Priyanka Banerjee


When my Dad gifted me book vouchers of a popular bookstore for my birthday last month, I was itching to buy some interesting non-fiction books. While browsing through the store, I noticed a white book titled ‘How Google Works’ under the section of newly released books and ended up buying it without a second thought. The book turned out to be exactly what I’d hoped it would be-insightful and engaging with many stories from Google’s journey and bits of humour and sarcasm in between.

Contrary to what one might initially assume, the book is not about the technology that Google uses to power its many products (search engine, Gmail, YouTube, Drive and so on), but how the organisation functions. Written by Google’s ex CEO and now Executive Chairman, Schmidt and former Senior Vice President Rosenberg, this book is divided into sections about hiring, creating a work culture, decision making and innovation.

As a Business Studies student, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the unique principles and factors that have shaped the way the company runs; factors that make it so successful and a company that thousands hope to join one day.

The one principle that stands out the most and is stressed on repeatedly is how important a company’s employees and work culture truly is. Google is known to have one of the best work cultures in the world (the book even mentions how one of the early engineers wanted to bring his pet ferret to the office and was told to go right ahead) and a very rigorous hiring process to ensure they hire what is referred to in the book, as a ‘Smart Creative’, each time. Google aspirants would find this chapter particularly useful as it roughly outlines the four categories used for evaluation of candidates; Leadership, Role related knowledge, General cognitive ability and ‘Googleyness’.

Another theme common to all sections in the book is the importance of data while making any decision, whether it’s about hiring, solving a problem, creating a strategy or starting a new product.

The chapter on Innovation was my favourite part of the book. It only makes sense for a company like Google to talk about such a factor, what with its ambitious projects of building self-driving cars and Project Loon, which hopes to provide wireless broadband service to the world through huge hot air balloon like devices.

All in all, whether you’re hoping to join Google one day or are just simply curious about the foresight and culture required to build a quality product and team, How Google Works should be next on your reading list for sure.

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ABVP’s protest on Friday, the 17th of October, Delhi University had promised to restart the system of revaluation in the University. The dharna outside Arts’ Faculty had demanded reintroduction of re-evaluation, special chance and supplementary exams. The option of evaluation of answer sheets had been done away with during the October-November exams in 2013. The official notification had declared that since examination sheets were jointly corrected by a number of examiners, revaluation would not be continued. The notice issued by Delhi University today, on the 20th of October, starts off by declaring that these changes have been brought after various representatives (DUSU, in particular), had appealed to the University for the same. Here are some of the main points from the notice:

  • Revaluation of examination sheets will be reintroduced. Further, the sheets will now be checked by a single examiner. The details of the procedure for revaluation will be disclosed soon.
  • Those students who failed in their 1st year under the FYUP and could not take admission for whatever reason, will be allowed to apply for readmission to 1st year till the 29th of October, 2014.
  • The attendance of such students will be counted from the day of their admission and Internal Assessment shall be conducted as per the college’s rules. However, the students must cover the curriculum on their own and not claim any loss of teaching.
When asked about this change, here’s what Saket Bahuguna, Delhi State Secretary, ABVP had to say, “This was the first time that DUSU office bearers were called by the Delhi University officials. So, we feel that it is a very positive step and the coming in of the notification symbolizes victory of students. This is because DU administration has now realized that it cannot function if it does not take decisions favouring the students. ABVP is committed to fight for all such issues that a student faces in the University.”  Glimpse of the dharna held last week. Image courtesy: ABVP Press Release You can read the full notice here.]]>

