Anushree Joshi


The ABVP-led DUSU has formally requested the DU Vice Chancellor to not conduct the semester examinations a day prior and after, and on the day of the General Elections.

For the upcoming Lok Sabha elections of 2019, which will be coinciding with the April-May semester exams, the ABVP-led Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) has requested the Vice Chancellor of the University of Delhi, Professor Yogesh Tyagi, to not hold the semester examinations on the same day as that of the elections. They also demanded that the exams should neither be held a day prior, nor a day later than the actual date of casting votes, so as to ensure that the students from other states can exercise their right to vote as well. The external exams, along with the internal assessments, and practicals willl begin from April and are expected to continue till the first week of June.

In a separate letter addressed to the Chief Election Officer (CEO), Mr. Sunil Arora, DUSU requested him to arrange special railway services for the students of major Indian cities for their convenient travel, and to also make the tickets available at compensated rates. They also requested him to issue a directive in the form of an advisory to all the educational institutions in the country, urging them to not conduct the end-semester examinations during the ongoing General Elections.

“As students, a lot of us would be casting our first votes, as citizens of India we really look forward to it. A holiday prior the election and post it, would allow us to act our electoral choices,” says a second-year student of Kamla Nehru College.

These demands were raised, keeping in mind the fundamental right of the youth to vote, and the demand for the special railway services ensures that students from other states can also cast their votes in their respective constituencies. DUSU further appealed to the students to consciously exercise their fundamental right to vote in the upcoming elections.

However, some students have their doubts about this move as well and it, as articulated by another second-year student, “All the services are only available for the major Indian cities. I wouldn’t be able to go back anyway as I come from the remote town of Balangir in Orissa, it is a hectic two-day journey by train.”

The President of DUSU, Shakti Singh, stated in a press release, “The need of the hour is a strengthened democracy which can only be achieved by facilitating the maximum participation of the youths. We shall make every possible endeavour to effectively utilize our resources to meet these ends. We hope to see considerable growth in vote share in these elections.”

Saimon Farooqui, the all-India media and communications manager of NSUI, said, “A certain well thought-out mechanism needs to be established as voting is a layered process and students come from various parts of the country. They should also ensure that studies are not compromised in any way. It is the responsibility of the University of Delhi to ensure that voting process is smooth for students and they are able to exercise their right to vote.”

Image Credits: DU Beat

Antriksha Pathania

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Social media provides an explosive and elevating platform to rant. Most of us will agree that ranting becomes a cathartic exercise over time. But could it ever become “toxic”?

Colleges are defined by the activities and opportunities that they organise for the students. As we increasingly become more involved with these activities, we become increasingly complex with our emotions. Or to put it in simpler terms, the cause-effect relationship between overwork and frustration becomes more apparent. How do you vent out a complex multitude of emotions that seems to smother you, and also sadden you? Although everyone has different coping mechanisms, many of you would agree that the most famously accepted and satisfying way to do so, is to rant.

Most of our rants are really in the moments of great crises. To use a foul alliterative play, a rant provides us with a catharsis in crisis. It really is a purge. Most of the rants that you become a listener to, or even those that you are declaring, are moments of deep emotional outbreak. “I cannot do this anymore,” or “I have had enough of this,” or “how difficult is it for me to say ‘NO’ for once?” Reflective questions like these throw us off into a heated rant. But overwork is not the only factor to push us off this emotional cliff. An elucidation of an emotional blueprint that is a rant, we become the truest versions of ourselves. We realise and connect with our reality during the course of a rant.

Sanchi Mehta, a Literature student from Hindu College, says, “My rants are therefore seminal to an understanding of my inner being because the process makes me introspect. More often than not, in narrativising the assault of emotions churning within me, the pent up anger dissipates. Laying it all bare unveils the gaps that generally an emotion like anger or tiredness – while synthesising a surmounting pile of undealt with events – obstructs, thus helping me to look at things with a more objective acceptance and self-critical gaze. It is like self-induced therapy. It keeps me from hysterically dealing with situations and dispensing the tendency for adopting over-the-top responses.”

