To assist your indecisiveness, here’s your ultimate manual to choosing the correct frame with accordance to your needs.

There are majorly three kinds of framing structure under which myriads of other specific frames fall in categorization with. These are full-rimmed, half-rimmed, and rimless. If you wish for eyes to be the focal point then you would want a full rimmed structure which outlines the lenses completely. If you wish to emphasise your upper half of the face, semi-rimmed is your pick. These frames outline the lens partially and thereby leave it to be more susceptible to scratches. If your priority is a lightweight frame then you may go rimless, which is not heavy on your nose but most susceptible to damage.

The variety of frames which are available in the above-mentioned formats are as follows:

1) Round glasses:



Image Credits: Ray ban

Harry Potter led phenomenon of round glasses, gained quite a popularity and since then these frames are quite trendy among the quirky guys. These glasses vary in the size of circular circumference, colour and rim preference.

2) The Aviators:


Image credits: Ray-Ban 

Adapted from the shape of sunglasses, aviator eyeglasses are large teardrop structured glasses which have been the go-to choice for people who wish to experiment with fashion. These glasses apart from being available in all rim formats also get innovated with every new fad to give the most trendy outlook.

3) Cat Eye frames 


Image credits:

The sexy cat-eye frames are the perfect choice for people with narrow foreheads and prominent features. These frames have a broad and bold lining on the top and slightly narrower details on the bottom line. The style which makes these frames distinctive is its upward tapering. So, if you are in a search of something with a slightly vintage touch accompanied by a fashionable look, cat-eye is just for you.

4) Square glasses 


Image credits: AliExpress

The chic square glasses worn by the simple innocent girl in every rom-com, which eventually comes out as a real hottie are a soft corner for many. These glasses work wonders for those with slightly round-ish or oval face structures, the edgy look makes a perfect balance with their inherent curvy look. Also unlike the rom-com lead, black and square is not a necessity you can choose a colour which suits your complexion or matches your attire.

5) Rectangular glasses 


Image Credits:

Talk about trendy without the mention of rectangular frames is impossible. Whether sharp or curved edged they never fall back in adding appeal to your personality. A strong recommendation for those with round or oval face. Where sharp-edged rectangular represent sporty the curve edged provides a relatively softer look.

Feature Image Credits: Pinterest


Kriti Gupta 

[email protected] 

Umaima Khanam

[email protected] 

Airlines issue bans on popular Indian comedian, Kunal Kamra, a following an inflight confrontation with Republic TV Editor, Arnab Goswami.

Following a confrontation aboard an Indigo Airlines flight, popular Indian comedian Kunal Kamra was slapped with a six-month ban by the Airline on grounds of ‘unacceptable conduct’. Following the move, three other airlines – Air India, Spice Jet and Go Air also issued similar bans on Kamra for his ‘misconduct’.

In a video shot and uploaded on Twitter by Kamra, Goswami is seen seated with his laptop, earphones plugged in and ignoring Kamra. Karma questions Goswami’s journalism, calling him a coward and says,“This is in national interest; I am a part of the tukde-tukde (in pieces) narrative and you should deflate me” in reference to the catchphrase ‘tukde-tukde gang’ popularised by Goswami and often used to label individuals questioning the government or digressing from him in opinion. Kamra also says, “This is not for you, this is for Rohith Vemula’s mother” and uploaded the video on Twitter with the caption “I did this for my hero… I did it for Rohit” in reference to Rohit Vemula, a PhD scholar at the University of Hyderabad. Rohit Vemula took his own life following a lengthy controversy during which his University had stopped paying his stipend, and he had faced suspension after a complaint by the local unit of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).

In a previous Times Now Newshour discussion, Goswami had said “The pressure was put by the politicians, at least have the courage to admit it. A Member of Parliament (MP) is not the local bully” demanding that responsibility be taken for Rohit’s demise. He apparently changed tune later on his channel Republic TV, saying “The tukde-tukde brigade has done everything possible to exploit this young man’s death” and alleged that Congress had paid large sums of money to Rohit Vemula’s mother and ran expensive social media to politicise the tragedy. In his video, Kamra also mentions that Goswami used his ‘show’ to discuss Rohit’s caste and that Goswami should read the suicide note left by Rohit in order to have some humanity.

In the aftermath of the debacle, some have hailed Kamra as a hero for calling out Goswami’s hypocrisy while some believe that what he did amounts to harassment. Kamra later said that his emotions got the better of him, but that he had to confront Goswami and was not apologetic. The pilot in command of the flight, Captain Rahul Mateti said he was not consulted and that Kamra’s behaviour while unsavoury, did not amount to a ban. Some passengers held placards in support of Kamra on an Indigo flight while Member of Parliament, Dr Shashi Tharoor tweeted his support for Kamra saying it was time someone gave Goswami a taste of his own medicine.

