years back on track, the University had to scrap the provision for a semester break.

– DU Vice Chancellor, Prof. Yogesh Singh

However, following the backlash faced by NEP and amidst demands for a rollback of the policy, the University has decided to offer respite to the students. The Vice Chancellor added,

The last year has seen a drastic modification in the entire education system of the country. As a students’ university, we realize the uncertainty it carried along and the detrimental impact it had on students’ mental health… We believe students deserve a good break and hence start afresh.

The move by the University has been highly appreciated by the student body.

I am glad the University finally realized how hectic our college life has been so far. We are infamously the experimental batch but there is thankfully something to look forward to now.

– commented a fresher from Maitreyi College.

Sources also report that the session for the incoming batch is expected to commence in mid-August. Hence, a semester break will allow the academic calendars of the University to continue in an integrated manner. This will also enable the University to direct its efforts to ensure a smooth admissions process.

Disclaimer: Bazinga is our column of almost believable fake news. It is only to be appreciated and not accepted!

Read also: Jesus and Mary College and DU at Odds over Minority Admissions – DU Beat – Delhi University’s Independent Student Newspaper

Featured Image Credits: The Times of India

Manvi Goel
[email protected]

The decision to drop the history elective course ‘Inequality and Difference’ has invited vehement criticism and concern from members of the academic community who believe the course to be an important means of navigating the history of India’s oppressive social systems that affect present-day inequalities in more ways than one.

The Standing Committee for Academic Matters of Delhi University, headed by the Vice Chancellor, has suggested dropping an elective course titled ‘Inequality and Difference’ offered by the History Department of the University. The elective course included issues around gender and caste and helped students gain a historical understanding of institutions such as caste. This development came about after a similar proposal by the standing committee to scrap a paper on B.R. Ambedkar from the B.A. Programme Philosophy syllabus.

This proposal has caused a tussle between the committee and various professors and academicians in the department who have previously taught the course. The committee stated that they are considering dropping the course because concepts of caste and gender are already being taught. On the other hand, professors in the department reasoned that the course helped students view inequality through a historical lens and hence greatly contributed to a nuanced historical understanding of persisting inequalities and biases.

The course is offered to students of different honours degrees as a generic elective paper in their fourth semester and has been part of the curriculum for more than seven years. It comprises four units. The first unit, titled ‘Structural and Forms of Inequalities: Normative and Historical Experiences,” involves discussions around oppressive structures and social systems such as the Varna system, slavery, etc. The second unit is on ‘Gender, Household, and Public Sphere’. The third unit is on tribes and communities of forest dwellers. The last unit is called “Indian Constitution and the Questions of Equality’. The works of historians and scholars such as Uma Chakravarti, Romila Thapar, and Sunil Kumar, among various others, made it to the reading list for the course.

The move has invited condemnation from various members of the academic community who believe this to be “an act of political indoctrination” and alleged propagandising of education. Dr. Maya John, a professor at the Department of History at the University and an Academic Council member, stated in conversation with the Quint that the fate of the course is yet to be decided and although they hope to retain the course, once the decision passes through the Standing Committee, it is difficult to reverse it.

It is a rich course that speaks about the institutionalisation of inequality and the resistance to it. It is the history department’s way of engaging students from other departments, in conversations about the various structures of inequality in the Indian subcontinent. It teaches students to think historically about varna, caste, gender inequality, and racial and ethnic differences.

– Dr Maya John, in conversation with the Quint

Professor Abha Dev Habib, from the Department of Physics at Miranda House, raised concerns regarding the drastic changes being brought about to the academic curricula at the school and university levels.

Read also: DU Philosophy Department Opposes Decision to Scrap Course on Ambedkar

Featured Image Credits: Devesh Arya for DU Beat

Tulip Banerjee 
[email protected]  

The decision to scrap the course on Dr. B. R. Ambedkar came after a standing committee reviewed the undergraduate curriculum in accordance with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. Amid widespread criticism against the decision, the Department of Philosophy wrote to the Vice Chancellor of Delhi University to retain the course.

