Aishwarya Chaurasia


Swechha, started in 2000 as a young people’s campaign to raise awareness about pollution in the River Yamuna, is starting a fresh youth mobilization drive, ‘We For Yamuna.’  The campaign intends to work throughout March and April to organize sensitization drives, discussions and Yamuna walks for students of North Campus. Jack Todd and Josh Roberts,  volunteers of the campaign answers questions for DU Beat.

1. What made you come up with the idea of starting the campaign “We for Yamuna”? 


“We for Yamuna” started as a campaign in August 2000 for creating and spreading awareness about the pitiable state of Yamuna in Delhi. Since its inception, the campaign has been using innovative methods to attract the attention of the government, media and citizens for the cause of the river. Today, “We for Yamuna” is globally recognized as one of the strongest youth voices on the issue of Yamuna. “We for Yamuna” led to the genesis of Swechha in June 2001. For the past six weeks we have been working within North Campus to spread awareness and create a buzz about Yamuna throughout the student bodies.

Jack (left) and Josh (right) talking to students from North Campus about the river at  Najafgarh Drain, the first drain that enters the Delhi stretch of Yamuna.
Jack (left) and Josh (right) talking to students from North Campus about the river at Najafgarh Drain, the first drain that enters the Delhi stretch of Yamuna.

2. Tell us about the previous attempts that you have made to better the condition of Yamuna? What was the impact those endeavours had on people involved?

Since 2000, Swechha has facilitated a huge number of successful mega events including: Yamuna Shramdans, Yamunotsavs, Delhi’s first Yamuna Cyclothon in 2012 and the first 24 hour Yamuna cleanup as a part of NDTV’s Greenathon. Over the past 14 years we have engaged with over 15000 young people through Yamuna Walks and Yamuna Yatras. We have also engaged actively with national and international media on the issue of Yamuna. All of these events and activities have resulted in an increased level of awareness.

3. What does this campaign involve? How do you think this campaign will improve the condition of the river?

Since February 1st “We for Yamuna” has been working with North Campus on the awareness aspect of the campaign. Since then we have facilitated several Yamuna Walks, Community Interaction Sessions and Perspective Building Exercises to open the eyes of North Campus students to the state of Yamuna. As active campaigners Josh and I believe the first step to a successful campaign is awareness and that is what we are working towards.

Water from the Delhi section of Yamuna on the left and from the Haryana section of Yamuna on the right


4. Why are you targeting students of North Campus? Any specific reason?

Students getting out of a boat at Qudsia Ghat at the end of a Community Interaction Session along the river.

In 2000, a group of students from St. Stephens College initiated a campaign on the Yamuna, which eventually evolved into Swechha. We feel it was very important to make the students of North Campus aware of this issue as the river flows so closely yet so few students are aware of its location. North Campus is the hub of positive energy and we want our targets of change to be the media of change.


5. What is the cause of Yamuna degradation? This degradation can’t be stopped in just few attempts.

Yamuna entering Delhi through Wazirabad Barrage.

The biggest cause of degradation of Yamuna is the amount of raw sewage being pumped into Yamuna via 16 drains along with the minimal flow of the river. As Yamuna enters Delhi it becomes comparatively smaller as it flows through Wazirabad Barrage and starts its 22km journey through Delhi which amounts to 2% of the river’s length but contributes to 80% of the total pollution.

 6. What are your future plans of action regarding the whole issue?

As of now we plan to keep on creating a buzz about the river in North Campus. In time we see these students become a part of our bigger picture and help us spread the word among the residents of the city and to be responsible citizens.

The third and concluding day of Confluence, the annual fest of Hans Raj College was lined up with events like Mock Stock, Street dance, Ad-Mad, Western Dance, Choreography and Battle of Bands While for some events like Western Dance, students thronged the venue, others witnessed comparatively less audience.

team kmc
Kirori Mal College’s Choreography Society

Western Dance and Choreography were the highlights of the day. Both the events saw some exceptional performances by students that were highly applauded by the spectators. Choreography started around 10:30 AM and went on for two hours. Around 10 colleges participated in this event. Lady Shri Ram College bagged the first prize and the second prize went to Kamala Nehru College’s Choreography Society – Adagio.