Many pointed out that a Republic TV reporter had heckled Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) politician Tejashwi Yadav aboard a flight in a similar way and despite ignoring warnings from the crew, faced no consequences. There also stands the case of Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad repeatedly hitting an Air India employee on not being given a business class seat as well as BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur causing a delay in a Spice Jet flight after refusing to shift to a seat with less legroom. Arun Kumar, the Director-General of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) called the ban a clear violation of rules and stated, following a verbal confrontation, a temporary ban of 30 days was to be imposed on the passenger and an internal enquiry was to be conducted into the incident, headed by a retired judge. With the bans being examined for their validity and ranging opinions, it remains to be seen what the final outcome will be but in the meantime, Kamra has stood his ground and sought compensation from Indigo.

Feature Image Credits: The News Minute

Tashi Dorjay Sherpa

[email protected]

Are we guilty of furthering new stereotypes whilst breaking others? This piece aims to scrutinise the methodology that we succumb to, during deconstructing stereotypes and consequently ending up reinforcing them in other forms.

When someone sets to dilute a certain form of stigma or stereotype, and alights to stimulate another form of it, their arguments and causes stand contradictory, and their motives, hypocritical. Although it is mainly unconscious, but aren’t we against the set narrative of the very notion that constitutes becoming an unconscious state of the mind, in the first place?

It is well-established that it’s really hard to counter narratives which are already set and accepted as norm, to begin with. The standardisation of beauty is one such example. Obsessed with a certain body type, people find themselves ensnared in insecurities to suit the needs of what the society deems to be perfect. However while supporting and accepting your own body type if someone finds for themselves to actually have a certain other body type which is not their ‘natural orientation’ but because they want to and not for the eyes of society, would it be justified to call them out for this? If owning up to who we truly are and what we really want to be is the goal, then why should one be recipient of flak for doing whatever and chosing however to live with their bodies? It’s rather complex to decipher why people undergo surgeries or put on makeup or edit their pictures. It might be out of low self esteem or it might not be. It’s not default and rigid to look a certain way, with or without filters, so how can we stand judge of a person’s intention about themselves?

Another instance, is the notion of colour and representation. Colours are major contributors towards highlighting a certain symbolic message, like that of the national flag or traffic lights. An age old battle is that of the blue versus pink debacle, which is in association to that concept of gender which reeks of heteronormativity. While fighting this stereotype we often degrade the colour pink and shift focus from disassociation of colors with gender to superiority of a preferred colour and inferiority of another. Pink is a colour and anyone including the female population has the liberty to like it and embrace it without having to fear the judgements which generally follow.

Amidst the ongoing Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) debates, people have called out the government, but the line of reasoning can be questionable at times. Saying that an ‘uneducated, illiterate, chaiwala’ can’t run the nation is not enough and highly classist and in disdain of the working class culture. Instead, problematic aspects of fascism, tyranny and communalism should form the basis for protesting and not the status of birth or class of work. Few forget that the Constitution of India gives the right to any individual irrespective of class, caste, gender or religion to contest in elections and serve in politics. It’s ignorant to make such remarks where one seems to be fighting the battle of inclusivity on the line of exclusion itself.

It would be ideal if we could exercise sensitivity while raising concerns. Whatever we say might offend someone but that shouldn’t stop us from speaking, it should also not, in turn, stop us from employing a critical approach in terms of what forms the basis of our arguments while fighting stereotypes. Let us foster an environment which allows us to live unapologetically, just as we are, while being respectful of others as they do the same.

Feature Image Credits: Pinterest 

Umaima Khanam

[email protected]

North-Eastern student from Kirori Mal College harassed with racial comments by other students.

A student at Delhi University’s Kirori Mal College (KMC) was harassed and called ‘Coronavirus’ by another student on campus. In response to the incident, the North East Cell of KMC issued a statement condemning the use of racial slurs against the students who hail from the North Eastern part of the country and expressed regret at the normalisation of such terms and overshadowing the racial and discriminatory undertones that these slurs carry.

In the statement by the North East Cell of KMC, a student expresses the helplessness felt by students who face such harassment and the fear for their safety and security. The student also mentions how such incidents makes them wonder if they are part of the same country that “prides itself in unity in diversity and secularism”. The statement by the Cell also expresses its concern for finding a ‘solution to this disgusting practice’ and states that the students experience such unwelcomed and discriminatory comments from students as well as faculty members. They also strongly condemned the harassment, saying that ‘Such behaviour should not be tolerated and must be reported immediately’, while reassuring the students that they stand in solidarity with all the students that face discrimination and encouraged them to come forward with their stories and support each other.