The suggestion to drop the elective from BA Programme Philosophy by the Standing Committee on Academic Matters was first discussed on May 8th. A panel was appointed from the undergraduate and postgraduate levels to further elaborate on the same in a meeting on May 12. The committee is reviewing the curriculum in accordance with NEP 2020.

The University’s Department of Philosophy has strongly opposed this suggestion, saying that “Ambedkar is an indigenous thinker representative of the social aspirations of a majority of people in the country” and that research on Ambedkar is gaining momentum in the country. Accordingly, they have asked the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Yogesh Singh, to look into and reconsider the suggestion.

The course on Ambedkar philosophy was introduced in 2015. It includes the life and essential writings of Ambedkar, his concepts, and his research methodology.

Addressing various sources, a member of the Standing Committee reportedly said that no changes have been incorporated so far and that the final decision rests in the hands of the Academic Council, the varsity’s supreme decision-making body on academic matters.

This (the Ambedkar course) is not being dropped and this suggestion was not given by the committee. The suggestion was that new courses and old courses should be mixed together and it should be designed in such a manner that it should be attractive to the students and it should be designed in a way that it will be adopted in many colleges also… We suggested philosophies of thinkers from all backgrounds should be added.

– Prof. Balram Pani, Standing Committee Chairperson and Dean of Colleges, in conversation with the Indian Express

The Dean of the Faculty of Arts, who was present at the May 8 meeting, similarly added,

There were several suggestions made by the House to the philosophy courses presented before it. One such suggestion was to align the contents of the course ‘Philosophy of B R Ambedkar’… and to offer courses of other philosophical thinkers of India representing different approaches and schools of thought, so that students have options to choose any thinker they wish to study.

– Prof. Amitava Chakraborty, Dean of the Faculty of Arts

However, there were many sources that claimed the proposal to be true.

There were several suggestions made by the House to the philosophy courses presented before it. One such suggestion was to align the contents of the course ‘Philosophy of B. R. Ambedkar’… and to offer courses of other philosophical thinkers of India representing different approaches and schools of thought, so that students have options to choose any thinker they wish to study.

– A professor from the Department of Philosophy

Following the opposition, a sub-committee set up by the Standing Committee was appointed to discuss the revision of the syllabus. On 22nd May, the sub-committee suggested that the elective paper on B.R. Ambedkar be kept following the addition of papers on other philosophical thinkers as well, following which students can opt for their preferences. Sources concluded that papers on Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi, and Periyar were being considered to be included in the curriculum.

The suggestions shall be placed in front of the Academic Council after approval by the Standing Committee.


Read also: DU to Launch 18 New Courses in Upcoming Session

Featured Image Credits: The Indian Express

Aanya Mehta
[email protected]

Delhi University embarked on a new journey after signing an MoU with Ambedkar University in order to share resources with each other in sync with NEP.

On Thursday, May 18, the University of Delhi and Dr. B. R. Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to ensure the optimum utilisation of their resources with one another. Both universities have agreed to work together in areas of research, extension activities, student and faculty exchange, consultancy, and outreach. Officials reportedly agreed to maintain a common ground by allocating libraries, sports grounds, research laboratories, seminar halls, auditoriums, etc. for students and staff of both universities.

Due to proximity, the collaboration can explore the possibility of mobility of students between the two universities. It will help students study courses/papers offered in the collaborating university and their credit transfer as well as issuance of a certificates.

– DU Vice-Chancellor Prof. Yogesh Singh

The Vice Chancellor also proposed to conduct joint PhD programmes for the students to get the best opportunities under the co-supervision of both universities. The universities will work on emerging areas like the impact of artificial intelligence on social sciences and promote research in the fields of science and technology.

