Poornima Kharbanda



With gallons of expectations and raging curiosity, prospective students are soon to set into the new academic environment of Delhi University that has swept amass every single person of this country with its mystified character. While dreamy eyed school pass-outs gallop their way into a luscious arena of modified milieu, here is a keynote to the economics four year undergraduate program at a glance.

The four year undergraduate program has adopted an application based analytical setting, that aims to provide students with skill based knowledge of the economic scenario along with striving to form a firm rooting conceptually of the subject.

The Course:

The first year accommodates two subjects, principles of economics and mathematical methods for economics-I. The former subject is structured to explore the subject matter of economics, the basics of demand and supply and an introduction to macroeconomics. The second semester shall continue to hone mathematical skills through knowledge of the second part of mathematical methods for economics along with introduction to statistics. The third semester shall introduce the first applied course being game theory, along with strengthening statistical roots and exploring subjects like microeconomics and introductory economics. Likewise in the fourth and fifth semester, students shall acquire knowledge of applied courses such as financial economics and public finance alongside study of the discipline courses that aim to develop practical and application skills of students. The sixth semester shall introduce in perspective the economic scenario that has prevailed in India and an applied course of environmental economics. The last two semesters are intended to refine the research skills of students. The students are envisioned to submit a dissertation in the final year which will carry 75 per cent of the weightage of marks.

(Economics 2013 cut-offs)

Co Curricular Activities:

The spread of the courses in the four years is a harmonious mix of aligned subjects that render scope for students to pursue co-curricular activities as well. In depth knowledge and scope for absorptive study is in fact an advantage of the change.

“I personally feel that the four year undergraduate program is a great opportunity for us as it enables us to explore other areas of interests through the system of applied courses and minor subjects while adding to our future prospects. Apart from that it provides us with 4 years of education which is an essential requirement to apply for higher studies in many countries” says Aakash Sahai, a contented prospective applicant for the course.


The program essentially claims to improve employability through imparting skill based knowledge and an option to leave the course after two years with a diploma and after three years with a bachelor’s degree, but whether these can be competent enough compared to an honours degree when it comes to employability, is still a matter in disputed territory.

Nevertheless, the holistic approach adopted by the program is certainly a step in the right direction.

(For analysis of other courses click here)

While reckoning the grandeur displayed by lustrous posters donning the NSIT campus, I seldom pondered upon the impact that a debating fest might have on me. Colloquium, the first ever debating festival organized by NSIT College, kick started its first day with a stimulating panel discussion with eminent guests who had the faith to write the scripts of their own lives. The luminaries included renowned authors, Ashwin Sanghi and Ira Trivedi, the versatile dancer and activist Mallika Sarabhai and the erudite social scientist and political ecologist, Dunu Roy. The event was host to immense motivation that stirred through the air, as each panelist unraveled the story of their dreams and destiny. As rightly worded by the host college, the life stories of these luminaries fit the saying, “square pegs in round holes” as copiously as it could. Each one of the panelists inspired the audience to carve out the best in themselves and have the fortitude and courage to pursue their passion. The panel discussion addressed many questions in the students’ best interest, like whether the Indian education system cripples or enables the youth to follow their dreams, what the role of a mentor is in every individual’s life, why reasoning is essentially important, and how one needs to balance the weights of societal pressure and one’s true passion. It evoked statements like, “Even the greatest equations have unknown variables”, by Ashwin Sanghi, which inspired each in his audience. The next event was a conventional debate on the motion ‘This house is a frozen fire’, exposed to interpretation by the participants. There were in all twelve participating teams which included colleges like Hansraj, LSR, SSTB Khalsa and more. Worthy arguments sprung up during the course of this debate, battling to justify their interpretation of the topic. Some of them drew analogy of this motion to patriarchy and critiqued polarisation of sorts, others drew parallel to human emotions. The best team was awarded to LSR represented by Vanshika and Mayanka. The Best speakers were Parash from Hansraj and Isha from DTU. The best interjector was awarded to Divya from Venkateshwar International School. Poornima Kharbanda [email protected]]]>

Post an extravagant bout of some serious competition among various colleges, the second day of Ullas gave way to an explosive and throbbing performance by the Sufi rock band Nasha, which redefined the phrase and in its truest sense, set the stage on fire. As dismal as the host students were by the fact that there is no big shot celebrity performing at their fest and completely ignorant of the fact that within three years of their career, Nasha has climbed the farthest rung in the ladder in terms of popularity among the youth, it did not take more than a couple of minutes for them to break out of their disinterest and rock to the tunes of the performing artist. Primarily performing popular songs by various artists, they hit the bull’s eye with their famous version of the song ‘mein tennu samjhawan’ and ‘gulabi aankhein’.  Akhil Sachdeva, the lead singer and the front man of the band, spelt soul with every beat of the songs he sung. He enigmatically mesmerized the crowd, and was greeted by a thunderous share of hooting from his fans in the crowd. He created an atmosphere of pure mysticism by his lively and energetic performance that lasted for a time span of two hours, but echoed in the mind of the audiences for the entire night and beyond. Akhil Sachdeva was hounded by his female fan following pre and post the event, who dedicatedly chased him for photos and autographs even back stage. But the amazing raw appeal and connectivity with audience that was displayed by this band left the entire crowd awe struck and yearning for more.]]>