The student who faced the harassment along with others who have had similar experiences wrote a letter to the Principal who apologised to the students and promised to make an effort to prevent such incidents and conduct a program to sensitise the students, and said that any student who uses such language would be identified and strict action would be taken against them.
Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives


Tashi Dorjay Sherpa

[email protected]


Tired of romantic clichés? Want to savour jealousy, vengefulness, passion, and imagination? If your answer to these questions is- yes! Then Wuthering Heights is your one stop book destination. We bet it has more plot twists than your college life.

1.Humans are complex

Wuthering Heights has a theme that resonates time and again, screaming through the pages and chapters, warning the readers about the superficial extent of knowledge about a person that can have lethal consequences.

Be it Mr. Lockwood’s perception about Heathcliff, or Heathcliff’s love for Isabella or Linton’s blooming feelings for Catherine. It is a tricky business! Remember when Lockwood said, “He’ll love and hate equally under cover?” Lockwood must be dreading his own words in Chapter 33.

Didn’t you clench your heart when young Catherine was called by her uncle in the most hospitable manner ever? She thought of Heathcliff as a kind gentleman, but readers knew much more. Emily Brontë did not only want to get her readers to the edge of their seats but also had a lesson to teach. Humans can be complex, their psychological realms can resemble a spider’s web, so don’t be that fly!.

2.Man is a result of his situations- maybe (not)?

You’re lying if you couldn’t help but think how different Edgar Linton and Hindley Earnshaw were! Two loving husbands, death parting them from their wives. The difference- one turns to drinking, the other turns to his daughter. While Hindley turns to a lunatic, finding refuge in alcoholism, Edgar turns out as a loving father. The difference percolates through the generations and leaves imprints on the union of their children. (did we spill all the beans?)

“I used to draw a comparision between him and Hindley Earnshaw….They had both been fond husbands, and were both attached to their children; and I could not see how they shouldn’t both have taken the same road, for good or evil…Linton, on the contrary, displayed a true courage of loyal and faithful soul”

Now, one cannot ignore the fact that Hareton Earnshaw and Catherine Linton akin to Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw. Heathcliff and Hareton find shelter but fail to find familial love. But there is a difference, Heathcliff’s urge for love resembles tumultuous flames but Hareton’s love resembles rain after petrichor. Hareton amalgamates his wild spirit to his soothing love for Catherine. Heathcliff realizes this perfect balance that Hareton creates and makes Heathcliff realize his mistakes, (maybe) even turning him towards repentance. But one wishes if Hareton could lecture Heathcliff and force him to take down notes.

3. Love is a domestic affair- literally and very literally!

The love between siblings is not the usual hair-pulling and eye-scratching we can relate to! The Earnshaw siblings have a unique attachment which, even compelled Catherine to detach herself from Heathcliff. The Linton siblings have an unbreakable bond as well. Even when Isabella marries Heathcliff, Edgar’s isolation from Isabella is grave, but merely verbal. 

“It is out of the question my going to see her, however: we are eternally divided.

There is underlying concern and affection which is evident and highlighted when Edgar brings Linton Heathcliff after Isabella meets her end.

Incest reverberates time and again throughout the novel. Many critics argue that Heathcliff was Catherine’s foster brother and hence “suggests that an unconscious incest taboo impended Heathcliff and Catherine’s expectation of a normal sexual union”

As the plot unfolds, cousins share romantic relationships as Catherine and Linton marry, and later Catherine and Hareton unite. It might make some readers uncomfortable; however, Brontë weaves a story that focuses more on the turmoil of feelings than looking at the family tree.

4. It is not just a love story!

NEVER! NEVER tell a Wuthering Heights enthusiast that the plot is “only about a love story”. You might end up getting physically injured. (not kidding)

Brontë shows how love has other transcending emotions of envy, agony and betrayal. The novel seems to whisper- “How much love is too much love?” Is the failure of a romantic union capable to allow the usage of innocent lives as pawns in the ‘revenge game’? Such questions will make you scratch your head, the worst part- Brontë leaves these questions unanswered.

5. It’s complicated

Catherine and Heathcliff are in love, but Catherine marries Edgar Linton. Heathcliff marries Isabella Linton- his long lost love’s sister-in-law; his wife’s son marries her brother’s daughter; Catherine’s daughter marries her brother’s son. Are beads of perspiration rolling down your forehead already?

Do we still have to tell you to grab a copy of Brontë’s first and only published novel? Get your reading glasses and delve into one of the best gothic novels ever written.

Feature Image Credits: Priyanshi Banerjee for DU Beat

Priyanshi Banerjee

[email protected]


This piece talks about the pressures of being with someone, that Valentine’s Day imposes and how to be kind to yourself during this time.

It is ‘that time of the year’ when couples are running to buy gifts, or planning something special to do. Restaurants and cafes, like Diggin, are decorated with cutesy hearts, danglers, polaroid pictures, sweet notes and balloons. Zomato, Swiggy and others will start offering themed one-plus-one discounts for couples. That one couple who has been together for almost a decade will post hashtag couple goals stories.

