Manasvi Kadian


Within the dichotomy of growing up in metro cities and of belonging to places far removed from them, exists the colourful void that is your identity. But don’t they say that too many cooks spoil the broth?

All of my life I have struggled with being Haryanvi. Born and brought up in Gurgaon (we will never call it Gurugram), I have seen both sides of the story–the gaon and the galiyaan of Haryana and the elitist metropolitans that exist on the fringes of it. I have always existed in the middle of these two worlds: too elite for the Haryanvi kids but too “rowdy” for the city ones, something which always left me struggling with my identity.


Stepping outside Haryana and moving away from its people, you come across a different (if you ask me, distorted) image of Haryana–its people are rude, its culture is not modern, its the land of Fortuners and doodh, dahi, aur ghee–and even though there are things that might be true, but the demarcation of the culture of a whole state as “barbaric”, for the lack of a better word, is outrageous.


Living in Delhi NCR makes you come face-to-face with a very mutated version of the Haryanvi culture. For most, it becomes a culture that is the voice of political parties and a platform for all your gaalis. It becomes an identity of the “uneducated”. “Haryana walon ke toh munh hi nhi lgna chahiye (You shouldn’t get involved with people from Haryana)” is one version of the many taunts and judgments that have come to be accepted by people over time. Schools ban you from using the language because more than being associated with a culture, it has come to be associated with a select few, who have gone on to create a specific image—one that we are all okay turning a blind eye to—and this is the image that gets carried home. “I usually try staying away from people who say that they are from Haryana. It might be prejudice but I wouldn’t want to take that risk,” said a third-year student, in conversation with DU Beat. 


With a rise in an elitist crowd and an even more elitist NCR culture, Haryana has come to be that one state everyone conveniently forgets. Now, when asked, even Gurgaon is seen as being a part of NCR before it’s a part of Haryana.


But on the flip side, exists another reality, completely opposite. Adoption of the Haryanvi culture, particularly the Haryanvi language and the distinct, heavy accent that comes with it, has become a commonplace phenomenon in the Delhi NCR circuit. When you look around, you see a certain accent being used by the Delhi kids. You see that same accent find its way into the NCR, from Noida to Faridabad. From schools to colleges to drivers on the road, you find the echoes of Haryana, if not its whole culture.


This accent might be very Haryanvi, but that doesn’t necessarily mean those who use it are. Most people speaking the language or imitating the accent are imposters, romanticising the existence of a culture that is shunned by too many. This might be out of love for the culture but it ends up doing more harm than good, simply because it usually turns out to be nothing more than the appropriation of an image of Haryana and its people that is more about chaud and tora. Most people in this crowd end up using Haryana for reasons of the wrong more than of the right, trying to capitalise on this image that the other half has created of Haryana in their heads, a villain of their own making.


Stuck between these two opposing sides—in a tug-of-war of language, culture, state, and identity—sits the real Haryana. No culture is without faults of its own, but the least it can ask of people is to be true to themselves. The doodh, dahi, aur ghee are the base pillars of Haryana in its truest form, but then so are its people. A certain rise of voice here and a different accent there don’t make the culture of Haryana a monster to be feared or a beast to be tamed. To the outsider, each culture may be a specimen, and words of love can be of hatred, but it’s only Haryana that knows the love it hides behind its Bawlibooch and Bawli Tared.


Feature Image: The Tribune


Manasvi Kadian

[email protected]

“I will love you if I never see you again, and I will love you if I see you every Tuesday”- Lemony Snicket.

To all the people in long-distance relationships out there,

I know it hurts. I know it hurts seeing everyone have that special someone to celebrate with, while you, despite having that special someone, are sitting and making plans with your single friends. I know it takes everything in you to not make a “big deal” out of it or to brush things off as a joke because you know that if you don’t, it is going to hit you. It doesn’t really seem fair, does it? When the couples get to go on (physical) dates together and the singles get to swipe and flirt, you are stuck in the middle of these two worlds, belonging to none. You get to have video calls that cut into your sleep schedules and dates that rarely ever happen because of the time difference. You get to wake up when they go to sleep and you get to look at them only through a screen. You get to see your I love you’s turn into I miss you and you get to learn to love them through distance and time and layers of screens in between. You get to not talk about them because they’re so far away and you get to miss talking about them because they’re so far away. You get to end all your conversations with a “come back soon” and you get to get used to missing them (every second of every day).


In a world of hookups and one-night stands, rare relationships and rarer love, it seems too early, too soon to be experiencing this kind of pain. Your friends know you hurt and that this hurts but I don’t think anyone can really know how much. Sometimes it feels physically impossible to hurt this much. It feels as if the hurt will drown you— not letting you come up for air, not giving you the permission to really hurt, not letting you weep your tears. Your days are spent convincing yourself that it’s okay and you’re okay and things are okay and everything’s going to be okay, while that voice inside you keeps holding on to all that sadness and misery that you constantly feel. You don’t allow yourself to feel the pain because it is a pain of your own choosing, a bittersweet one, if you may.  


People around you have expiry dates for their relationships— when school ends, when we graduate from college— as if relationships are nothing but an exercise in convenience. Oh, I wish it was that convenient. I wish it was that easy. “Less than 50% of long-distance relationships actually work out,” they say. They don’t think you already know that? You have searched over and over the same questions, trying to convince yourself more than convincing them. They say it gets easier, that it’s supposed to, and that time makes things better in the end, but it’s been a year and they’re there and you’re here and it still, somehow, makes no sense.