After Choreography, the Western Dance competition began at 1 PM with participation from around fifteen colleges. IIT Delhi boys, who gave a dynamic performance, took away the first prize in the event. The auditorium reverberated with cheers and claps while they danced. The second prize was shared by Guru Gobind Singh College and Sri Venkateswara College’s Verve whose dance performances was quite energetic as well. The third prize went to Jesus and Mary College’s Western Dance Society – Mudra.

Roquefort or Battle of Bands saw Conundrum, an alternative rock band from PGDAV, emerge as winners while the band – L For Vendetta – secured the second position. The Best Vocalist was Shiv Hastwala from Conundrum, the Best Bassist, Keyboarist and Drummer were all from L for Vendetta and the Best Guitarist was from the band Andolan.

Featured image: Hans Raj College’s Choreography Society

Image credit: Iresh Gupta for DU Beat

Third day’s the charm, right? It so was. Farhan Akhtar and Vidya Balan made it to Shri Ram College of Commerce on 26th February to promote their upcoming movie Shaadi ke side effects. Keeping the information to themselves until the very day, the Dramatics society of SRCC restricted the entry to SRites only.


After watching the SRCC’s in-house stage production, “Black comedy”, people proceeded to behold their favorite stars and a huge gathering of more than fifteen hundred students was witnessed in the parking area of the college. The event which was scheduled to begin at 1:15, began around 4:00pm, making the crowd wane a little. In order to keep the constant booing of the crowd at bay, the organizers played songs of Honey Singh at full volume making few dance and few giddy.


When the duo arrived at last, the two and hour wait was completely worth it. While Vidya looked refreshing and addressed the crowd with her beautiful smile, Farhan made the crowd specially girls go week in the knees with his deep sensuous voice. They threw out CDs of the movie to the crowd and interacted with them for about ten minutes. Signing off, Farhan recited the poem from “Zindagi na Milegi Doobara” while Vidya waived and thanked the gathering for having them there.

Image Credit: Mehr Gill for DU Beat

The Dramatics society of Shri Ram College Commerce (SRCC) is back with its annual fest, Histrionica! The four-day fest kick started on 24th February with the Nukkad Natak – Aahvaan. Despite not being a competitive event, it celebrated the vibrancy and exuberance of street play with great vigor. Around forty five teams participated in the prelims that took place on Sunday, out of which only eight made it through to perform in the finals. Although this year the familiar zest about the fest seemed a tad bit missing, the decoration (including minions) and excitement among the spectators was palpable.

The common call started at 1:30 pm with the entire dramatics society dancing and hooting around the college and singing there theme song “oh-ha”. The event took place at the co-op area and around 150 students surrounded the place to watch the teams perform. Kirori Mal College with its act “Company Raj” began the event. Next in line was Hans Raj College, stunning the audience with its extra ordinary performance, “Rehaayi” meaning freedom. It portrayed the reason why “criminals” commit crime and why they deserve a chance to relive. Khalsa College and Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies were no less who presented “We, the people” and “Rajneeti Unplugged” respectively. They stressed that common man is as much a part of politics as anyone else.

SRCC gave a performance full of humor and satire on “Bhram” meaning illusion. Hindu College and Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce (GGSCC) were as good as any of the others. Where Hindu college mocked the education system with its play “Kaisi yeh path shala”, GGS came up with “Chidiya ki Kahani”, stupefying the audience and compelling them to fight away the patriarchal society. IP College for Women was the last one with their play “Mooch neech ka Papada” before the tired yet extremely satisfied audience dispersed and the judges congratulated the teams.

Upcoming events at Histrionica include the stage theatre acts at Charades, along with a comedy night with Papa CJ and a closing act with the Raghu Dixit Project.