But it’s incorrect to reduce the idea of Valentine’s Day to just these things. Many of us are single, separated, divorced. Many of us have different choices and identity preferences. The ‘sadness’ attached to not being with someone is what we have been conditioned to feel. Valentine’s Day can often make us nostalgic for our previous relationship and remind us of our breakup. This one day is less dedicated to couples but, is more of a dread to those who are not with someone.

Differing from those who show pity, I will talk about breakups and how to not succumb to the nostalgia. Fluffy red pillows all over malls, almost as if these were red alerts, raising an alarming reaction about how you do not have someone to buy one for you. You do not really want someone to buy this for you, but, the pressure of not having someone.. feels incomplete. Feeling lonely, unloved, low and how you are missing out on something so important- your other half. The rom-coms flooding Netflix, during this time, will only remind you of how ‘everyone’ at this age has someone. Flashbacks of your sweet moments will return at random moments.

Moving on is hard and very often people use one of the two ways to do so. The first is full of unhealthy, temporarily satisfying and regressive ways. This includes calling or hooking up with your ex, sober or drunk. Entering several relationships successively to avoid feeling lonely. Making attempts to get back together with your ex, despite sufficient red flags asking you to walk the other way. The second is rare and slow, but healthy and helpful in the long run. It involves taking some time off to heal, accept, learn and grow. Due to the compulsions of being with
‘someone’, we make the mistake of viewing things with a biased lens.

Firstly, on how everyone in a relationship is necessarily happy. We only focus on what we see, and people only post the best, filtered, and happiest moments. The fights and struggles of being with someone are hidden behind. Secondly, the idea that the only way to feel loved, is to have a romantic partner should be challenged. Many forms of love exist, you’ll find some qualities in a friend, some in your parent or sibling. Thirdly, after someone is gone, there is a void that exists. But now you get to invest that time in things you want to do. Fourthly, you learn many things from the experience of any relationship. You see what your likes and expectations are, you do not depend on external sources of validation, you learn to spot the red flags and, you know what your worth is.

Lastly, you’ll learn to build your own support system. Your priority often centers around the person you’re in a relationship with. This comes at a cost, where you lose out on older connections. This is your chance to reconnect with those. But also, to spend that time with your friends and family.

But if not any of this, make this day about yourself. Maybe you have been working too hard lately, maybe you haven’t taken a holiday in a while, and maybe you have not stopped for a second to look back at your efforts and achievements. If not with someone else, you deserve one good day to yourself feel special. Once in a while, it’s good to be reminded of your intelligence, strength and efforts, and who better to do all these things than you and your loved ones?

In the end, one thing you should know is that it is okay to be single. Spend this day with someone special, just define your own idea of who is special. Reconnect with a school friend, go out with your parents, watch a movie alone, or even make dinner plans with a classmate. As Christina had said to Meredith, “you are the sun” and its time that you redefine aspects of your life according to your own terms. And to those who do, more strength to you.

Featured Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Shivani Dadhwal
[email protected]

The first day of the business conclave was jam-packed with speakers from all walks of life, including spirituality, youtube, economy and the politics.

The speaker session at Business Conclave 2020, organised by the Students’ Union of Shri Ram College of Commerce, kicked off with a speech by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Sri Sri arrived with his entourage at the Shri Ram College of Commerce’s Sports Complex at 10:50 A.M. and following a welcome note and song ‘Saraswati Vandana’, began his speech.

Speaking about compassion, achieving goals, spirituality and the importance of a healthy way of life, Sri Sri interacted with the crowd while sharing his wisdom and stressing the value of determination, imagination, innovation and much more. He also revealed the many benefits of meditation and how students could benefit from it too, calling it the maintenance of ‘mental hygiene’. Sri Sri also took a moment to talk about app ‘Elyments’ that he says performs all the tasks of other social media.

It was followed by Dr. Vijay Kishanlal Kedia, the Managing Director of the Kedia Securities, who gave a talk on investment and trading. He is the largest shareholder in over 10 companies and was enthusiastically welcomed by the students of the University of Delhi (DU). He started his talk with inflation and the ways to combat it, moving on to talking about savings and investment. He shared his life experiences and said, “either you can either have a lavish young age or you can have a lavish old age.” This was followed by a lively question and answer session with the students. In response to the question of a student about management, he replied, “management should be honest, hungry and smart. you get that by seeing the previous track record and the future projections”.

The next speaker was Mr Nilesh Shah, the Chairman of the Association of Mutual Funds in India, and the Managing Director of Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Co. Ltd. He spoke on the Indian Economy and its (lack of) growth. He asked why students thought that the Indian economy isn’t doing well, to which the students replied, “the social indicators are not good”. He went on to elaborate on the history of the economy and why the economy isn’t doing well in comparison to the other countries. He went on to compare the Indian model of growth to the American model and finished his talk saying, “a developing country can only become a developed country when the country is united towards one goal.”