You hold on to the hope that if not this year, then maybe next. You convince yourself that at least you’re under the same sky, and the same moon, and the same sun. You find solace in having someone to love for yourself and you end up finding solace in convincing yourself that “Aur bhi dukh hain zamaane mein mohabbat ke siwa, raahatein aur bhi hain vasl ki raahat ke siwa”.


Feature Image: Bustle


Manasvi Kadian

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When you look at all the colleges that are not affiliated with DUSU, you will notice that most of them turn out to be women’s colleges rather than co-ed institutions. Is this because of what the students want, or what the college administration deems “right”, or what society considers a norm?

Delhi University is defined by some key components that make up the whole “DU college experience”— the campus, the food, and the infamous student union elections. But you would be wrong to assume that this is the case in each and every college of Delhi University. As of 2019, a total of only 52 DU colleges and faculties are affiliated with the Delhi University Student Union, lovingly referred to as DUSU.


A large proportion of the colleges not-affiliated with DUSU comprise women’s colleges, leaving barely any women’s colleges to be a part of DUSU. The question arises— does an internal bias really exist amongst the female DU students to not want to be part of the process and the complications of DUSU or is this just a manifestation of a system of historical entrenchment of women, not just in politics but in society as a whole?

The scene that we witness on larger political platforms like in various state assemblies or in the parliament, with men occupying most of the positions of power and women being given only token representation, can be seen trickling down onto the university level as well. Many of the contesting groups have only one female contestant amongst a group largely dominated by male candidates, a clear misrepresentation of the ratio of male to female students in the Delhi University student body.

When DUSU is not included in it (women’s colleges), I think it is taking away a lot of political autonomy…. (when) people opt out of it (DUSU) or when we aren’t kept in the loop, we miss out on a lot of political discussions and a lot of very important decisions that can be taken by us,” says Avantika, a former student from Gargi College.


Rather than addressing the concern of college administrations themselves not wanting their colleges to be a part of DUSU, the primary concern would be to address the question of whether female students themselves want to be a part of these elections.

It is not only about if we WANT to be part of the elections or not, but also that women always have and will have more restrictions— in terms of curfews, family concerns, safety issues, etc. Essentially, the way DU politics functions currently makes it very difficult for women to be part of the same, and that gives everyone an excuse and a justification to just not include women in DUSU in general,” says a 1st-year student from Delhi University.

The kind of freedom that male candidates possess and use has always existed in parallel to women candidates. The early curfews mean that most women candidates end up being unable to dedicate the same amount of time campaigning or organising events as a male candidate and the concern for safety, specifically in a city like Delhi, does not add positively to it. 

While entering into politics, women majorly face harassment, (wrongful) comments, and at times sexual torture. They are threatened and majorly, they are emotionally blackmailed,” says Meenakshi Yadav, a 2nd-year journalism student from LSR, who is also serving as the president of SFI LSR.

All these factors have, in a sense, culminated to form a sort of vicious cycle— women cannot give enough time or resources to the elections due to the systematic exclusion of women from public life, which leads to them being at a disadvantage and ultimately, in most scenarios, to them not being elected. This ends with a bare minimum representation of women in the elected panel and when women aren’t occupying decision-making positions, how do we expect women’s issues to come up and be addressed on public platforms?


But this is definitely not the only or the complete reason behind the non-participation of women’s colleges in DUSU. Most college administrations would rather not have their college be a part of DUSU, with many of them following on this path since the very beginning while others have pulled out from DUSU in recent years. “Yeh college DU politics ka part nhi hai, yahan padhayi acche se hogi” is a phrase most of the students in these non-DUSU colleges—like St. Stephens, Lady Shri Ram College for Women, or Gargi College—have heard at least once in their life, and this is exactly what the college administration exploits as well. Colleges that are not affiliated with DUSU go so far as this non-affiliation usually gets endorsed by the college administration and further appreciated by prospective students and their parents.

Most of the faculty at these colleges believe that the time during and around the DUSU elections is bubbling with hooliganism and leads to a very disruptive atmosphere in the college. Monika Nandi, associate professor at the Indraprastha College, is against taking part in DUSU elections “because of the use of money and muscle power”. But the teachers also do not hold a unanimous opinion over this. On the other hand, Bhupinder Chaudhary, associate professor at the Maharaja Agrasen College, does not feel that the issue of money and muscle power subsides by restricting the college’s or students’ access to DUSU. “All college students are above 18. If at that age they are allowed to elect the country’s government, why should they not be allowed to elect their union? Moreover, he raises a very valid question, that is, if teachers can have their own union, the Delhi University Teacher Association, then why can’t (shouldn’t) the students?

Most of the colleges don’t want to indulge in the disturbances which come from external sources like colleges, media, students, etc. (during elections). They want to keep a peaceful environment by suppressing the opportunities of students. They fear the revolution and violence that they think they will have to face if the students are involved in Politics, ” continues Meenakshi, in conversation with a DU Beat correspondent.

College administration would rather argue that it is for the “benefit” of the female students that the college would rather not affiliate itself with DUSU, citing the same reasons that society has cited to women for centuries now— “It’s for your own safety” or “Acche ghar ki ladkiyan yeh sab nhi krti”, all platitudes to suppress the voice of women in a world standing on the foundation of patriarchal bullies and misogynistic ideals. 

They tell us to lock up our doors, shut tight our windows, dress right, look down, speak low, hide away; because whatever makes it unsafe for us out there, that is not going to go away. 