Annoyance, frustration, or sadness held in for too long internally becomes toxic. An ideal lifestyle wherein you keep your “unpopular opinions” to yourself will ultimately become a baggage slowing you down. Thankfully for us, social media has efficiently given us an amazing pedestal to rant. However, despite the platform and improved means, the listening / hearing end of the rant has often interpreted these rants negatively.

And how does it work? You watch a movie, for example; the movie shows some character in a bad light, normalises issues like harassment, ridicules the idea of consent, or shows anything else. You feel strongly about something which you express online and there it is, your “rant”. It is not uncommon for people to call an emotional journaling or expression a rant these days. We are naturally bound to feel strongly about certain things. The expression of such strong emotions is translated into being an unnecessary “rant”. It is this classification that seems to question the act of expressing, by associating it with entitlement. Having an opinion makes you entitled to rant, period. It is with the opposing opinions that a balance is maintained in this life.

Rants guide you out of deep crises. Anoushka Sharma, a second-year student of Journalism, says, “I believe it’s very important to rant once in a while. It relieves the stress and baggage in one’s head (at least in my case). But I think it is also important to know who you are ranting to. The person should be understanding and should have the mental capacity to listen, and in that, interpret what you have to say. One simple reason for this is that the other person may not be emotionally available to understand your situation or your need to rant.” The only cautionary advice as you rant is that you must try to access the emotional faculty of your listener. Your understanding of your listener’s unavailability improves the mutual connect. “Ranting is a healthy way to vent. If done properly, it’s a good way to express yourself,” says Anoushka.

 An important idea that demands attention at this point is that of acceptance. People will say that if you rant about things, you are being too uptight or even mean with your opinions. A rant is about non-acceptance, after all. But then, an argument builds up against this. That if you do not rant about or do not express your non-acceptance, that simply is equivalent to giving in to something that you do not approve of. Certainly you cannot go around and question everything, and that is precisely where you have to practise your discretion. As important as it is to rant, the surfeit of it also loses its seriousness and / or impact. If we are to measure opinions in this narrow fashion, we block the possibilities of change; both in our personal and general spaces.

Find your balance in rants. Rants have been able to achieve so much in the face of resistance, simply because rants become the resistance, the peace and the way of life. If you rant, you have a voice and a mind; now that is not a bad combination to boast of.

Feature Image Credits: Paul Garland via Smithsonian Magazine

Kartik Chauhan

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College-going women’s struggles with eating disorders have intensified with increasing pressure from all the spheres. Look at the dilemmas and reasons pushing EDs forth in women, and what it ultimately means for us.

The transition process from high school to college can be intimidating and the constant need to fit in, while handling studies, work, future woes, and the everyday struggle that comes with an independent lifestyle might result in a lot of stress that can translate into eating disorders. An eating disorder is not a lifestyle choice but it shapes out of stress, depression, or anxiety, which requires immediate attention. It can cause severe health issues in the future ranging from suicide to death from starvation, etc.

Eating disorders are much more common in young women and especially in those women who already have some history of depression, anxiety, or self-image issues stemming from insecurities and paranoia. This feeling of being insufficient and the need for acceptance and love can lead to the amplification of their desire to have a certain body shape. Hence, they start either starving themselves or binge-eating which is followed by heavy purging.

College life comes with all the glitz and glamour of societies, sports, innumerable opportunities, socialising, and promises of the great, but college also exposes women to the negative aspect of fitting in, to the idea of certain “perfect” body shape, and it can also feed into the conditioning of your body defining your self-worth.

College with studies, figuring out your future, building yourself and also staying afloat in the mayhem of parties and finding love is a very hectic place to be. For women suffering from body dysmorphia, it can be quite overbearing given the patriarchal set-up of even metropolitans like Delhi that subtly, or sometimes not so subtly, brands certain kinds of lifestyles as desirable and aspirational, while negating certain others. Beauty as a social construct is not just conditioned in such set-ups, but it is made to feel natural.

Societies and various sport teams are there for nurturing your talent, providing a means to bring out your abilities but the level of competition and added stress these societies and teams bring can also manifest into eating disorders.