The next event was an Unwind Session by Hasley India, a group of content creators. The event was am interactive Q & A session and the panelists included Jaigo Gill, a youtuber and singer, Mayank Mishra, the youngest talent manager in India at the age of 18, Ankit Madaan, the founder of Hasley India and Fame Game, Rashmeet Kaur, an actress and ex roadies contestant, Abhishek Kapoor, an actor , and Prabhjot Singh, a travel vlogger and actor. This group of content creators held an inspiring session talking about how they pursued alternative careers and their struggles.

Prior to the Women’s Panel at SRCC Business Conclave, a keynote speaker session was held. Introduced by the principal of SRCC, Simrit Kaur, the speaker was Harsimrat Kaur Badal , Member of Parliament, Bhatinda, and Union Cabinet Minister of Food Processing. With a speech centering around women’s empowerment and rights, she spoke about her battle and the battle several other women have to face for education with parents saying shaadi karalo (go marry) or do a vocational course so you can survive. She also spoke about the struggle of being part of the 14% of women in parliament and her beginnings as a social worker for the Nanhi Chhaan (little shade) movement to nurture women in Punjab. She points out how women have managed to break the glass ceiling in India but are still facing atrocities on a massive and brutal level.

The next lineup was Women Panel. It consisted of six extremely successful women and each of them belonged to different fields altogether. The panelists were Anuja Chauhan, who is an author by profession, Neeta Verma, Director General Informatics Centre, Krushnaa Patil, a mountaineer who climbed Mt. Everest at the age of 19, Sonal Goel, an IAS officer, Ravneet Pahwa, Deputy Vice President of Deakin University, and Megha Chawla, who has been with Bain for 14 years. The discussion was followed by questions and answer round wherein the panelists talked about women empowerment and the increasing role of women in the corporate and government sector.

Youtubers’ Panel was the last lineup of the first day of Business Conclave. The audience went into a frenzy on seeing the panelists for the same. The panel consisted of Shreya Mehta, Gagan Arora and Keshav Sadhna, the cast of ‘College Romance’ by the Timeliners. The remaining panelists were Rishab Rana, an actor and YouTuber, and Kriti Vij, who is an architect and interior designer. The discussion revolved around YouTube as a platform for budding content creators and cinema as a career. Rishab Rana talked about the importance of new content and how it would help an artist to soar higher. In addition to this, Kriti Vij commented: “Here is a sweet little middle finger for those who refuse to cast actresses based on their marriage status because I have a lot more to offer than this.” The audience was full of zest till the end of the event and interacted with the panel as well.

Day 1 of Business Conclave 2020 was wholesome, with a plethora of speakers from every field and enthusiasm among audience.


Featured Image Credits: Rishab Chauhan for DU Beat

Satviki Sanjay 

[email protected]


Tashi Dorjay Sherpa 

[email protected]


Prabhanu Kumar Das  

[email protected]


Suhani Malhotra

[email protected]




In conversation with Ms Susmita Das, Physics PhD student, University of Delhi (DU), to decode the struggles of pursuing science research in contemporary India. Her specific area of research is Astronomy and Astrophysics, with broader emphasis on variable stars that is, stars that change their brightness over detectable periods of time.

Image Credits: Manav Ahuja for DU Beat
Image Credits: Manav Ahuja for DU Beat

Chhavi: Science for the longest time had been a predominately male field, so, from Class 11th, where you first made the decision to pursue it, were there any struggles you faced as woman? Either from family or people in your close proximity?

Susmita: No, in that sense I feel very fortunate. We are a family of three daughters and my parents have always pushed us towards education. My family has been very encouraging. From my friends and professors, I haven’t felt any gender discrimination throughout my academic career, whether it be during school, bachelor’s, master’s or even now during research. In fact, I’ve been extremely motivated by my high school Physics teachers, Mrs. Bratati Roy Choudhury and Mr. P. C. Sarkar, among many others to pursue a career in Physics.

Chhavi :That’s so great.

Chhavi: Even in fields of science, there has always been a stereotype where astrophysics is not considered a women centric field, like most people pursue medical as one. Does that stereotype still exist and have you faced that?

Susmita: I wouldn’t say it’s a predominantly male centric field because there have been a few pioneers in astronomy who are women. As an example in the field of my research, we have a very important period-luminosity relationship which has been named after Henrietta Leavitt. However, there are few women if you compare the numbers. Of course, the institutes all over the world try to bridge the number gap between men and women nowadays- so it’s a very good time for women to be in science! A very interesting fact here is that we have the Astronomical Society of India and the current president of ASI is Dr. G. C. Anupama, a woman from IIA. It’s a female president leading the Astronomical Society of India right now, which is inspiring in itself!