So yes, women have been told to hide away for decades, and yes, “men will be men” and “we can’t change the society” have been the go-to phrases for centuries of missed opportunities and stolen platforms, but does that mean that in 2022, women belonging to such prestigious institute ons like Delhi university colleges— well-educated and independent-thinking women— should be denied of opportunities as basic as being able to vote? Even though all these colleges might not be a part of DUSU but that does not mean that DUSU does not affect these colleges. None of us exist in a vacuum. Delhi University has always been and will always be highly interdependent, so how does it make sense for the college administration to deny a platform like DUSU to students just because in technicality it is allowed? How does it make sense for us to talk about women’s problems in front of a male-dominated panel, elected by a predominantly male student population, who belong to an electoral college that barely includes any women colleges? How does it make sense to be living in a time when we still need to fight for women’s suffrage?


Read also ‘Who Run The World? Aes(that)ic Girls Do!’ 


Feature Image Credits:


Manasvi Kadian

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Know that the exam season has begun when your sleep cycle changes from sleeping from 5 AM to 7 AM to sleeping from 10 PM to 10 AM. Welcome to the cursed woes of sleeping too much….

To all the people who have a (very) messed-up sleep schedule, functioning on 2 hours of sleep every day, know, that with the beginning of the exam season, sleep schedules have a tendency of going off-track in the absolutely opposite direction, blessing you with the menace of too much sleep (if that is even a thing).


And when you haven’t studied anything throughout the semester, relying with your heart and soul (and hopes of passing) on that one-day-before-the-exam studying, “sleep is for the weak” starts making perfect sense.


So here are some ways (tried and tested. Failure rate≠ 100%) to stop yourself from inevitably falling asleep…

(Disclaimer- might leave you feeling like the Grinch).


1.  Cold Showers

As much as this sounds like an innuendo, it’s not. If nothing, school has taught us one thing— everything else might be temporary but “go and splash water on your face” to wake up is permanent. All we are doing is taking it up a notch and asking you to move beyond just the face. It helps…. Even if for just 5 minutes.


2.  Get Caffeine Infused Foods

AKA get coffee-infused toffees. Making coffee is probably (definitely) the better option but when you have achieved unfathomable levels of laziness and have been diagnosed with the couch-potato syndrome, anything is better than nothing.


3. Do Not Sit and Study on your Bed

You. Will. Fail. There is no way to actually get yourself to study when you can feel that soft bed closing in around you. “Ab toh fail hona bhi chalta h, bas sone do” is all you can think about and when a I-am-just-resting-my-eyes-for-5-minutes turns into a full-fledged 4-hour nap, you wake up regretting everything (including your existence).


4. Power Naps are the Biggest Scam

If someone told you that power naps work, hunt them down. A power nap is one of the biggest scams to exist in this universe, only working out for people who have dedication, determination, and a real will to get themselves to study, and clearly, you have none of these.


Give up convincing yourself with all the 1,000 excuses (itne excuses toh mummy ko nahi diye aaj tak) that you can actually complete everything in one night while sleep comes and goes (more comes and less goes). 10 years uthao aur baki sab bhagwan par chhod do.


Manasvi Kadian

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Two members of the Executive Council of Delhi University have sent a letter to the Vice-Chancellor urging him to make amendments to the recently-approved UGCF-2022. Read to find out more.

Recently, members of the Executive Council Of Delhi University have written to the Vice-Chancellor, Yogesh Singh, urging him to make amendments to the recently approved Undergraduate Curriculum Framework-2022 (UGCF-2022) which is planned to be implemented from the academic year 2022-23.

The framework, which was formulated by the National Education Policy (NEP) cell, has come to face opposition by a section of teachers. Claiming that this may lead to a dilution of the “academic rigour”, two Executive Council members, Seema Das and Rajpal Singh Pawar, have pointed out the shortcomings of the framework in their letter.

…. Based on New Education Policy (NEP) 2020, the Undergraduate Curriculum Framework (UGCF) 2022 has been haphazardly made by an extra-statutory body, i.e. NEP Cell, leading to the dilution of academic rigour,” the letter read (Source- PTI).

The reduction of the overall required credit from 196 to 176 in four years and 148 to 132 in three years would end up significantly reducing the workload. Thus, the new curriculum would lead to a massive displacement of the teaching staff, especially of the ad hoc teachers, as highlighted by the letter.

As per authentic information, the student-teacher ratio is being doubled in comparison to the present student-teacher ratio across subject/ discipline by the UGC and hence, the University of Delhi… This will drastically reduce workload,” the letter read further (Source- PTI).

The removal of English, as a compulsory language course under BA and BCom and as an option under Ability Enhancement Courses, will also significantly affect the workload of the English department in colleges.

Furthermore, the total weightage of the CBCS/ LOCF core papers has also been reduced from 70-75% to 45-50% under the new framework, reducing workload even further.

Additionally, under DU’s recent directive, no ad hoc or guest teacher can be appointed until every already-employed teacher is taking 16 periods per week. It is believed that this will lead to a situation where the importance of quality research is grossly underestimated and which will ignore the “importance of research done by the faculty members.”

NEP’s Multi Entry-Exit system (MEES) and Academic Bank of Credits (ABC) are also believed to institutionalise “a fluctuating workload and roster” which will hamper “the implementation of the constitutionally obligatory provisions of reservation for SC/ST/OBC/EWS in teaching jobs.”

We request you [the VC] to consider and take into account the above-mentioned facts in the course of implementation of the UGCF and bring the required amendments without any further delay,”  thus, the members have urged in their letter.


Feature Image: University of Delhi official


Manasvi Kadian

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What if your options did not have to be between queer ally or queerphobia? What if your options could rather be between flawed and flawed?

TW: Queerphobia

“It is only a pollution instigated by the West!” or “This goes against Indian sabhyata!” are just some of the things you might have heard when the discussion approaches queerness— in any shape and form; statements, that more often than not, have come to become the defensive pedestal of the right-wing, hetero-patriarchal ideology of modern India. But to what extent can it be considered the gospel truth (minus, of course, all the homophobic sub-text)? 