Win a chance to watch this week’s Satyamev Jayate show with Aamir Khan in Delhi! 50 lucky DU Beat readers will get the chance to watch the screening of the latest episode live on 19th October with the host of the show himself! To enter the contest, simply fill in the form given below.
Please note:
*Delhi/NCR residents between the ages of 18-30 years are allowed to participate.
*The contest is open till 12 pm 16th October. Only one entry per person in allowed.
*List of selected winners will be disclosed on our Facebook page at 9:30 pm on 16th October. Details of the event will be then given to the winners.
Update: Here is the list of winners! They will be contacted by our team members tonight and tomorrow morning. To minimise confusion, the email ids given through the form have also been mentioned.
Aakriti Rastogi [email protected]
Aditya [email protected]
Akshat Chopra [email protected]
Anjali Kumar [email protected]
Anshul Garg [email protected]
Anukriti Malik [email protected]
Anuran Khan [email protected]
Anushruti Ganguly [email protected]
Ashish Jain [email protected]
Ashish Raj [email protected]
Bonita Gupta [email protected]
Chanchal Singhal [email protected]
Charumati Haran [email protected]
Devanshi Bhatnagar [email protected]
Garry Pahwa [email protected]
Kanupriya Dhingra [email protected]
Lakshita Gupta [email protected]
Mayank Yadav [email protected]
Megha Yadav [email protected]
Nikhil Bisht [email protected]
Nishchay Mehta [email protected]
Paarth Mitaal [email protected]
Pallav Kumar [email protected]
Pranav Walia [email protected]
Prateek [email protected]
Pratibha Jain [email protected]
Pratiush Vishwantah [email protected]
Purandhya Sharma [email protected]
Raja Bagga [email protected]
Saanvi [email protected]
Saketh Reddy [email protected]
Saksham Pandey [email protected]
Salil Batabyal [email protected]
Saurabh Patel [email protected]
Shambhavi Rai [email protected]
Shruti Ghiya [email protected]
Sonali kalra [email protected]
Sonali singh [email protected]
Srishti Manak [email protected]
Suhani Kumar [email protected]
Supriya Paul [email protected]
Suvrita [email protected]
Swati Chaturvedi [email protected]
Syed Hammad [email protected]
Tenzin Chodon [email protected]
Vandana Kapoor [email protected]
Yuvraj Singh Narang [email protected]
Kartik Mishra [email protected]


Featured image designed by Kartik Lav for DU Beat

Orizzonte 2014 was the third edition of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College’s annual management fest held for school students. The main idea behind it is to give school students a glimpse of college life, and what it’s like to study in the Department of Management Studies in DDUC. A break from the usual competitions class XI and XII students are used to, the challenges under Orizzonte were designed to give them a taste of what lies in store for them in college.


The day kicked off with an inauguration ceremony on 10th October at the college grounds. After short speeches from the guests, teachers and Dr. SK Garg, the college’s principal, the students made their way to the various events lined up for the day. The five events were Out of the Box, Stalking the Stock, Vivencia, The Couch Potato Quiz and Eureka.
Out of these, while Out of the Box (Ad-Mad) and Stalking the Stock (Mock Stock) were conventional competitions, the rounds had enough spins and twists to keep the students intrigued. In the end, Bal Bharati Public School and St. Columba’s School emerged victorious in the respective competitions. The Couch Potato Quiz was an entertainment quiz which proved to be a refreshing change from the serious quizzes school students are used to, since the event tested their knowledge of sitcoms and drama TV series like Sherlock, Suits and How I Met Your Mother, along with that of the popular book series Harry Potter.  The team from Seth Anandram Jaipuria School took away the first prize for the event.

Vivencia, designed to test the students’ decision making abilities and spontaneity had rounds covering Marketing, PR and media statements, trading and even an auction. The teams from SS Mota Singh School stood out during Vivencia, after bagging two of the top three positions at the end of all three rounds. Eureka, the entrepreneurial challenge had students answering guesstimation questions, crafting elevator pitches for business ideas and finally proposing a three point marketing strategy for the same. The boys from St. Columba’s School walked away with the first prize for this event too. Apart from these, an online competition called Orizzonte Online was also conducted prior to the event.

The entire contingent from St. Columba’s School proved their mettle in all five events, bagging the top prizes in mostly all competitions. It was no surprise then, that they were adjudged the Overall Winners of Orizzonte’14. “Orizzonte is an attempt to give school students a platform to showcase their creativity, decision making skills and analytical thinking. Through the work of the Organising Committee and the enthusiasm shown by the students, we were successful in our efforts”, said Soumya Gupta a third year student from the department and President of Orizzonte’14.