Chhavi: Astronomy consists of night observations, field trips and much more that might hamper your safety. Have there been any measures to make it a more female friendly field in general?

Susmita: So, the thing about night observations is that you’re usually provided in-campus accommodation, so if you have any observation scheduled for the night, you also have the accommodation close by. And it is the same for both males and females wherever we go. However, suppose we are doing general PhD work (not night observations), say right here in Delhi University, maybe carrying out analysis in our data. When it’s night, you know it’s time to go back to the hostel, even though you may be in the momentum of getting some good work done. But then again, this is more the issue of whether we have out of campus accommodation or an in-campus accommodation. In institutes with in-campus accommodation, we wouldn’t have the constraint of leaving at say, 9PM from the lab.

Chhavi: Often women are discouraged for science research as it involves extensive years of study, and by that age they are expected to get married, with taunts like “Shaadikabkaroge?” have you faced that?

 Susmita: Yes, these questions are fairly common especially during family functions. More than my immediate family, it would be other people around generally asking this question. I’m very grateful to my parents- I’ve just turned 29 but they have never pushed me to get married. Of course, my mother enquires if I have a boyfriend, if it’s stable relationship-wise and so on; it helps to have a bestfriend in my mother in that aspect! I’m from Guwahati, Assam and I think it’s not just a special case for me- I’m sure my friends from back home would agree that the focus has always been primarily on education, irrespective of gender and there has never been a pressure to get married “early”.

Chhavi: How did you feel when people ask you this question; you did an observation and on the brink of something great and people just want to know when you’re getting married?

Sushmita: When people ask me, I usually smile politely and reply that I need to get my PhD done first because I don’t want my married life to be interfering with my studies. Of course, that’s my personal opinion- I wouldn’t necessarily say that getting married during PhD is a bad idea. I have many friends and seniors who had been married and also had children during the course of their PhD, while all the time managing their professional life really well. It all depends on the person in question and how comfortable she is in balancing the different aspects of her life.

Chhavi:How do you think young women should approach their parents, wanting a career where they spend their next 7-8 years in extensive research?

Susmita: I believe having a female role model who is relatable to your own life may help. She could be, in some way, the person who leads the path. It would also be much easier to share her story as an example to your parents to convince them that she has been so focused in her academics and she’s doing really well now on her own.

Chhavi: I agree, but don’t you think it’s time that parents encourage their daughters for science research?

Susmita: Yes, yes but I think this is also changing with time. Parents are becoming more accommodating with the age their daughter is expected to get married; they don’t push that hard. Also, it’s not the case of choosing either your personal or professional life, you can choose both and maintain both in balance. I think it’s very important to balance your life well, in general. Parents are very encouraging when it comes to academics but they also worry about the future stability of their daughter, which is quite expected. However, with the changing times, parents understand (and their daughters can convince them of this well) that a stable future does not necessarily come from marriage. It’s the education that has the power to provide their daughters a stable future. If young women were to focus more on their own education, it automatically paves to a path of a much secure future.

Chhavi: Talking about representation of women in Science. Which is the female role model  that you look up to or you were inspired by in the field?

Sushmita:All through childhood, I’ve been inspired by Marie Curie. My father is the kind of person who motivated me through biographies of female scientists and it started from Marie Curie. However, every child knows about Marie Curie and Einstein. But as you study deeper, you have so many more role models coming in. Like Henrietta Leavitt who has given us the period-luminosity relation or Jocelyn Bell Burnell who discovered the first radio pulsars, it’s so impressive. My role model keeps changing with time.

Chhavi: Now that you are part of this field, have you ever faced any kind of sexism?

Susmita: Personally no. but I have heard about female students who are PhD scholars and might not be very comfortable with professors. I have heard stories but personally I have not faced them.

Chhavi: What’s your opinion on the notion of “being beautiful takes away from your intelligence”?

Susmita: Do you remember the hashtag about women scientists? #distractinglysexy in response to the surprisingly sexist comment by Tim Hunt, a  Nobel Laureate. I believe the women in science came together wonderfully well in protest of his unfair opinion. I think it’s really unfair if you’re expected to choose one of the two options: that you can either dress well or work well. Over the last few years, I’ve met a few incredible women scientists who are also the most beautiful or well-dressed women I’ve ever met. I’m sure people with these stereopyed thoughts are more the exception, than the norm.

Chhavi: Adding to that, Have you ever faced that you won’t be taken serious, because you are beautiful?

Susmita: No, I don’t think so. I think that is also a very generalized notion. Sure, there may be cases where people assume but never confront. But again, I’m sure there would only be a handful of people who may not consider you smart only because you’ve dressed a certain way. Suppose you give a scientific talk in front of an audience from your research field, I’m sure they’d be more interested in the science aspect rather than how you’ve dressed. That way, I don’t think it’s ever been a case.