Committed to academic partnerships and collaborations with other institutions, the goal of Ambedkar University is to become a Multidisciplinary Education Research University in alignment with the objectives of NEP 2020. Vice Chancellor of Ambedkar University, Prof. Anu Singh Lather, said that the University is committed to the ideals of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar by bridging equality and social justice with excellence.

We are working on becoming a Multidisciplinary Education Research University (MERU) and have recently signed MoUs with GGSIP University, NSUT, DTU, NLU-D.

– AUD Vice Chancellor Prof. Lather

Prof. Lather added that AUD’s mission is to create sustainable and effective linkages between access and success in higher education. The MoU will be a step towards fulfilling this purpose.


Read also: DU Scraps Existing B.El.Ed. Programme, Teachers Raise Objection 

Featured Image Credits: B.R. Ambedkar University Website

Aanya Mehta
[email protected]  

After issuing suspension notices and imposing fines on students for protesting, Hindu College is reconsidering its move. The students have submitted written apologies to the administration, and the principal is reportedly willing to let students explain themselves and address their concerns.

The Hindu College administration had issued notices suspending around 40 students and demanding a fine of Rs. 10,000, citing “gross misconduct” by students protesting against the administrative decision to reduce Mecca to a one-day event. The notice firmly stated that the students would not be allowed to take their semester exams if they failed to pay the fine. It further stated that they would not be allowed to hold any post of responsibility in the future and that “any repetition of such or other misconduct in the future will be treated with the utmost strictness, to the extent of rustication”. Additionally, 15 students have received a notice for financial fraud and cheating. The notice also alleged that the protesters caused damage to college property and behaved disrespectfully towards the principal, blocking her way and not letting her attend an official meeting.

However, after some deliberation and discussions, the principal, Ms. Anju Srivastava, is reconsidering the suspension. On the evening of May 9, a day after the suspension was issued, the principal reportedly held a meeting with the students. The students put forward their demands and concerns regarding the notice and requested that it be withdrawn.

They (the students) have given us verbal apologies and written apologies. We will give students another chance to put forward their sides. We are open to discussion with them. I have asked the disciplinary committee to look into each application separately on an urgent basis. The work has started. We will soon inform the students.

– Ms. Anju Srivastava, Principal of Hindu College, in conversation with PTI

The principal stated that the students will be given a chance to explain themselves and that their apologies will be accepted. It has been stressed that every student’s application will be reanalyzed in depth. The suspension notices drew widespread criticism from students involved in the protests. The students initially stated that they would resort to protesting against the suspension and the imposition of fines if they were not withdrawn.

The RSS-affiliated student body, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), came out in support of the students and requested the administration withdraw the notice at the earliest. Despite all efforts to encourage dialogue between both sides, whether every student will be spared suspension is uncertain.

Read also: Hindu College Suspends and Issues Fines for Protesting Students

Featured Image Credits: Keshavi for DU Beat

Tulip Banerjee 
[email protected] 

Delhi University intends to replace the current B.El.Ed. degree with an integrated course for teachers’ education in compliance with NEP 2020. The move, which is expected to be implemented from July 2023 onward, has been met with opposition from faculty members who have questioned the reasoning behind it.

The Bachelor of Elementary Education (B.El.Ed.) degree at Delhi University is due to be replaced with a new programme beginning this year, the Integrated Teacher’s Education Programme (ITEP), a new four-year course that is expected to commence in July. It will offer the B.A.B.Ed., B.Sc.B.Ed., and B.Com. courses. Foundational, Preparatory, Middle, and Secondary (5+3+3+4): the new school structure laid out in the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 will be followed to train teachers henceforth.

We will be scrapping B.El.Ed. and bringing in ITEP. For this year, we will run both programmes parallelly. Both can’t run together because teachers are limited; we are not getting new teachers from the government. We are looking at starting ITEP this July, and if there is a positive response, B.El.Ed will be automatically scrapped.