From vows of celibacy going hand-in-hand with intimate same-sex friendships, to rebirth in different gender forms, or sex change and the existence of gender fluidity— accounts from ancient India might have been somewhat successful in pulling a thin curtain over the Indian queer reality but that doesn’t make India devoid of queer representation. Mahabharata with its story of Shikhandini or Shikandi, King Bhagiratha with his two mothers, the story of Babur and Baburi, or the existence of an Indianized version of Achilles and Patroclus found in the walls of the Jamali Kamali tomb, all points far away from the fact that India’s “sabhyata” might have only existed in gender binaries.

But that doesn’t mean that living in ancient India as a queer person was a bed of roses; It also had its own share of thorns. With extremes like depictions of same-sex intimate interactions being largely confined to Rakshasas (a literal demonisation of queer identities) to Manu smriti listing a range of quixotic punishments for homosexual men and women, the relation between queerness and Indian history isn’t much less of a Pandora’s box— it might seem all bright and rainbow-coloured from outside but the real horrors only come through when the box finally lies open in your hands. 

So, does that mean that all those statements made under the veil of nationalism and rightist ideologies are true? Does it mean that phrases stringed together in hatred and queerphobia are what we need to fall back to?

When the landmark Article 377 verdict was given by the Supreme Court, Rajya Sabha MP Subramaniam Swamy took to telling news channels how “homosexuality is a genetic flaw”. This was the same person who had earlier told the media that “being gay is against Hindutva” and it needs a cure (Source: But couldn’t that easily be just one person’s point of view out of a few hundred? Or is that something only said because the queer community happens to be a huge vote bank nobody wants to lose out on?

It is true that the British came to India and brought something in this regard with them; just that the something wasn’t the reality of queerness but, in contrast, the institutionalisation of queerphobia with the Vatican’s puritanical ideology finding its echo in the anti-sodomy law, something that did not leave India even when the Britishers did.

These two sides of a coin that exist when talks of queer identity travel through the air of India—in whispers or in free cries, in solidarity or in phobia — are as flawed as they are pure. Two rotting but shiny sides,  existing as an anomaly in oxymorons, leave you with only one outcome, however impossible: the coin landing on its edge, the coin landing on neither. 


Feature Image:


Manasvi Kadian

[email protected]

An ‘All India Convention on Higher Education Under the NEP 2020’ was hosted by AIFRTE to deliberate upon the New Education Policy (2020). The event included a long list of educationists, coming from various parts of the country, who presented their views on the subject. Read ahead to find out more.


The All India Forum for Right to Education (AIFRTE) organised an ‘All India Convention on Higher Education Under the NEP 2020’, on 27 May 2022 at the Gandhi Peace Foundation. The event was attended by renowned educationists and professors, who came from various parts of the country to deliver speeches on a subject of shared interest. Various student and teacher organisations including All India Students’ Association (AISA), Students’ Federation of India (SFI), Collective, and Democratic Teachers’ Front (DTF) were also present, among others. 

Among the first speakers, who were scheduled to speak in the First Session, Mrigank delivered his speech on ‘NEP 2020: Background and Purpose’. He is the Senior Vice President, IFTU, National Executive Member, AIFRTE, and Convenor, People for Science (Delhi). Through his speech, he stressed on how the policy is a ‘complete corporatization of education’. He stated that the entire document reflects a budget cut of the government and further claimed that this policy would give birth to a population of ‘zombies’ who would not have a mind of their own. 

Following this, Professor. Surjeet Majumdar, who is a Professor of Economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and a former secretary of JNUTA, spoke on the subject, ‘Killing several birds with one stone: Higher Education in NEP 2020’. Professor Majumdar asserted that neither there is an increase in the public expenditure on education nor there is an increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). With his speech, the first session culminated for a short break of a few minutes.


Beginning the next session was Professor Minati Panda, who is a professor at Zakir Husain Centre for Education Studies, JNU. She made her speech on ‘The Question of Language and epistemic justice in Higher Education in NEP 2020’. The Professor found the policy to be a ‘verbose document’. She stressed the subject of multilingualism, claiming that when someone goes around the first few pages of the policy, they ought to find it in contradiction to the realistic experiences. 

Multilingual education is going to end the concept of multilingualism in the future.Professor Minati Panda


Continuing this flow, the next speaker was Joga Singh. He is a former Professor of Linguistics at Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab. He took upon the subject ‘Bankrupt Language Proposals in NEP 2020’. He strongly voiced his thoughts on the language section of the policy. He stated that the policy says that students will have to study three languages ‘wherever possible’. Stressing on the latter part, he claimed that the phrase ‘wherever possible’ here simply means ‘nowhere possible’. To support his notion, he asserted that people get jobs only with knowledge of English and a majority of parents prefer sending their children to an ‘English-medium school’. 

Privatisation and Commercialisation stands on english and the entire policy talks about them so english is nowhere to go.-Joga Singh


The next speaker was Professor Madhu Prasad. She is a former Professor of Philosophy at Zakir Husain College, University of Delhi (DU), Spokesperson, and Presidium member, AIFRTE. She spoke about ‘NEP 2020 and digitalisation of education’ and she found it to be unfortunate that when the pandemic hit, the government rushed to shut down schools and colleges, even before malls and parks were closed. She believes that the government had already planned this NEP and hence used the period of the pandemic to give it a further push. 

Digitalisation is talked about as a technique but instead it is a process through which one makes knowledge a merchandise.-Professor Madhu Prasad


The session was resumed with Dr. Shamsul Islam, a former professor from Delhi University. Following him, Dr. Maya John, who teaches history at Jesus and Mary College, Delhi University, spoke on the ‘Rhetorics and realities of higher education in NEP 2020: a critique of UGCF from the margins’. 