In a candid conversation with an ex-member of Glitz, the fashion society of Kamla Nehru College, she reveals, “Girls who join societies undergo added pressure from crowd along with their performance. It is not easy to perform in front of large crowds and many girls cave into that pressure. Relentless practices and the huge crowd makes me conscious about my looks and there are occasions when I go on diets for a long period of time out of fear of gaining weight. It did affect my health and brought lot of weakness and inability to cope with my studies.”

My own experience when I joined the college basketball team wasn’t full of roses and sunshine. In the first year itself, I developed a severe eating disorder which was mainly due to the hectic schedule. Being an outstation student living independently, I started taking food and my health for granted. It took a negative toll on my health resulting in constant weakness, lack of concentration, long bouts of lethargy, which further spiralled dangerously into low white blood cells’ count. With a strict diet and work regimen, I was able to bounce back but it is not that easy for everyone. Severe eating disorder demands immediate medical help that only a physician can provide.

Having an eating disorder requires immediate attention and introspection. You need to understand that it is connected to your mental well-being and is getting translated in a very harmful way. If not handled immediately it can have a long-term negative impact on your body. Hence, we need to talk more about this and not subject the women suffering from this with severe criticism and judgement.

Feature Image Source: Odyssey

Antriksha Pathania
[email protected]

On 12 March, the Leader of Opposition of the Parliament of Hindu College was allotted an office space, for the first time in the Parliament’s near hundred-year-old history. How significant would this be?

A day before Hindu College’s annual fest, Mecca, Naveen Kumar, the Leader of Opposition of the College Parliament, proudly announced on his official Facebook page the allotment of a formal office space to the parliamentary representative.

Unlike many students’ unions, Hindu College has a Parliament – christened the ‘Parliament of the Republic of Hindu College’ – to which the student elections are held. According to the constitution of the college, the candidate with the maximum number of votes is elected as the Prime Minister (PM), who then appoints his Cabinet, while the candidate securing the second highest number of votes becomes the Leader of Opposition (LOP). The same constitution also provides for formal office spaces to both functionaries. However, while the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had been in place in the college, the office of the LOP had been absent till now.

Image Source: Facebook Naveen Kumar, the incumbent Leader of Opposition of Hindu College.
Image Source: Facebook
Naveen Kumar, the incumbent Leader of Opposition of Hindu College.

The situation changed under Naveen’s incumbency. He tells us that he had been at work since September to get the space allotted. While his term is about to end soon, he hopes that the new development will benefit the subsequent LOPs.

Often, the margin between the votes pulled in by the PM and the LOP respectively isn’t very significant numerically. Naveen, who lost to Shreyash Mishra, the Prime Minister, fell only 44 votes short. Hence, the LOP also represents a major chunk of the students, as Naveen tells DU Beat, making an office space all the more necessary.

Elaborating on the significance of the office, he says that it would allow students to raise grievances and make the LOP more accessible so that their complaints could be better addressed – ultimately increasing accountability of the representatives, while also enhancing the significance of the position itself.

However, a problem that still persists is the low number of Parliamentary sessions organised in the college. Many students express this sentiment: a college that once was an intellectual centre of the nationalist movement, now sees its culture of debate and discussion declining. Without Parliamentary sessions, one is made to wonder if the representatives can actually be held accountable and whether the politics of the college could go beyond Mecca to addressing more pressing issues.

Pointing at how the office has been a long time in the making, Naveen says, “People tell me that it took a long time and that my term is ending; I tell them it’s been a hundred and twenty years since the college was established. Compared to that, the few months of my term are nothing!”

Image Credits: DU Beat

Prateek Pankaj

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Generation gaps, class, caste, and religion all meddle with open conversations on menstrual health, thus impacting menstrual hygiene. Read on to find out how.