-DU registrar Vikas Gupta, in conversation with The Indian Express

Four colleges under the University of Delhi have applied for the programme. Three of them—Shyama Prasad Mukherjee College, Jesus and Mary College, and Mata Sundri College—will launch the new programme this year following approval from the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE). The rationale given behind the scrapping of the B.El.Ed. programme is the implementation of NEP and the objective of transformational improvements in the education system.

Every course has its durability. For instance, now that NEP has come into effect, the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) has automatically ended. Existing teachers are qualified; they will teach the new course. Colleges have provided a list of teachers, post which the NCTE has given its approval.

-DU registrar Vikas Gupta, in conversation with The Indian Express

According to a statement by the Press Information Bureau (PIB), a flagship programme of NCTE under NEP 2020, the ITEP will be launched in 57 Teacher Education Institutions (TEIs) from the academic session 2023–24.

This integrated course will benefit students since they will save one year by finishing the course in 4 years rather than the customary 5 years required by the present B.Ed. plan… The course will contribute substantially to the revitalization of the whole teacher education sector.

– statement issued by PBI on March 4, 2023

Reportedly, teachers have expressed concern about the decision and questioned the need for its scrapping considering it is a “popular course with a high placement record.” The Department of Elementary Education hosted a meeting last week wherein faculty members urged the University and the governing board to reconsider the decision. Teachers agreed with the implementation of ITEP in light of more extensive reforms to teacher education in accordance with the NEP. However, they insisted that it should be an addition rather than a replacement to the existing curriculum. According to The Indian Express, teachers and educationists at the meeting called the ITEP a “pedagogically and academically flawed programme.”

What is the rationale for removing one course to start another? B.EL.Ed. is the first and only professional degree programme that prepares teachers for elementary classes (I-VIII), mandated under the Right to Education Act. It weaves together general and professional education. ITEP, on the other hand, is designed as a 3+1 programme, where 3 years is focused on general education and one year for professional training.

-Prof. Maya John, a member of DU’s academic council, in conversation with The Quint

The B.El.Ed. programme was launched in 1994 by Delhi University and is currently offered in eight colleges. It was the first integrated teacher programme for elementary education that an Indian university had ever provided.

The B.El.Ed. programme, with its interdisciplinary approach and integration of general and professional education, has successfully trained over 8,000 teachers, in consonance with the Constitutionally mandated Right to Education Act.

-Prof. Poonam Batra, a retired DU professor who co-created the B.El.Ed. programme

Teachers have questioned the justification for the implementation of ITEP, claiming it is “inadequate” to provide the requisite skills.

The ITEP programme provides only one-year professional training following three years of general education (BA/BSc), which is inadequate to equip teachers with the necessary knowledge and capacities for teaching diverse levels and classrooms. Imposition of ITEP goes against university statutes that protect the university’s autonomy to design curricula.

-Prof. Poonam Batra added

Pankaj Arora, Dean of the Department of Education, disagreed with this assertion and claimed that the “new course caters to the needs of the new structure as envisaged by NEP.”

The new course is a dual degree course. This will allow vertical mobility because it has multiple entry and exit points. This means that if students complete three years and leave, they will still get their degrees. Moreover, they go on to pursue their Masters and will even be eligible for Ph.D. under the new Ph.D. regulations.

-Dr. Pankaj Arora, Dean of the Department of Education

Read also : Demand Raised for Permanent Principal in SBSEC (Evening) – DU Beat – Delhi University’s Independent Student Newspaper

Featured Image Credits : The Indian Express

Manvi Goel
[email protected]

The Rashtriya Dalit Prerna Sthal and Green Garden, or Elephant Park, as fondly known by the locals, is a political memorial garden. Today, the residents of Noida don’t think much of the political past of the place and view it as an ideal weekend getaway.