Delhi University Teacher’s Association organized a protest cum cricket match on the 14th of this month outside the Vice Chancellor’s office, to raise its voice against misuse of Antardhvani- the annual cultural festival of Delhi University, by the VC and his administration. The march which started around 11 a.m., quickly transforming into a cricket match, was one of a kind.
Even the incessant rain couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of teachers and students alike who gathered in large numbers shouting slogans and supporting one team or the other. They protested against the VC’s anarchy, because according to them, the VC has been using Antardhvani for his own designs, forcing principals of different colleges to make their teachers and students attend the fest.

One of the teachers pointed out that the lack of sports in the current year shows how the VC is not opening the sports fields to teachers and students but using it only for his personal purposes. They said that these fields are public property and VC has no power to stop them from utilizing it. The DUTA demanded that the University stadia that were renovated during the CWG should be thrown open for the use of students and teachers. They also addressed the issue of FYUP and stated how the four year course could still be converted into three year graduation and last year could be optional for those who want internships. “We had initially planned to play against the VC, wanting to beat all the shady people on their team but he hasn’t even been talking to us let alone turning up for this match, so we played against the students”, said Nandita Narain, the President of DUTA sarcastically. “We also want FYUP to be rolled back for the current batch but I don’t see this happening because our VC is all about the Padma Shri award”, said another member of DUTA.

All in all the protest march was yet another attempt of DUTA to bring a change in the continuously deteriorating conditions of the University. The cricket match with its satirical commentary in the pouring rain, showed how determined they are in their cause to do away with VC’s high handedness.

Similar protests were also carried out by various students’ groups, in the past week. Reiterating the misuse of the fest to promote FYUP and asking for its rollback, the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) along with members of Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and All India Students Association (AISA) have been up in arms against the Vice Chancellor.

Delhi University Teacher’s Association held its annual meeting on the 31st January outside the VC’s office to make new resolutions and amendments and protest against the VC who has just been honoured with Padma Shri award for ‘his excellent work. The meeting, although arranged on a working day, saw a considerable footfall of around hundred teachers – all strived to bring a change in the functioning of the university.

The meeting got delayed by one hour because of lack of proper arrangement for the same. Apparently the VC did not allow mikes and chairs inside the gate of the office area, there were just some sheets spread on the concrete floor for teachers to sit so they had to take their meeting outside the gate and hire chairs and mike on their own. “This was supposed to be just an annual meeting which every association has. Every university has this type of meetings which takes place inside an auditorium or a closed space but the VC won’t even allow us a room where we can sit and discuss!” says one of the teacher present there. “He has given instruction to principals of all colleges to refuse us a place to hold this meeting. This is nothing but dictatorship! And this man got a Padma Shri!” adds another. The teachers agreed unanimously that by awarding the VC a Padma Shri, the government that talks of democracy, has given an open support to dictatorship.


The meeting was interrupted for a while by a group of teachers who took out a protest march in the same area to make the process of recruitment of ad-hoc teachers fair. There were around a fifty security personnel on guard on the orders of the VC who were instructed to rush in in case any violence took place. Apart from few angry exchanges the meeting took place peacefully. Issues like Padma Shri award to the VC, his arbitrary actions like removal of chairs and other facilities to the security guard and closure of Panditji’s tea stall which has been there for generations, delay and denial of promotions to teachers who went against him, hasty implementation of FYUP, suspension of teachers and misuse of Antardhvani were some of the issues which were dealt with in the meeting.

DUTA also invoked the students to join them in their struggle against the FYUP by citing how bad it is for their future.

Illume, the quiz fest organised by quizzing society of SRCC was all about movies and fun on its third and last day. After two days of intellectual quizzing, the fest witnessed maximum footfall with the auditorium filled with people buzzing with excitement and shouting out answers. Although the “Mayapuri Bollywood quiz” which was scheduled to begin at 10:30 began by 12, the audience as well as the participants enjoyed a lot.  RJ Rahul Makin who was the quiz master, entertained the audience with his “filmy shayaris” and jokes. The auditorium reverberated with the roaring of the crowd every time a question appeared on the screen.