Universities and schools should ideally provide spaces for the evolution of conditioning, and understanding menstruation as it is – a biological process that does not need to be glorified, or demeaned. Saman Waheed, a first-year student of English at Lady Shri Ram College (LSR), gives credit to her school back in Lucknow for sensitising her to the natural nature of menstruation, acknowledging that about half a decade ago, she herself considered it to be a taboo not for public discussions. However, the lack of pad dispensers in the LSR campus and the absolute absence of those from the hostel bothers her. A student from Lakshmibai College stated that the college did not have pad dispensers until very recent times of her being in the college, and has unhinged doors that make students uncomfortable. Upasana Sasidharan, a PhD scholar at Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research, Bhopal, says, “There are absolutely no dispensers on campus. I’m just glad we have dustbins in washrooms, honestly.” All this indicates the callousness of practically recognising menstrual health significant enough, even in all-women colleges.

Another thread of period-related conversations is social class access. An incident in Zamrudpur Development Programme , an NGO visited by DU students as well, related a girl who didn’t come for class once, and the reason cited for her absence by an acquaintance of hers was that the girl had her hafta (week) – commonly used to refer to periods- going on. Rupi Kaur may be able to capitalise her writing based on her Instagram picture of spotted pants, but religious and cultural beliefs even in ostensibly progressive families create a sense of seclusion for menstruating women. My own well-read family with class privilege doesn’t feel comfortable with me touching sacred items (sweet offerings, garlands, etc.) when I menstruate.

Isha Yadav, a feminist research scholar and a professor from Delhi, started a WhatsApp group named Periodlogue in 2017 because she was told to “rant off her PMS-ing elsewhere” by her friend. The group started as a safe space for ‘period talk’ that wouldn’t be dismissed as hormonal rant, and currently includes over 75 women from different professions, ages, and backgrounds, who express themselves when in menstrual pain, seek answers on female reproductive health, and do not believe in hiding menstruation in blue pads. The group empowers its members, but the need for alternative spaces to hold non-judgmental discourses points to the fact that the mainstream spaces have not been kind or inclusive enough for women even in the twenty-first century.

Writing this article about conversations on menstruation and sanitation is a form of privilege in itself. Whether it is educating someone else, or becoming more aware of the realities, there is no denying of the social conditioning that all of us have undergone at least in some sphere of our lives, which treats menstruation as a dirty taboo. To be able to break through that is commendable, but must be acknowledged as a possibility that is not open to many others.

Image Credits: Newsweek

Anushree Joshi

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11 departments and one college were asked to prepare a first draft of the revised curriculum by 29th March; each department was to come up with a minimum of four drafts before finalising.

The University of Delhi (DU) has yet again asked the heads of 11 departments and Indraprastha College for Women (IPCW) to start revising the curriculum of their undergraduate courses and introduce the revised syllabus in the 2019-20 academic session.

The varsity’s undergraduate curriculum revision committee (2019) wrote to the heads of 11 departments, which comprised of computer science, history, botany, music, zoology, Sanskrit, microbiology and environmental studies, and the administration of Indraprastha College for Women, with a revision schedule, asking them to “abide by it”.

This pronouncement received criticism from the faculty members who were displeased by the bypassing of the democratic steps that are to be followed in reforming the syllabi. They called it a “serious statutory violation”. The members of the Executive Council (EC) and Academic Council (AC) wrote to Yogesh Tyagi, the Vice-Chancellor of the varsity, against the “manner” of this revision.

Rajesh Jha, an EC member, said to Hindustan Times, “As per DU rules of revising syllabus, the departments would root the draft of revised curriculum through individual committees of all courses offered by any department. It is then sent to each faculty for approval. It is further passed by the standing council before going for a discussion in AC. Then the final draft is passed by the EC. The university has bypassed all these steps.”

The EC and AC members have requested Tyagi to withdraw the communication. “The schedule was prepared without any consultation with the statutory bodies. So, we request you to revise the UG syllabi in a statutory and democratic manner and withdraw all the communications concerned,” states the letter.

The schedule orders the departments to constitute their respective committees and prepare the first draft of the new syllabus by 29th March. A minimum of four drafts have to be sent before deciding on the final one, which is to be submitted to the respective Heads of Departments (HoD).

The Undergraduate Curriculum Revision Committee also asked the HoDs to make public the draft, and to invite suggestions from all the stakeholders.