Hugging Delhi in the east like a little sister lies the bustling city of Noida. New Okhla Industrial Development Authority or NOIDA for short is a satellite city of the national capital, often overlooked because of its flashier cousins like Delhi and Gurgaon. Set up as part of an urbanization push during the Emergency period, the quaint suburbs of Noida have long been steeped in politics. Today, DUB Travels is going to take you along to this budding megacity neighbor in NCR. 

When traveling to Noida from Delhi, one of the most preferred routes is the DND (Delhi Noida Direct) Flyway which traverses the serene banks of river Yamuna. One of the first sights when you enter Noida, besides the gigantic statue of Lord Buddha as an ode to the Gautam Buddha Nagar district the city lies in, is a sprawling park speckled with sandstone figurines. For most Noida residents, this park holds a core childhood memory of sunny picnics and refreshing fountains. 

The Rashtriya Dalit Prerna Sthal and Green Garden, or Elephant Park, as fondly known by the locals, is a memorial garden. It was commissioned by former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Mayawati, at the height of her political glory in the state. Spread over 33 acres of land, the park is dotted with idols who devoted their lives to social justice and equality such as Sant Kabir, Bhimrao Ambedkar, and Jyotiba Phule. Among these social reformers are also busts of Kanshi Ram and Mayawati herself, surrounded by 24 eighteen-foot-high elephant statues (no points for guessing that Elephants are the symbol of Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party). 

Accusations had been flung far and wide over the construction of the memorial with the Opposition calling the CM a “megalomaniac” and “waster of tax-payer money”. Despite several roadblocks, the garden was inaugurated in 2011, drawing thousands of visitors in its heyday. However, as power shifted hands in the legislative, the park was left in a dilapidated state with certain statues cornered off. Today, the residents of Noida don’t think much of the political past of the place and view it as an ideal weekend getaway. Despite the lack of maintenance, nature thrives in the tree-line boulevard and rundown fountains, an idyllic retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.

As I sit under the shady canopy, gazing at the statues which look like mere dots on the horizon, I can’t help but think about the past. There will come a new generation of park enjoyers who might have no idea about what had happened. There is something about this last remaining bastion of a bygone era of state politics that makes one ponder about the tide of democracy – a vibrant political arena forgone in favor of the current scenario. In its wake remain these age-less statues, stories etched in sandstone. How long before the next wave washes them away? 

Read Also: The Home Conundrum, and the Battle of Graduating.

Featured Image Credits: TripAdvisor

Bhavya Nayak 

[email protected]

How does it feel to see those familiar lawns, walls, canteens and classrooms of your college on silver screens? Perhaps, it is not something new for a Delhi University kid, or is it?

In contemporary times, nothing has been left un-bollywoodised. From ambitious “apna time aayega” (my time will come) posters on the walls of our rooms to those trying-to-be-quirky truck drivers bearing “has mat pagli pyaar ho jaega” (don’t smile or I’ll fall in love with you) at the back of their vehicles to finding equal proportions in meme culture, the Bollywood fever has swept over the entire array. In such a culture, how could premier institutions like Delhi University be left untouched by bolly-baptization?

Heaving with overwhelm, jittering with anxiety not without a truckload of anticipation – this is a common description of any first-year student, especially those who make it to the “coveted” corners of DU. The Bollywood bandwagon has seeped so much into the college culture that even these nervous “facchas” are treated to Bollywood-themed fresher’s parties followed by the onslaught of Instagram reels documenting the whole event.

A scene from the film Fukrey (2013) shot in Miranda House,  Image Credits: Celluloid: The Film Society of Miranda House

Why is the college trope so famous?

There seems to be a sort of symbiotic relationship between college and Bollywood, which has of course, found its nexus in the glamorisation of college life. From college friendships to college romance, the trope of college life has been reproduced to an extent that now it seems oversaturated. Yet, it is one of the most popular genres, earning a bloating box-office collection everytime. From Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) to Rang De Basanti (2006) to 3 Idiots (2009) and more recently Chhichhore (2019), the list goes on. The changing demography of the target audience has allowed film industries to extract their careers out of our nostalgia. We often yearn for the bygone days and certainly, the college years occupy one of our fondest memories. After all, for many of us, college is the time when we experience most of our ‘firsts’ – crushes, heartbreaks, fights, and countless other memorable experiences. And through these films, these eccentricities of college life we get to experience again. 