Around 250 teams of three members each registered for the event which consisted of two preliminary and one final round. Twenty two groups got through the semi-final round; out of which, only six teams made it to the finals. After a long and difficult final round, the team representing SRCC- Sambhav Raj, Vaibhav Garg and Ojas took away the first prize and the second prize was won by Rachita, Shivani and Suyash who represented Hindu college. The winning team was felicitated with a sum of Rs 3000, a trophy and a certificate.


Following the Bollywood quiz, a scavenger hunt was also organised after which closing ceremony of the three day fest was conducted. The winners of all the three days were awarded with DPS Siliguri bagging the “Emerging team award” and St Stephen’s College taking away the overall rolling Illume Cup.

With this, Illume 2014 came to an end making its organizers extremely satisfied. “We did work really hard for these three days and now that it’s over I can finally breathe a sigh of relief that nothing went wrong and the fest was a great success,” says Nikita Das, joint secretary of the Quiz society.

On the 16th and 17th of this month, Miranda House witnessed an event for differently abled students called “Deconstructing disability” organized by Lakshita, the enabling society devoted to creating awareness about disabilities. This society which was started in July 2012 has since then organized seminars on RTI acts and plans to host many such events and inter-college competition in Delhi University to highlight the importance of inclusion of handicapped people in economic, social and political arenas.

The first day of the event started around noon and comprised a small speech by Supriya, the President of Lakshita and movie screening of three episodes of the TV series “Nazar ya Nazariya”, which is an initiative of George Abraham, CEO of Score Foundation. The three episodes were based on “Gender, Women and Employment”. The seminar hall of the college was full with more than 100 students of different colleges witnessing the event. “I personally believe that for a country like India, it’s important to start investing in disabled people as a resource, instead of considering them as a community that has to be looked after”, said Mr. George Abraham, while addressing the audience.

Day 2 witnessed three panel discussions, with four speakers in each session. Dr. Pratibha Jolly, Principal of Miranda House, welcomed the listeners after which the first panel discussion which talked about “Understanding Disability” began. The panel included Komal Kamra, Associate Professor of Khalsa college as the mediator, George Abraham, Poonam Natrajan, Chairperson of the National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disability, Arun C Rao, Executive Director, the DeafWay foundation and Sonal Sena, Director of Shruti Information. “Gender, Accessibility and Employment” was the topic of second panel discussion with Renu Addlakha, Professor and Deputy Director, CWDS, Anjlee Agarwal, Executive Director of the National Centre for Accessible Environment, Dipendra Manocha, Coordinator for Developing Countries Program, DAISY consortium and Niranjan Khatri general manager of ITC hotel, as speakers.

The third panel discussion revolved around “Law and Human rights”. Radhika Alkazi, Founder Director of Aarth-Astha, Merry Barua, Founder Director for Autism and Subhash C. Vashishth, Program Coordinator of Svayam-National Center for Inclusive Environment were the three panelists for this round.
The session ended with a performance by Anukriti, a member of Hindi Dramatic Society.

“I feel that there is an urgent need to help handicapped students make an identity of their own. They need to be understood. We see people with disabilities and maybe even sympathize with them, but we do not understand them. We need to provide them the freedom and space with which they can come out of their shell. The purpose of this event was to inspire them and I feel extremely satisfied with the response”, said Dr Reema Bhatia, Convener of the society. “We worked really hard for this event and now that it’s finally done, I feel happy that our efforts paid off”, says Raavi Aggarwal, a volunteer of Lakshita.