If steamy bare scenes, impeccably svelte bodies and a glitzy wardrobe is your idea of treating your cerebrum, Race 2 can be your befitting companion for the evening.  The sequel of Race, a movie that harped on suspense, sizzling chemistry and realistic action that harnessed oodles of appreciation, Race 2 cannot exactly be called a dampener, but surely will be best enjoyed when one surrenders their mind to pleasing imagery on the screen.

Saif Ali Khan plays his old self as Ranveer, who is persuaded to avenge the death of his girlfriend. John Abraham plays Armaan, who conspires to carry out this murder to take revenge for his stolen wealth. He dwells on the huge mound of filthy money when Ranveer enters to rip him off his wealth by a scheme depicted to be that of legends. Deepika plays the role of John’s sister, Aleena, who woos Ranveer and proves her loyalty towards him in the climax. Jacqueline playing Omisha is the trick teaser who plays along with Ranveer to digress him from his mission. The roles played by Anil Kapoor and Amisha Patel lack substance and are pitched in just for the sake of a juicy display of sidekicks.

Unrealistic action and a roller coaster of obvious twists break the momentum of what could have been a smooth voyage, hence one is rendered to feeling unsettled throughout the movie. The individual performance of all the actors is fair and the director duo Abbas-Mastan has tried to build upon the glory of the prequel. The movie comes across to be a forced effort of trying to be doing too much.

If anything, one can hit the theatre to watch the ravishing appearances of the actors who have looked their best and the thumping music of the film that is an absolute saving grace. For that it deserves a 2.5 rating on 5.

Amidst the quirkiness exuded by the campus of this well laid out college, the vibrant second day of Reverie 2013 commenced at Gargi with enthrallment and exuberance. The fest kick started with a myriad of competitions being held alongside, and giving any of them a miss gave rise to sighs of pity from the audience. A cheery applause greeted the street play competition, which was host to a volley of excellent ideas and synergetic performances. While Hansraj College bagged the first position, PGDAV took away the second prize with their extremely sensitizing and valiant performance highlighting the importance of sex education. The third prize was awarded to Gargi College, who performed to spread awareness about the cruelty meted out to animals by humans-the ‘evolved’ apes. ‘Mudra’, the Indian Classical Dance Competition invited some scintillating solo performances that touched base with our divine culture. While Anjali from Gargi College was awarded the first position, Kritika from Miranda House and Surya from Dyal Singh College were declared the first and second Runners -up respectively. The Conventional Debate that took place witnessed a thunderous exchange of ideas on the abstract topic given to the participants, ‘This house will bend over’. The debate saw a display of innovative and brilliant interpretations on this open-ended theme. The first prize was awarded to Kamala Nehru College and the second prize was received by Gargi College. The best speaker was declared to be Abhishek from Deshbandhu College. Amongst the other events, the Indian and Western music competition and ‘Overacting’ were a treat to the audiences. At the Western Music group competition, the first prize was bagged by Lady Shri Ram College for their scintillating performance of a jazz piece, titled ‘It don’t mean a thing’. This was followed by Jesus and Mary College and Gargi College, who stood second and third respectively. The first prize at the Indian Music group competition was also bagged by Lady Shri Ram College. Gargi College also hosted the battle of the bands. Ten professional bands competed to win the prize. This year, the ten bands who participated were Krvya, Freewill, Trackpots, Alibi, Heisenberg, Addicthead, Ebonix, The Centaur, Dark Moon Eternity and Conundrum. There was no particular genre of music that the bands played, but most of them were rock or metal bands. The competition was judged by Gaurav Balani, bassist for the band Parikrama, and Rajarshri Sayal from the band Faridkot. The winners were Trackpots, the second prize was awarded to Freewill and the third prize was a tie between Alibi and Heisenberg. Poornima Kharbanda [email protected] Pinakita Gupta [email protected]]]>

We earnestly extend hearty congratulations to you on your resounding performance and a thunderous applause to your hard work that has paid off. In order for us to share your success story, please respond to the following questions.

Q. Please give us some information regarding your academic background, hobbies and anything more about yourself that you would like to share.