When the constitution was being drafted and Right to Education was removed from the Fundamental Rights and put into the Directive Principles of State Policy, why was it not questioned?-Dr. Maya John

She talked about how this policy was a “part and product of the international milieu”, something that will help in the creation of labour with multiple skills, aiding only “the global elitist needs”. She also brought out the contradictions that exist in the NEP 2020 and focusing on how the guarantee of education from 6 to 14 years of age is not enough, demanded:

Nothing short of education from KG to PG— public funded education from KG to PG.


Representing Jamia Millia Islamia, Dr. Shikha Kapur, went on to talk about how education is moving towards centralisation and towards capitalism, and questioned the UGC’s step aiming towards uniformity through NEP.

But when the country is diverse… where will uniformity come from in this diversity?” -Dr. Shikha Kapur

She went on to talk about how the education policy has led to the quantification of education, with social sciences and languages also being marked on the basis of MCQs, and how CUET will block the pathway of education for many groups, including first-generation learners.


Dr. Shikha Kapur was followed by Prof. Nandita Narain, Professor at St. Stephen’s college, DU, and former president, DUTA and FEDCUTA, who spoke on the ‘Degradation of quality through restructuring of academic courses (FYUP, UGF, ABC, CUET) and governance (fragmentation, corporatisation, privatisation, and exclusion)’. She talked about the condition of education during the years of lockdown and how this step towards digitalisation will again push us back into the same dark tunnel. 

Speaking against the CUET, she brought attention to how this will only aid institutions in earning more money and also spoke in disfavour of the recent CUET crash course organised by Ramanujan College.

This [NEP 2020] is a privatisation blueprint’” -Prof. Nandita Narain


Dr. Abha Dev Habib, who teaches Physics at Miranda House, DU; Secretary, DTF; former treasurer, DUTA; and former member of the executive council, DU, spoke on ‘CUCET, FYUP, and UGF: Illusion of choices’. Comparing NEP to a packet of chips, she says “Jiske pass jitna paisa hai, valise hi chips ka packet kharidega, aur kitne log hain jo wahan tak pahunch bhi nhi payenge”.

She brought attention to the fact that when students opt for the multiple exit option, exiting after three years, they will still be considered drop-outs under the FYUP. She went on to call the students to fight against the NEP 2020.

Agar Modi Sarkar ko kisi ne lalkara hai toh woh students hain ” -Dr. Abha Dev Habib


Representing Ambedkar University, Dr. Shivani Nag, spoke on the ‘fallacy of gender inclusion in NEP’ and the contradictions with the NEP 2020.

3 saal ki degree kafi nahi hai, 4th saal chahiye par 1 saal ke baad students chhod sakte hain [talking about the multiple exit options].” -Dr. Shivani Nag


Jagmohan Singh, Chairperson, AIFRTE; General Secretary, AFDR, Punjab; and Director, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Creativity Centre, Ludhiana, talked about ‘How NEP is contrary to the legacy of the freedom struggle: Need for students’ and youth’s movements.

If centralisation is happening from top, then only an effort by people from below can contradict it.” -Jagmohan Singh


In a press statement released by AIFRTE on 28th May 2022, the event was concluded with a call for active mobilisation against NEP. 

While these grave and burning issues surround the current policy, the progressive and pro-democratic forces of the country resolve to fight for equal, free, and quality education for all. We demand immediate annulment of the National Education Policy 2020. The BJP-RSS’s agenda for communalisation, de-academisation and privatization of education must be fought by mobilizing students, teachers, parents, and communities. AIFRTE unequivocally demands revocation of this irrational course structure. Else, students, teachers and parents will go on resisting this programme without any compromise.-press statement, AIFRTE.


Read also “Insult, Injury & Illness: DU’s Offline Exams

Feature Image: DU Beat Archives


Ankita Baidya

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Manasvi Kadian

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Love stories can never really be picture-perfect fairytales and not all love needs to be romantic. In a series of just six episodes, Modern Love Mumbai makes you believe in love, and not just in a traditional way. The only question that remains– when do we get a Delhi version?

Watching a show about romances in the city where the greatest romances of Bollywood took shape, you might expect grand settings and soft violins playing in the background (and Shahrukh Khan asking you to “palat”). But what does happen is stories in the Mumbai local and conversations about Misal Pav, the harmony that comes with music and food coinciding, and the infamous Bandra-Worli Sea Link being the ultimate Mt. Everest of self-love, the acceptance of that chasm between the differences in our cultures and the self-acceptance that you struggle with at 60 or in your late 20s. 

Keeping in with the tradition of Modern Love, Modern Love Mumbai doesn’t make it feel as if you are watching all these stories from far away, an ethereal figment of someone’s imagination that will never be yours. It makes it all so real that in every story you find a part of yourself, some parts being the ones you knew about and some being the ones you didn’t. And if that wasn’t enough, the intro segment with photos of real people and real stories will definitely force your overly-cynical self to realise how real all this love is and can be.