Shri Ram College of Commerce is usually known for its undergraduate courses, what many people are unaware of is the post graduate courses offered by this college under the University of Delhi. SRCC is the only college which offers post graduate course in Global Business Operations (GBO). The GBO Programme is designed to provide a thorough knowledge of global business with emphasis on the implications of international business and the specialization required in carrying out business activities across national frontiers and is equivalent to a management degree in International Business.

This was introduced in SRCC around ten years ago and ever since students who are passionate about being a manager have been able to acquire advanced practical expertise in areas such as Human Resource Management, Accounting and Finance Trade, Translational Marketing and Information Technology. The course adopts a multi-dimensional and multi-disciplinary view of organizational objectives and in the process motivates students to appreciate the complex and rapidly changing business environment. The aim of the course is to deliver quality management education for excellence in international business.

GBO is a self-financing course with no government funding. It has its affiliation with University of Delhi and requires a minimum of two years or four semesters for completion. With a capacity of 62 seats the college claims a 100% placement for its students. There is 27% reservation for OBC, 15% for SC and 7.5% for ST. The eligibility for admission is minimum 50% marks in the degree examination (10+2+3) of a recognized university, for reserved categories there is a relaxation of 5% in total aggregate marks.

There is also a written test, group discussion and personal interview for admission to this course. For the written test, objective type questions are asked from areas of English language, Quantitative Ability, Logical Ability and General Knowledge. The written test is for two hours and is given 75% weightage; group discussion and personal interview are given 10% and 15% respectively.

Once the course is completed, there are many options that one might take up as a career. Students who believe in being the job providers go for entrepreneurship. Companies that come for placements offer good profiles like, research analyst, business analyst, business development, international brand management, HR profiles and finance profiles.

The college provides excellent faculty to its students many of whom are renowned authors like Dr. J.K. Thukral and Mr. Amit Sachdeva. There are guest lecturers too who provide the necessary corporate exposure. According to Akanksshi Verma, a first year student of this course “The things I found unique about this course after talking to many of my friends in other B-schools is the psychometric profiling of students, the international exchange programs, current affairs as part of our curriculum, the role plays and quizzes which happen weekly, the port visits and the like!”

The last date to apply for the 2014-2016 batch is January 15th, 2014. You can find all the details regarding the course here.

If you are in your second year, you’d probably know by now how to pass Delhi University semester examinations with a respectable percentage. For those of you who are thinking – ‘Duh! Study well, score well!’ – you’ll be disappointed to know that getting good marks in university exams is not that easy. Going through your books thoroughly will, no doubt help you avoid getting an ER (Essential Repeat) and even help you score 60% marks, but to take your aggregate to 80s or 90s, you will require more than just books. So here are few pointers which will hopefully help you increase your percentage a bit.

1)  Past year question papers

DU has a history of repeating a particular type of questions every year. It follows a trend and more often than not, it asks similar questions. So getting an idea by going through past year questions really helps. After all why to study those topics which have less chances of appearing in your question paper, right?

2)  Presentation

How you write your answers makes a lot of difference to the examiner. You might know everything but if you happen to present it clumsily, the teacher who is correcting it might not even consider reading it and give a 4 where you could have scored 8. So make sure you have a pen which makes your hand writing clear and easily readable. Try to put your answer in points rather than paragraphs and underline the key words. Use different colored pens if you really want to leave no stones unturned. Also drawing margins makes it look better.

3)  Read your question paper well before you start

There are always choices where you will be required to attempt one of the two or more questions. You don’t want to attempt a question which is not required. To be on the safe side, tick the questions you want to answer right at the beginning.

4)  Don’t leave a question unanswered

Even if you don’t know the answer, don’t leave the space blank. Attempt it for what it’s worth. Maybe the question is wrong or out of syllabus, if you attempt it you will get marks for that.

5)  Write generously but keep track of time

Divide your time among questions in such a way that you have time for revision. It sounds far-fetched but it works better than you can imagine.

Take my word for it, even if you didn’t study your portion properly following these would get you a better score than you deserve.

DU Beat wishes all readers good luck for their semester exams!