The flipside to the current air of resistance from the faculty, and a reform in the current syllabus is not just appreciated, but needed. “Being a premier university, the revised curriculum is not only going to help our prospective students but would also set a trend for many other universities,” the committee’s statement said. However, it is the untimely and unconstitutional method of doing things that the student and the faculty communities collectively have a problem with.

Even in 2016, the History elective paper was entirely changed two months into the semester, marring the efforts of the students and teachers alike, and was met with opposition because a substantial investment went to waste. To avoid these confusions, a democratic process in a central university like DU must be adhered to.

Feature Image Credits: Niharika Dabral for DU Beat

Maumil Mehraj

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Massive crowds, endless music and celebrations, food, and fun; fest season in the varsity was a delightful time, with its own moments of ups and downs.

“For the longest time, having lived around the North Campus since childhood, I had heard a lot about college fests. We could hear the music at our home, the roads jammed because of crowds, hundreds of students seeking shelter in the cafes of Hudson Lane. I had anticipated a great time for my own first-hand experience and truly, the hype lived up to it all!” An excited first-year student from Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) exclaimed, reminiscing the good time he had at Crossroads – the annual cultural festival of SRCC.

The fest season is, undoubtedly, one of the most exciting times on campus. Seeing as how it has almost come to an end by now, some of us have been left asking for more. Amidst the glamour and celebrations, there is a sense of connect that builds up between people. From charged dances to singing songs together at concerts, we all come closer. And it is these moments that some of the fondest memories of college life materialise.

Having observed most of the major fests in campus; from Reverie to Mecca, spread over almost two months, there was one thing that remained constant. Despite all the problems due to huge crowds and corresponding unruly behaviors exhibited by some people, there was a lot of joy that hit at the end of it all. “And that is what matters,” said Atima Bakshi from Hindu College, “To feel this sense of togetherness and joy with the right people.”

Truly, with the right company, enjoyment multiplies manifolds. Even as fests have become spaces for interactions and connections and celebrations, there is a lot that is awry about their organisation that needs addressing. For instance, dealing with some uncontrolled fanatics who barge into crowds; inebriated and wild. Fests have not been entirely joyous for a lot of people. There have been reports of people indulging in inappropriate behavior during fests. It is almost right to claim that fests have been given to celebrate cringe-worthy displays of power, usually by drunk men perpetrating toxic ideals of masculinity.

Every college union attempts to invite the most famous artists to their fests. This year saw performers like DJ Chetas, Guru Randhawa, Jassie Gill, Vishal-Shekhar, and Jubin Nautiyal with various other bands like The Local Train and Indian Ocean. This pursuit for the most famous artist becomes an invitation to a more rowdy crowd. Although the central idea is to invite the participation of maximum people, it is undermined by how poorly the crowds are managed.

For everyone who witnessed these fests for the first time, certainly the experience has been an amazing learning opportunity. Undoubtedly, it was an absolute joy listening to The Local Train’s tracks, or dancing to Vishal-Shekhar’s peppy Bollywood numbers at Crossroads and Mecca, respectively. But it was also a study in tolerance.

The idea of the fests wherein all colleges and their respective societies and departments conduct so many interesting activities, allowing an exploration into a plethora of talents of students, is also commendable. In the highly commercialised food stalls and high-end designed posters and merchandise, it is good that a space for art and aesthetics is retained.

Street plays, dance performances, fashion shows, singing competitions, or fine arts’ events and exhibits captured the spectators in stunning displays of aesthetics. Hansraj College’s Swaranjali to Hindu College’s Alankaar, or Gargi College’s Enliven to Miranda House’s Tanz – every respective society in their respective events presented perfections. The hard-work and efforts put in by students throughout the year were made absolutely apparent, with the performances only improving successively from Reverie to Tempest to Mecca.

As it was a first experience for many of us, it was also some people’s third and final time celebrating companionship and love and joy at a concert in their college. “This season has always been a blast. It is so difficult to believe that it has finally come to an end. But I feel that despite my third year, this was a first experience and it was superb. So I guess we could call this a first too!” said Bakhtawar Iqbal from Hindu College as he exited from the scintillating Vishal-Shekhar concert at his college, one last time.