Raat Rani

With that Kashmiri accent putting an other-worldly beauty in the scenes of the first episode and Lali’s passion and energy and optimism staining every word that was uttered, we saw a tale of dependency and a journey of self-exploration unfold on the black screen that came after the Amazon logo. From closure coming in in the form of one spoon, one scoop ice-cream (not that sad tub you might eat in one sitting) to the realisation that “mujhe apne aap ke liye maintain krna h”, we see Lali going through everything alone for the first time since she left Kashmir and her shikaras. We see the curious brightness of a kid’s eyes and we see the brokenness of loss seeping in on the sides. Lali and Lutfi give us a dynamic we really needed to see, the dynamic of the one who stays and the one who leaves– the power they might hold over you, the hope that you might be clinging on, the control they will feel every time they say I might come back if I want to; and there is our lesson in what breadcrumbing is. You might change the settings and the context the story exists in, but all of us have lived this story at one point or another. The story of loving too much, loving too passionately, a sort of mad love. So when Lali “crosses the highway”, when she dances on the Sea Link as if it’s a two-year-old on their birthday, when she gobbles up the ice cream alone, when she sets up the raat rani stall, when she puts on her headphones and cycles on the same route that earlier wouldn’t let her cycle alone, when she questions the world and this society for everything that is “not allowed”, when her lips utter “uss se raat rani ki khusbhu toh kam nhi hogi na”, she spins our stories of desperation and loss into something that can no longer be categorised as broken or unbroken and all she does is that she gives us hope.



Moving to a whole different area and a whole different story, we find what seems like the love story of Manzu, presented to us in a flashback of lingering hands and longing glances with Chandni Raat playing in the background (as if right on cue). But then there’s a slap, a confrontation, the tears of “humse kya galti ho gyi?” and “tu yeh kyun nhi chhod deta?” replacing that soulfulness of Chandni Raat and fast forwarding us to Manzu singing ‘Kaisi Baatein Karte Ho’, taking away your breath and your heart and everything in between, a story being told in the language of food and music. Enter Rajveer to fulfill the former with his Nihari, the first overlap we see between him and Baai– Baai who stood at the door undauntingly during the riots and the one for whom they were willing to twist their heart’s desires– but how could Manzu even expect acceptance from her when his own parents couldn’t give him that? How could he do anything but nod at her mentions of Nikah, hiding from her his wedding band? While Manzu hides his beloved from Baai, we see a subtle overlap in characters, a realisation that Baai might have loved Rajveer as we hear them both say the only ingredient food needs is love. From Baai’s sheer korma and yakhani pulao to Rajveer’s Nihari and Manzu’s wedding vows, we see the language of love breathing through its different forms. But no, this story wasn’t Manzu’s love story as you would have thought it to be. It was the story of the unconditional love of Baai that none of them realised was actually, truly unconditional; it was the story of acceptance, acceptance that came too late but also not too late as we see Rajveer and Manzu carrying their rings on their fingers during her funeral procession.


Mumbai Dragon

‘Mumbai Dragon’ might be that story that speaks out to our most feral and deeply-embedded fear, the fear of sharing someone and the fear of not being loved by the same someone we love. When we see Sui’s possessiveness towards Ming and her calling Megha a “vegetarian dayaan”, it is the fear of her son forgetting his culture, but more than that it is the fear of a mother losing her son, a woman who fears losing another person. Her stubbornness and her fixation with getting Ming married to someone from their own community seem more about keeping Ming close to her than bigotry. Cue a Bollywood style, tadakta-bhadakta melodramatic scene of taking a shapath that “ab kabhi hindi mein baat nhi krungi” which ends up giving us major mere Karan Arjuna aayenge vibes. Her love that can be found in those dabbas filled with food are part of a universal tradition of the holy intermixing of love and food in a single breath and when one dabba comes with baingan ki sabzi, we find that even though love can be all-consuming but love can also be as giving.


My Beautiful Wrinkles

Our mind has been trained to look for love in couples, so much so that sometimes we forget about all the love that exists beyond romance and beyond the bond of two. We open to Dilbar, an apparently aged lady, who doesn’t in fact look like your stereotypical old person at all (I aspire to be her). She is cold, cynical about love, giving advice left, right, and centre, but somehow, we see a crack in the hardened, pretentious exterior. An invitation to a reunion opens up a bundle of questions– what did I achieve in my life? What difference did I make? But then we move to Kunal, a scene bursting with tension and then a subtle nudge that it could become something more. All attention diverts to this story of two people with “too huge of an age gap”, and then the apparently shy Kunal comes in (and Dilbar) with a suggestive portrait of her. She might have been offended, angry, but behind closed doors, his attention maybe helped her find her deeply buried confidence. That is when we get a glimpse inside Dilbar’s heart– one that wants to be held at night, one that craves love, one that is burdened with guilt, one that is still tied to not a person but more so his things. Letting go of his car, making a choice to let go of the burden but not the memory, made her open her heart– not to Kunal or someone else, but to herself, a self that was free from being tied to a past she could only watch without colours.


I Love Thane

Saiba, like any of us, is looking for love, but what isn’t clear is that is the love she’s looking for something that she wants or just something that the society wants. We see her going on dates, meeting people (jerks), and feeling the hopelessness that comes with the hope of love weighing her down. She has an appreciation for all things real (as in the plants she uses in her landscape designing) but how much real can you find in love that works on a left swipe and a right swipe? Enter Parth. Not on social media, isn’t boastful or unnecessarily “cool”, just a simple person with simple interests and a thing for Thane. This story might be the most ordinary out of them all– they don’t know when their feelings actually start, they don’t go to romantic getaways, they don’t call all the time or chat all the time to show a progressing interest in each other and in them– all they do is all the things we would. They work together, they go to different places, they have lunch, they talk about the things that come up. A complete opposite of a Bollywood-style, big, romantic, splashy story if you will. And that is exactly how the story remains. Simple like Parth. Simple like Saiba wanted it. Because life is only as complicated as you make it (a next episode reference. Kudos to me.)