I am a student of St. Stephen’s College, pursuing Mathematics Honours. I have pursued Science stream in class 12 from DPS RKP and class 10 from St. James’ Calcutta.
My hobbies include web-designing and travelling. Also I am an integral part of debating society in college (winner SRCC’s Gambit 2010), placement cell and Finance and Investment Cell (VP) in college.

Q. Sometimes reality exceeds dreams and vision too. Was your scorecard a similar situation or was it close to your expectations?

CAT – 99.60 (Quant-96.63, Verbal-99.77)
I was always expecting a good score in verbal but was apprehensive of the quant results as my paper had not gone too well. Final results in each section were slightly higher than my expectations but I certainly did not expect the overall to be skewed the way it was towards my verbal score!

Q. What was your mantra for preparation for this extremely competitive exam and how long have you been preparing for it? Did you bind yourself to a rigorous schedule?

I had been preparing for 6 months and not very rigorous. I made sure that I was relaxed (followed 6 TV shows regularly online) and not neglecting my other interests such as college societies. I did not even take the day before my CAT off (was in college helping prepare for an event we organized).

The simple mantra for success is to not get caught up in the nitty-gritty of the material (mugging formulae of grammar rules) but instead to get a broader idea of the subject. This will enable you to solve questions in CAT that you have never seen before.

Q. What level of proficiency is required for each section of the paper and how do you suggest it can be achieved?

Verbal, I believe, is a section that can be perfected with intense reading of fiction (and maybe non-fiction) literature. No amount of ‘studying’ or ‘practicing’ shall help.

In quant, try to gain exposure of various kinds of questions by practicing from books of various coaching institutes. Also, try to do as many questions as possible conceptually, without pen-paper and without using formulae!

Q .Where all have you secured admission and what criteria are you going to follow to narrow down on your institute for admission?

I have secured admission to ISB through YLP. Hence I have not applied beyond IIMs. Will select A/B/C over ISB, or else stick to ISB.

Q. What is your ultimate aim and what is going to be the next rung in your ladder of success?

Ultimate aim is to be happy and content. Reasonable money in an exciting and challenging job environment would be an ideal end! I might even opt for a start-up in the long run!

Q. How important is formal coaching to crack CAT? What advice do you want to give to the future aspirants?

Coaching becomes essential to acquaint yourself with the format of the paper and certain tips and tricks. It also helps to benchmark against other likeminded people. For me, it was essential in ensuring that I was in touch with my CAT syllabus all through!

Thank you for your time and effort!

As jittery vibes streamed in through the pall of the night, a pleasant score card soothed 2.14 lakh aspirants’ dreams on the 9th of January at 3 am, when the resounding and much awaited results of CAT 2012 were announced.

Witnessing a certain uptrend in figures such as a voluminous rise of 9000 takers for the test, a remarkable upsurge in the number of female aspirants and towering percentiles as compared to the previous year marked these results. A perfect score of 100 percentile was achieved by ten students, of which eights are from IITs. The highest for girls was a whopping 99.99 percentile. The score of this extremely competitive exam is accepted by 13 IIMs and more than 150 B schools in the country.

The next rung in the ladder is to hone your skills for the group discussion, personal interviews and essay writing rounds for which shortlisted candidates will be invited .Rigorous preparation and streamlined focus is essential to crack the aforementioned. Most of the top B schools lay a weightage of 30-55 per cent on the second round of enrolment process. As observed in the past years, IIM Ahmedabad has led the cut off list followed by IIM Ranchi and IIM Calcutta. A 95 percentile is the minimum requirement to seek admission in the top 10 business schools, as per the trend.

As soon as I commenced with my blissful days at college, I was fed in with vivacious information about the most happening places where one can bask in the glory of youthfulness. One such place, which is primarily known for its fort and the elite designer outlets, is Hauz Khas Village. Situated in the most prime location, with not much to outcompete when it comes to luring the youth is café Out of the Box.

As I paced myself up the bizarre staircase which always seems to be under renovation, I was welcomed by the daintiest lighting of gorgeous lanterns and soft glowing bulbs which accentuated the earthen touch of the place, furnished chiefly with wood. Another staircase drove me up to the next level, where a well-defined section of outdoor seating entices most customers to sit by to take a breath taking view of the lusciously green deer park and the famous lake. Good music and an exquisite ambience was enough for me to take an instant liking to this place.

An impressive menu offering an extensive variety of starters and mains, this place caters to a bit of everything. The pastas and pizzas are the most popular among customer choice, but what endured me the most were the Lebanese and Mexican delicacies. The humus and pita bread platter was the dance of the evening along with the chicken ‘n’ cheese nachos. For desi lovers, this place offers a variety of local delights like pao bhaji, tandoori tikkas and much more. The desserts as mouth-watering as they sounded were much to our disappointment as they did nothing to kick up another beat.