There is some simple yet elevated joy in this season; something that I felt so strongly, something that I cannot wait to feel again. What about you?

Feature Image Credits: Saubhagya Saxena for DU Beat

Kartik Chauhan

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The current generation seems to be getting too engaged with the virtual world of web-series and movies. How has it really affected us, as a generation?

Netflix was launched in India in the beginning of 2016, and though it has not been earning any profits until now, it has managed to become a part of the daily lives of the people who have used it. This article aims to look into the various effects that the coming of Netflix to India has had upon the generation of today.

  • The addiction

Not only has Netflix seeped into our lives with trendy shows and movies, but it has become a part of us. There are shows that have created their own set of fan-base (like Sacred Games, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Riverdale, etc.) and have come up with multiple seasons, only to hook the audience to their respective screens. Where on one hand, it has opened up multiple possibilities for creative minds to explore the realm of filmmaking and content-writing, it has also – in many ways – taken the form of a habit in the present generation.

The association of millennials (especially Indians) with web series and movies is an interesting thing to explore and analyse. A recent study in psychology has shown that the present generation is showing extremely high levels of stress and anxiety. Watching shows online relieves us from this stress, lifts us from our stressful lives, and gives us a glimpse of the world that we yearn to live in. When the casual watching turns into an activity the day seems incomplete without – that is hard to tell. A teacher from the English Department of Daulat Ram College expressed her concern regarding the same by saying, “I’m concerned about sleep deprivation and a neglect of important responsibilities in millennials, which stem as a result of binge-watching the series available on Netflix and other such platforms.” There have been cases of video addiction in recent times where teenagers were reported to be going crazy if they were not allowed to watch something.

  • The procrastination

A second-year student had this to say about procrastination and Netflix- “Both are- to a great extent- proportionate.” This sums up the whole argument of how once one is absorbed by a series, it is difficult to let go of it and, by extension, it results in procrastination. Another second-year student expressed how once when she started watching a particular show, she just couldn’t stop herself as she was overwhelmed by the feeling of getting over with it, and this feeling was intertwined with a fear of spoilers.

It is overwhelming indeed, when the mystery keeps one going incessantly and to a point where it’s hard to tell if we are controlling Netflix, or if Netflix is controlling us. This is exactly where the capitalist approach of the times comes in. Our procrastination is governed by a platform that is basically feeding on our own money.

  • Peer pressure

A major issue in today’s time of Game of Thrones, Sacred Games, 13 Reasons Why, etc. is that one tends to automatically feel left out if one has not watched the shows and the friends cannot stop referring to/talking about it. Subconsciously, we are inclined to think that there is something wrong with us, we are lacking something, or are behind when people all around us make constant allusions to virtual scenarios we are too distant from. It is only natural to think in that way, but at times it compels you to follow in the same old, worn out trend of watching a show just so you can relate better with your peers. The real question to ask here is: what is your relationship based upon, if it depends solely on what somebody else thought about something and how they interpreted it?

The ‘moving with the mob’ mentality has sadly seeped into our brains, and we have been victimised into mere objects for the capitalism-driven world. It is now up to us to decide if we want to step out of it right now, or let it take control of our time and being.

Feature Image Credits: TODAY

Akshada Shrotryia

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Day 2 of Confluence 2019 saw vibrant events and competitions organized by different societies of Hansraj College. Let’s take a look at these glorious events.

Rangchunaav, the annual music festival of Hansraj College, was organised by Swaranjali and sponsored by Brands Association of Delhi, the Annirudh Varma Collective, Krishna Super Marche, and Bassdrop Records. They held four competitions, namely- Western Solo, Western Acapella, Jugalbandi, and Hindi Choir competition.

Western Solo singing competion saw 23 participants singing beautiful songs in their melodious voices. It was adjudged by Joelene Dove, an independent artist, singer, trainer and voice-over artist. Apoorva Malick from Gargi College bagged the first place while Nidhi Krishna from St. Stephen’s and Bharat Maheshwari shared the second position.