Cutting Chai

Onscreen writers are those characters that take away any writer’s heart in a single second; the glimpses of yourself through someone else’s eyes does that to you. Latika, who is the writer in this story, is a married woman with kids. The irony is that there is no need to explain how and why that is a problem. In a society that preaches feminism but still empties its workload on women, Latika feels estranged from her own writing– never being able to finish that one book she had started. “Agar tumhe Likhna hota toh abhi tak likh chuki hoti” is what her husband Dan said and that is exactly where her brain dropped her from. Apart from having an absolutely amazing Arshad Warsi as Dan, we get to see Chitrangda Singh looking stunningly beautiful as Latika in a curly, messy bun, jhumkas, and saree. Every single moment she spends is a moment she spends questioning the path her life took and the creepy shouting in unison by the crowd is a manifestation of all the things her brain is thinking about. With her, we travel across all the ‘what ifs’, seeing her drowning in a swirling mess of something that seems like regret. From the what-ifs of her career, we jump to a sore spot in her marriage– Dan never being on time. Making her wait, making her anxious, making her lose hope, but then turning up at the absolute last moment. Is that something she had wanted? Or were we only seeing glimpses of a waning marriage? But these flashbacks weren’t complete pictures. They were the perspectives of someone who was seeing only what they wanted to, all the shortcomings and the problems. But when you have someone who makes up for something that they know is a habit they just got wrong, do you berate them or do you hold them close? How do you measure mistakes in proportion to love, and how do you say that no, this isn’t enough?


Modern Love Mumbai properly takes away your heart and like Modern Love does, leaves you swooning and crying and sitting there with a stupid smile on your face. But the ending was the one thing that was definitely forced. We did not need to see every single character of every single episode come across one another in this huge sea of people, but maybe what they wanted to do was show that this, right here, is what Mumbai is made of.


Read Also: “Golden Trivia: Curious Things About the Gilded Age”

Featured Image: Times of India


Manasvi Kadian

[email protected]

The Tis Hazari court granted bail to DU Associate Professor, Ratan Lal, who had been arrested on Friday by Delhi Police responding to an FIR lodged against him in regards to the ‘shivling’ comment controversy. Read to find out more.

Delhi University Associate Professor, Ratan Lal, who was arrested on Friday night, 20th May 2022, after an FIR was lodged against him for making alleged objectionable remarks through a Facebook post, has been granted bail, on a bond of Rs. 50,000 and a surety of likes, by the Tis Hazari court.

The complaint, which was lodged by a Delhi-based lawyer, Vineet Jindal, alleged that Lal had recently shared a “derogatory, inciting and provocative tweet on the Shivling”.

The DU professor had been arrested by the Cyber Police Station, North under IPC sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 295A (deliberate act to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion). The Delhi police had been seeking a 14-day judicial remand of Professor Ratan Lal in order to facilitate a proper investigation in the case, considering that they had received six complaints against him so far.


Appearing on behalf of the police, Additional Public Prosecutor, Atul Shrivastava, told the court that, “prima facie some comments have been passed that have the potential to disturb public tranquility”.

Accordingly the FIR was registered… the most important aspect, not expected from such an educated person, was after making such type of remarks, he has not stopped there, he has been defending himself through different videos uploaded on YouTube,” Shrivastava argued.


On the other hand, Professor Ratan Lal’s lawyers (Advocates Amit Srivastava, Aditya Kumar Chaudhary, Dr Satya Prakash, Sanjay K Chhadha, ND Pancholi, Rahul, Mukesh, Deepak Jakhar and Karish Kumar Mehra) had moved his bail application before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Siddhartha Malik, arguing that his arrest was in violation of the Supreme Court guidelines as mentioned in the Arnesh Kumar judgement.

What circumstances happened that you had to make an arrest? He was not a criminal or a habitual offender. He is a professor in a reputed college… You had proper time, you could have served notice, waited for a reply, and if there was an unsatisfactory reply then you could have arrested. This is contempt of Arnesh Kumar judgment and the officers involved in this arrest should face departmental enquiry,” Lal’s lawyer submitted.


On Saturday, 21st May, 2022, students as well as student organisations had held a protest outside Arts Faculty, DU against the arrest of Professor Ratan Lal. This included organisations cuh as AISA, Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS), and DSU taking a stand in support of the professor. The students participating in the protest held placards saying “Stop attack on our teachers”, “Stop curbing democratic voices”, and “Release professor Ratan Lal”.

The FIR has been lodged against Prof. Lal under the section of blasphemy, an act which has no place in a country such as India which is not a theocratic state. Our constitution recognizes itself as a secular country, promoting all contending schools of thought, including those that are against institutional religions. Therefore, blasphemy must be decriminalized. It is only a tool in the hands of religious fundamentalists to quell voices who stand firmly against religious mongering,” said Noel Benny, SFI Delhi State committee member, while addressing the student gathering.


SFI Delhi also issued a statement in solidarity with the professor, condemning his arrest and the arbitrary action of the state.

This punitive action against Prof. Lal is characteristic of a Brahminical state. Brahminism since its inception as a hegemonic ideology has always violently suppressed its opposers… The current instance of using state machinery and constitutional provisions to penalize critics is only a manifestation of the oppressive ideology, which reaffirms that the state continues to follow the traditions of the Brahmanical order,” read the statement made by SFI Delhi.


Taking its decision, in addition to granting bail, the court directed the DU Professor to refrain from making any new social media posts or from engaging in different means of interaction such as interviews concerning the ‘shivling’ controversy.

In regards to this issue, Professor Ratan Lal had previously argued and made a statement that all he had done was impose a question to the general public as a student of history. 

People can be hurt by anything. Academic discourse cannot be sidelined on account of perceived hurt. I had asked a simple question to enquire if the so-called shivling was broken or cut. Mullahs and Pandits don’t need to comment on it. An art historian should answer this question,” said Professor Ratan Lal.