Chhavi: What is that one big factor that you would everybody consider when they are with science as a career, especially young women who want to be a part of this field? What is one thing they should keep in mind?

Susmita: Throughout my PhD life, all I’ve learnt is that you have acceptances and rejections from the multitude of applications and proposals you keep submitting. It’s always a ride of success and failure. Of course, when you have a successful application, you are really happy and then the rejection gets you down. So, the thing is through the ups and downs, you need to keep your calm because it all averages out. We may also have many more rejections than successful applications but we shouldn’t lose hope during those times. That’s what I keep telling myself, every time I get a rejection letter. I try to think about all the successful applications I’ve had so far to keep my motivation up.

11th February is recognised as International Day of Women and Girls in Science by UN Women and UNESCO. To celebrate the integral role of women in Science and Technology, DU Beat had the privilege to interview Mrs Richa Kundu, currently pursuing PhD from Department of Physics and Astrophysics, University of Delhi.

Image Credits: Surbhit Rastogi for DU Beat.
Image Credits: Surbhit Rastogi for DU Beat.

Avni: You’re doing PhD in Science and Research, what were your qualifications prior to this that got you here?

Richa: I did my Masters, MSc in Physics from Delhi University only. Then I cleared the NET JRF Exam, which is for the fellowship. Initially, I was a Junior Research Fellow and was funded by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), MHRD and two years later, I was promoted to Senior Research Fellow.

Avni: 11th February is known as International Day of Women and Girls in Science, do you feel giving this name to a particular date, benefits women out there and promotes this area?

Richa: All that can definitely help, but to promote such things, women should actually be encouraged, because when I was in MSc., 70% of my class was female students, but as I went through Masters, I felt that mostly men are there as women in India are actually not really encouraged to pursue further research, most of my female classmates from MSc are teachers right now. After a particular age, there’s society and family pressure and they are discouraged from pursuing further studies. That mindset should change and giving a day won’t change that. Making people aware and treating women equally are the kinds of things that will change things.

Avni: There definitely exists gender disparity in your field, how have you been able to cope-up with it or manage it so far?

Richa: Personally, I haven’t encountered any such thing but I get a lot of international exposure, so I don’t see these things on international platforms, but if we consider India only, we can say that this is true for India as there’s a taboo that women should get married and have children, so the main thing is to change the point of view of people. Personally, I haven’t encountered any such thing as I am also married. I got married last year during my PhD and my in-laws and family are very supportive of my studies. I have to go to Chile for the next 10 months and my family is perfectly fine with it.

Avni: What are you currently working on in your research?

Richa: I am working on the extra-tidal region of stellar clusters. Stellar clusters are made up of thousands of stars that seem like a single star in the night sky. All the stars in a cluster were formed at the same time typically 12-13 billion years ago.

Avni: What are your plans after you complete your PhD?

Richa: I don’t have a set goal, but I have two things in mind. After this, I will apply for teaching jobs, but if I don’t get one, given the situation of India right now, I will apply for postdoctoral somewhere out of India to gain experience.

Feature Image Credits: Manav Ahuja for DU Beat

Interview by Avni Dhawan and Chhavi Bahmba 

[email protected]

[email protected]

Transcribed by Aishwaryaa Kunwar

[email protected]


With the Delhi Assembly Elections today, we take a look at elections from an economic point of view, focusing on the money spent by candidates on political campaigning.

“For fifty years, we have been trained to believe that elections are a matter of life and death,” sternly opined Asaduddin Owaisi, a veteran Lok Sabha Legislator, in an informal interview with ScoopWhoop Unscripted, a month before the National Elections last year.

Though Mr Owaisi might have taken a few hyperbolic liberties while making this particular statement, one cannot deny the fact that elections are extremely significant moments in time in the history of any democracy, impacting the Nationwide dynamic and Government policies for the next few years, as well as fulfilling the political aspirations of successful candidates, and collapsing those of unsuccessful ones.

Every election sees the birth of a future leader or the rise of an existing one. Once in a while, more so in recent years, it also sees the fall of a stalwart. With such a prominent amount of reputation and power at stake, candidates standing in elections leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the majority of voters press their symbol on the ballot, spending enormous amounts of time and funds on election campaigning.

India’s Lok Sabha Elections in 2019 were deemed to be one of the world’s most expensive elections with an estimate of over INR 50,000 crores spent on electoral campaigning by parties and candidates across the Country. According to a study by the Delhi-based Centre for Media Studies (CMS), India’s election expenditure has risen six times since 1998, with the majority of the amount being spent on publicity campaigns. Costs include money spent on roadshows, billboard advertisements, television advertisements, social media campaigns, constituency tours, rallies, and music videos to name a few.