Western Acapella competition saw 15 teams from across different colleges who had passed the online prelims competed to win the cash prizes. The competition was judged by Sherry Matthews, lead vocalist of The Doppler Effect. Echo from Jesus and Mary College stood first, while the second position saw a tie between Lady Shri Ram College and Euphony from Gargi College, and the third position was bagged by Zephyr from Kamala Nehru College.

Jugalbandi, a Hindi duet competition also took place which was judged by Mr. Ritesh Prasanna and Mr. Saptak Sharma. The first position saw a tie between Abdul and Parikshit, and Sakshi and Yogandha from Lady Shri Ram College. Nabeel and Ujjwal, and Marileena and Aanchal from Daulat Ram College shared the second position. Vasudha and Navya, also from Daulat Ram College, won the third prize. Hindi Choir was adjudged by Ms. Sowmya Gurucharan, a Carnatic Classical vocalist, Mr. Anirudh Varma, a contemporary pianist composer and producer, and Saptak Chatterjee, a third-generation Hindustani Classical vocalist. Backbeat from Ramjas College stood first while Annhad from Daulat Ram College stood second.

Pixels, the photography society, and Kalakriti, the Fine Arts Society of Hansraj College, set up its respective exhibitions which showcased a wide array of beautiful pictures and art pieces created by its members.

Noor, the annual fest of Woman Development Cell also took place on the second day. It saw a variety of stalls and décor pieces being sold. The students basked in the beauty of these events and enjoyed themselves. Kalakriti also organised a pottery workshop, and Mystri, a mystery box competition which saw participation from students across different colleges. PWD students showcased their talent at Pahal’19 organised by Equal Opportunity Cell at Hansraj Auditorium.

Image Credits: Adithya Khanna for DU Beat

Sakshi Arora

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Despite having extraordinary achievements
in STEM, women scientist remain unacknowledged and forgotten.

A few weeks ago, the prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology were awarded collectively for 2016, 2017, and 2018. Amongst the 33 winners, only one was a woman (Dr. Aditi Sen De). At the onset the of lack of female winners might seem to stem from the general lack of women in science, but a close analysis of sexism in the fields speaks volumes about how women have been systematically sidelined. 

American astronomer, Vera Rubin, who provided the evidence of the existence of dark matter, was turned from the astronomy program at Princeton because they didn’t allow women. Miles away from America, Kamala Sohonie, a biochemist whose discoveries played a pioneering role in
tacking malnourishment in India, was declined admission in Indian Institute of Science by Nobel Prize winner, C.V. Raman simply because of her gender. Sohonie, who topped the Bachelor of Science course, had to stage a Satyagraha in Raman’s office for him
to take her in. This attitude of not accepting women in science prevails today as well.

According to a study at the University of
Wisconsin-Madison, titled “No gender differences in math performance” modern-day parents are less likely to encourage their daughters’ mathematical and scientific abilities, as compared to their sons’, despite them both having identical scores.

Women, historically, throughout the world, have been associated with a life of immanence, as opposed to the transcendence of male labour. To understand the disallowance of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), in the words of an average misogynist will be- “Women are too emotional for science.”

So, when women’s achievements in science proved otherwise, the circumstances became a threat to the consolidation of patriarchal social order. Erase them, if you can’t silence
them- this is the strategy adapted by patriarchal history-keepers, as the contributions of Rosalind Franklin, Kamala Sohonie, B. Vijayalakshmi, and multiple women have been concealed behind Watson’s, Raman’s, Chandrasekhar’s, and other men’s.

Amrita Vasudhar, a graduate of Physics from Miranda House and a student of the Indian Institute of Science, notes, “There are layers to discrimination. The society says- Okay, go ahead, pursue science, but make sure it’s
biology because women understand the theoretical subjects better.” Male scientists have found a way to deny women their rightful access to the discipline.

Women scientists, innumerable times, have found a way of non-conformation to live their love for science. Thus, the next time we use an equation or the refrigerator, we should pause and wonder how many women have had to fight to contribute to it, or more frighteningly, to not be forgotten for it. As a tribute to those smart-fierce women we must remember the names like Asima Chatterjee, Charusita Chakravarty, Janaki Ammal, and Chien Shiungwee.

Image Credits: Wired

Anushree Joshi

[email protected]