The court said that considering that the concerned remark by the professor had not been made with the intention of inciting any particular group or promoting tension/ enmity between people and had been made on a structure that was being claimed by different groups as different religious symbols, the court considered that “the post of the accused may be a failed attempt at satire regarding a controversial subject which has backfired, resulting in the present FIR.”

The presence of an absence of intention to create animosity/hatred by words is subjective nature as is the perception of the recipient who reads/hears a statement,” the court order stated.

The court also remarked that the feeling of hurt by one individual cannot be considered representative of an entire community or group of people. Thus, any such complaints should be considered in the larger context of the actual facts and circumstances.


This controversy also launched a lengthy discussion on the concept of tolerance as it exists in the Indian culture and the array of opinions that people might have on this subject.

It is observed that Indian civilisation is one of the oldest in the world and known to be tolerant and accepting to all religions. The presence or absence of intention to create animosity/ hatred by words is subjective in nature as is the perception of the recipient who reads/hears a statement,” the court remarked.

The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate also commented that with India being a country of more than 130 crore people, there can be 130 crore different views and perceptions on any given subject.

The undersigned, in personal life, is a proud follower of Hindu religion and would call the post to be distasteful and an unnecessary comment made on a controversial topic. For another person, the same post can appear to be shameful but may not incite the feeling of hatred towards another community. Similarly, different persons may consider the post differently without being enraged and may in fact feel sorry for the accused to have made an unwarranted comment without considering the repercussions,” said the court, talking about how different people might view the controversial post differently. judge noted that the anxieties of the police could be understood and had not been completely ill-placed as they were only trying to accomplish their task of maintaining peace and order amongst the people. However, the court made its decision considering all the facts that were presented before them.

It is true that the accused did an act which was avoidable considering the sensibilities of persons around the accused and the public at large. However, the post, though reprehensible, does not indicate an attempt to promote hatred between communities,” they stated.


Additional Resources:

Read Also: DU Professor Booked for his Remarks on “Gyanvapi”

Featured Image: @profdilipmandal on Instagram


Manasvi Kadian

[email protected]

The UGC-approved guidelines make internships compulsory for students pursuing undergraduate courses. The guidelines come after the UGC’s previous attempt at bolstering student participation in internships and other similar activities. Read to find out more.

On Tuesday, 10th May 2022, the University Grants Commission (UGC) approved the guidelines for making research internships compulsory for students pursuing undergraduate courses. These guidelines come in accordance with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 which also aimed at making such internships compulsory for all graduation courses. The guidelines mention two purposes of these internships– “to enhance employability of an individual student” and “to develop research aptitude of an individual student”.


The integration of Research, Innovation and Technology Development is the foundation of Atma-Nirbhar Bharat (Self-reliant India). An institutionalisation of Research Internship at Undergraduate Levels is expected to play a pivotal role in catalysing inter-disciplinary/multi-disciplinary/transdisciplinary and translational research culture embedded in NEP 2020,” read the guidelines from UGC.


Internship Length


While this step makes internships compulsory for all students, the length of the internship would depend upon the duration of the course a student might be pursuing. Students pursuing a four-year degree course with research would have to do 10 weeks of internship along with one year of actual research work. The students pursuing a four-year undergraduate course without research will also have to do at least 8-10 weeks of internship. Even in the case of students wishing to exit their FYUP programme after the second or the fourth semester, the completion of one internship of 8-10 weeks is compulsory.


ugc internships



Credit System

The completion of the internship would award the student with 10 credits upon a completion of 450 hours. This means that 1 credit implies a minimum of 45 hours of engagement in internship work and activities. Students in FYUP would have to complete an internship amounting to a minimum of 20 credits.

In addition, the UGC has also proposed to respective higher education institutions (HIEs) to offer Research Ability Enhancement Courses (REAC) worth 10 credits.

Few Research Ability Enhancement Courses (RAEC) in research and analytical tools and techniques, worth 10 credits, to be offered during the 7th semester as pre-requisite courses for 4-year degree (Research) students, …. Research work in the form of dissertation/project work preferably in interdisciplinary/multi-disciplinary/trans-disciplinary areas worth 30 credits,” read the draft.


Research Supervisors

Under research projects, students will be attached to research supervisors, preferably belonging to other HEIs, for a specified duration at the research facility of the supervisors to conduct a time-bound internship project. Students would be given hands-on training in research equipment, methodologies, techniques, etc., and would learn other aspects of research training, allowing them to gain experience.


Research internship experience can be gained by working with faculty/ scientists in education institutes, research institutions, industrial research labs, nationally reputed organisations and individual persons distinguished in specific fields,” the guidelines read. 



Students would be allowed to apply for internships on their own or through faculty mentors by registering on an online portal. After registration and application, students will be selected based on the selection criteria specified under different internships. Further communication would take place with the potential intern through the portal itself or via email, with the host organisation asking for confirmation or acceptance. After that, the students can join the internship upon getting permission from the parent organisation.


Monitoring and Evaluation

Student will undergo internship in the supervisor’s lab/ working space at the host organisation. During the period of internship, the parent HEI through the mentor will arrange to keep track of the activities and performance of students as interns at the host organisation, based on periodic reports submitted by students,” the draft reads.


After completing the internship, the students will also have to submit an internship report, copies of which will be submitted to their parent organisation and the host organisation. 


Upon completion of the internship, the student would be given a certificate by the organisation.


Read also: “Ensure Reserved Category Seats Are Not Left Vacant, DU VC is Urged”

Feature image: Financial Express


Manasvi Kadian

[email protected]