The only USP of this place is its location and ambience, which makes it ‘out of the box’. With no specialization in any cuisine, the café barges into territories of being very average in terms of taste and quality of food. The sloppy service is another aspect that should be improvised upon. With occasional band performances, this place electrifies the ambience further and attracts more customers. In terms of pricing, it might just burn a hole in your pocket if drinks and hookah are included. But it’s a worth a visit, simply owing to its gorgeous interiors and location.

Emerging from what has transformed into a completely bitter symphony, the on-going tangles of discontentment have brewed into a series of brawls between the DUTA members and the Vice Chancellor of Delhi University. The coercive governance by the authorities and the non-receptiveness of any dialogue with the teachers pertaining to the up surging issues, followed by insinuating the teacher’s association as ‘illegal’ has sprung up a steamy situation for every stakeholder of this renowned university.

On Wednesday the hunger strike by DUTA members marked the tenth day of protest, channelizing a way for the emergence of yet another agenda for Thursday, 18th October.  On the aforementioned date the members of DUTA marched barefoot around the campus of the university to ascertain the Right to Education to the economically weaker sections of the society, in the arrears of massive privatization and commercialization. The motive of the protest was also a well sunken thought to stir a voice of justice for the girl who was molested during the DUSU elections earlier. An air of pitiful disgrace was expressed with respect to banning democratic protests in the campus post the incident. The strike seems to evolve due to a multitude of driving factors arising due to the haphazard manner in which the university is dealing with semesterization. In the ambit of unilateral decision making, the authorities have completely shunned out on any influential contribution by the teachers who are intricate brunt bearers and facilitators of the semester system. The threat of pay cuts in case of any demonstrations has also leapt as a severe bone of contention. There are several questions being posed on the claimed acceleration of the standard of the university which has duly failed in providing and enabling the mere necessities of a conducive environment for accessing education.

The acceptance and enhancement of semester system as another rung in the towering ladder of a ‘glistening’ education in this country continues to be a contentious argument, one year after its implementation. Students have queued up their dismal grievances to unflattering redressal, corresponding to which they extended their support and accompanied the teachers through the days of the strike. In the domain of responsible demonstrations, the teachers have ensured regular classes and have prudently conducted these strikes for a cause. Deliberation and enactment can only condense the appalling situation of the largest democracy’s top ranked university, where the essence of an ironic situation seems to persist.


Image source: The Hindu 

Welcome to the lusciously green and tranquil campus of one of the most prestigious colleges of Delhi, IIT. On the 20th of October, the ornamentally decorated and colourful environs of this college, would take you down the streets of fun unlimited. Greeted by robust sponsor banners displayed copiously all around, were the very proud sponsors and partners of Rendezvous 2012. The title sponsor of the event Micromax and the associate sponsors being Nimbuzz, Parle and .net made their presence felt finely with activity kiosks at every nook of the colossal campus. With an itinerary for the day which was mind boggling and a cheerily over enthusiastic crowd, the second day of Rendezvous kick started.

Absolute exuberance was displayed in all activities, whether it were the fourteen street plays performed by renowned DU colleges revolving around unambiguous social dilemmas like the acceptance of eunuchs in the society or other abstract themes of emotions like ‘fear’, or an event like the English stage plays, they were all greeted with extreme fervour and spirit by the students. A classical music performance by Smt. Sunetra Chakravarty, gloomed in hues of discontentment by the crowd, an offensive response which irked the performer to pits. But the most anticipated event of the day was a hilarious comic ride by the extremely popular stand-up comedian, Papa C J. If children were to be taught the definition of the state of solid, wherein atoms are tightly packed with no movement, the example of this auditorium where the ‘father of stand-up comedy’ performed shall not be given a miss. His effortless comic timing and synchronization with the youth furnished his gig, which rendered the audience in pangs of thunderous laughter. The auditorium reverberated with the cries of wholesome entertainment when ‘Papa C J – live and uncensored’ played to the field which is his absolute forte, and yes that is pretty much ‘uncensored’.

Kaleidoscope, the fashion event was the outright highlight of the day. With the perfect amalgamation of an apt venue, well synced lighting and a receptively aware crowd, the show swept the audience into another world. The event started with the choreography section. Herein, the first performance by Adagio, the choreography society of Kamala Nehru College which depicted the plight of women in our society and pledged for women’s empowerment was nerve shivering.  It was followed by Hindu College‘s performance which celebrated the true spirit of life barring physical shortcomings. These were followed by a performance by NSIT College which well portrayed the rat race of human life and another performance by the host institute IITD which was deservingly applauded. With a series of activities that stand queued up for the glorified hours of the night at Rendezvous, we now depart till the coverage of yet another eventful day of the fest tomorrow.

Au revoir!



Image credits: Additi Seth