In fact, in the run-up to the 2020 Delhi Assembly Elections, the AAP Government introduced numerous freebies in the form of subsidies in electricity charges, free bus rides for women and removal of development fees for new water connections. The opposition leaders in the State questioned the economic viability of these recent freebies.

Besides these costs, parties also resort to illegitimate means of attracting votes, with reports of candidates distributing cash, clothes, land, smartphones and sometimes even alcohol to voters. The CMS study reports that around INR 15,000 crores in cash were distributed among voters in the 2019 National Elections.

This leads us to one question. Is all the money worth it?

It is no rocket science that, what matters is the appeal and reputation of the candidate, not the amount of money spent by the candidate and that on an average, a candidate with a favourable image shall garner a significant amount of votes regardless of the money spent by him/her.

The answer to this question exists in contrast. While the kindness of the world would have us believe that money does not matter, yet experience says otherwise.

Out of the humongous INR 50,000 crores spent in the Lok Sabha Elections last year, almost half of the costs were incurred by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who won by a comprehensive margin. But would a less expensive campaign have given them a less favourable result? We shall not know as long as there is not a detailed analysis of Indian elections and voting practices. But what we know is that as long as the voters of this country do not fall prey to political gimmicks and publicity campaigns, and instead decide to press a particular symbol on a ballot based on a thorough review of the candidate’s performance in the last five years, the essence of democracy and integrity shall remain intact.

Delhi Assembly Elections 2020, will be a test of heavy campaigning versus ideology. It will also answer many questions regarding the future discourse of Delhi and the political discourse of the Country. The current Chief Minister (CM), Arvind Kejriwal, won a ravishing majority in the past elections despite heavy campaigning by BJP. However, a new wave of social media campaigning, tremendous on- ground marketing had engulfed the Lok Sabha Elections. This wave might drown the Delhi Elections as well.

Feature Image Credits: The Statesman

Araba Kongbam

[email protected]

 NOTA or ‘None of the above’ is a ballot option that a voter can opt for if he or she is dissatisfied with the contesting candidates. The role of NOTA in India’s context can hold considerable importance if implemented constructively. 


None of the above, or NOTA for short, is a ballot option that allows the voter to not vote for any candidate, indicating disapproval of the contesting candidates. In India, NOTA was first introduced in 2013 to Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in a State Assembly Election. India was the 14th country to introduce the ballot option of NOTA.  

Greece and Spain use the term ‘white vote’ to refer to NOTA, and in Argentina, it is called a blank vote. There are some countries that do not offer the voters the option of NOTA, but they choose to develop creative methods. For instance, Serbia did not have the option of NOTA, but a NOTA party was formed which won a seat with 22,000 votes. 

The option was introduced to encourage a high voter turnout. NOTA carries no arithmetic value and is considered a neutral or invalid vote which does not change the outcome of the election process. Former Chief Election Commissioner, OP Rawat, clearly stated that our country lacked the legal framework to implement NOTA and it would take about 100 years for NOTA to result in something meaningful.  Aayushi Sharma, a student of Jesus and Mary College said, “NOTA may seem like a good option to a few, but our country does not provide any concrete solution if NOTA gets the highest share of votes.” 

According to the existing rules, if in a constituency, NOTA gets the highest number of votes, the candidate with the next highest share becomes the winner. However, in November 2018, Maharashtra State Election Commissioner had passed an order claiming re-election if NOTA got the highest share of votes.  

This also brings into question how the electoral system followed in India can render NOTA votes as redundant or ineffective as a method of expressing disapproval at all the contesting candidates. India follows the First-past-the-post voting system, which, in the simplest of terms dictates that the candidate who gets the highest number of votes in a constituency wins the election. This applies if the candidate has won by a landslide in their constituency or even if they win by a hairbreadth, they will still get the seat.

Before getting into how this system theoretically renders NOTA ineffective, a look needs to be taken at how it affects the minorities of our country in getting adequate representation in Parliament. As this system does not give any importance to the total votes of the party but on how individual candidates have performed in their respective constituencies.  For example, in the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) got 37.36% of the vote but their seat share was much more at 303 while Indian National Congress (INC) with around 19% of the votes only had 52 seats. Similarly, Trinamool Congress with 4.07% of the votes had 22 seats while Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) had more seats (24) with just 2.26% of the total votes.

This system ensures that minorities in India which are widely spread throughout the country do not get adequate representation within the electoral system. It also renders NOTA vote as ineffective in all cases, as these votes are reduced to a mere symbolic representation of disapproval of all candidates and does not carry any real change. The idea suggested by Maharashtra State Election Commissioner while a step in the right direction will only be put in play in a very rare scenario where NOTA gets the highest share of votes. The Indian electoral system needs major overhauls to bring NOTA votes into play. To provide adequate minority representation and to preserve India as the world’s largest democracy.


Feature Image Credits: DNA India

Suhani Malhotra

[email protected]om

Prabhanu Kumar Das

[email protected]