A scene from the film Half Girlfriend (2017) shot in St. Stephen’s College,   Image Credits: The Times of India

The Politics of “Privileged” Colleges

We all love and undeniably feel a sense of pride seeing the cameo of our colleges in our most cherished films. But why do some DU colleges make it to the screens while some do not? The Hinduite Jordan and the Stephanian Heer became the college Romeo-Juliet romance. The “itni si chutney me do samose khau mai?” (how do I eat two samosas in so little chutney) graffiti on Hindu canteen’s wall from the same film Rockstar, Fukrey in Miranda House, Dil Dosti Etc in Hindu College, DevD and Band Baja Baarat in Hansraj and Half Girlfriend in St. Stephen’s College. The Ananya-Panday-effect of these North Campus colleges is very evident in the Bollywood milieu of nepotism. For filmmakers, shooting in DU mainly means shooting in the North Campus. The number of shoots in North Campus particularly has also increased in the past few years, from 3-4 shoots to 10-12 shoots per year, possibly because of easy permissions. These shoots in North Campus catch the fancy of many students and thus continue to uphold the existing hierarchy of colleges in Delhi University. According to an interview conducted by The Times of India in 2018, Ravi Sarin who was a part of the shooting of the film ‘Mom’ at SRCC said, “It’s the architecture of the colleges of North Campus that attracts filmmakers.” The charming red brick buildings of North Campus colleges are a major attraction to the filmmakers. It provides a sense of historicity to the location, an amalgamation of the new and the old, past and present. 

A scene from the film  Raazi (2018) shot in Miranda House,  Image Credits: The Times of India

The Fallacy of Masti ki Paathshala 

Common expectation told to us by elders and popular media often fosters a fallacy premised upon hopes for better days in college, better life, better opportunities and better friendships. The American threesome of sex, drugs and rock n’ roll is replicated in Bollywood as maal, masti and mohabbat (substance, fun and love). However, this alliteration fails to capture the unglorified realities of DU- hectic timetables, strict professors, boring lectures, stifling competition and everyday metro hustles. Colleges in Bollywood are nothing less than any theme park that has to sustain the assortment of fake paraphernalia of coolness, fun, richness, style and other cliched fancy adjectives. Only if college life was a Dharma Production you can expect to find an SRK-type boyfriend or a hot professor like in Main Hoon Na. In reality, there will be no falling in love with violin playing in the background, wind brushing past the hair and romantic slow-mo moments. Neither, in fact hardly our yaad-karegi-duniya-tera-mera-afsana (the world will remember our story) kind of friendships will permeate our nine-to-five reality. Will we even care for our lost Rancho inhabiting some far-off part of Ladakh after 10 years? In times when everyone seems to be guilty of repeatedly postponing Goa plans until it dies on a vine, it’s a bitter realisation that we all shall be made Arjuns uttering Moshi Moshi to a Japanese client on a road trip to Spain with friends (if at all the trip transcends the precincts of our plannings). 

A dialogue turned meme from the film Rockstar (2011),  Image Credits: Indian Meme Template

Hmm, so we can say, our much loved DU (and colleges in general) have had its own multiplicity of moments – as a main character, as a side-kick, as a decorative prop (like female characters in KJO films), as a misrepresented character (like LGBTQ characters in Bollywood) and sometimes as an anti-hero (like those in Anurag Kashyap’s films). But in everything, maybe DU is our Geet from Jab We Met who does not shy away from claiming “Mai apni favourite hoon”

Feature Image Credits: ScoopWhoop

Read Also: Bollywood Imitates Life and Vice-Versa

Samra Iqbal

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