Image credits: Jatin Walia

Delhi University has always had its fair share of rising sports stars from a variety of fields and Aayushi Gupta, a third year Economics student from Lady Shri Ram College for Women is indeed one of them. Hailing from Agra, this shooter has not only done her college and University proud, but has also proved her mettle at numerous international competitions. She has been on the national team since her first year in college and went on to become the University Gold medalist in shooting this year. She has been consistently winning the Gold at the U.P. State Championships and North Zone Championships for the past 3 years. Earlier this year, she represented India at shooting championships in Spain, Germany and the Czech Republic (where she bagged the Bronze medal). It then comes as no surprise that she’s currently ranked No. 1 in the Juniors category in India in her sport!

DU Beat managed to get in touch with Aayushi to talk about shooting, the support DU extends to its sportspersons and what her targets for the rest of the year are.

Tell us about your journey as a shooter. How did you first get involved in the sport?

My journey as a shooter has been wonderful. The good performances have given me power and much confidence. Even the worst of my performances have taught me a lot and made me better.
I had always been a sportsperson at school, playing all the sports I could. Then one day the shooting range was inaugurated at school. I went to have a look. I had never had a first hand experience at even holding a rifle or the sport before that. The thought of the bullet shot by me hitting that small target 10mts away was what gave me the thrill. I never looked back after that.

What’s been your proudest moment so far?

My proudest moment so far was just recently, when I was climbing the podium in Plzen, Czech Republic, and the anchor there said, “The bronze medal goes to Gupta Aayushi, FROM INDIA!”
That was when I had goose bumps. I was so proud that I could do my nation proud.


Who are the people in your life who inspire and encourage you the most?

As a shooter, it’s Ma’am Anjali Bhagwat who inspires me a lot. After that, as a person, it’s my father who encourages and inspires me. That’s where all my strength comes from. He is the person who first told me take up the sport as a career. And then there’s my mother and brother, my coaches, and my school and college friends, my sporting friends who have encouraged me a lot.

Would you say that the University provides all required support to ensure you can give your 100% during competitive events? Is it largely due to the training in college that a lot of shooters from DU end up doing the country proud at events like the Commonwealth Games?

Delhi University does a lot for its sportspersons, supports them and encourages them. It may not be the “all required support” for some, but for me it is all that I require and it definitely means a lot. A lot of shooters I know come from Delhi University and have done the country proud at many international events. Training at college and how a shooter learns from it is very objective; everyone has a different training style, but the kind of support one gets from their college authorities and their teachers is what really matters. And I’m happy that I get that support and encouragement!

What are some of the big goals you have lined up for the rest of the academic session?

I have less than a year left as an undergraduate at Delhi University, and I want to make it count. There are the inter college and inter university events coming up soon, performing to my best is my goal. Improving myself as a shooter is always my next goal. But as target championships, there are University Nationals, Open Nationals and the Asian Championship lined up for now.

Apart from sports, what activities do you enjoy? How do you unwind after a long day of practice?

It’s sports I enjoy the most. But it would be listening to music and dancing that would come next. I love travelling and adventure sports, though I have not got much time for either due to my training and championships. Whenever I get little time in between training sessions and championships and college, I try going back to Agra and be with family and my school friends.

Most of us can agree that the first two years of college are spent trying out a multitude of activities while settling down in college and finding one’s niche. The third and final year, in my opinion should be used to focus on one or two big projects while helping out juniors and imparting ‘nuggets of wisdom’! So as a dutiful third year student, here are 10 things I’ve learnt during my first two years in DU:

1.Take up at least one activity that gets you talking to people you don’t know.

Whether it’s joining the Sponsorship department of a college event or joining the placement cell, do something that forces you to call, email or have face to face conversations with as many new people as possible. We’re going to be doing a lot of that for the rest of our lives, so we might as well get over the awkwardness that often comes with it.

2. From time to time, attend events that have nothing to do with your field of study.

Sit in the audience for that B Plan competition even if you’re  an English major. Or better yet, compete in one. Attend a seminar on the Israel-Palestinian conflict even if you study Zoology. They are easy ways to get exposed to a diverse range of topics and learn about new fields. You’re in a place like DU, where there’s some seminar, event or panel discussion going on every other day- make full use of these opportunities. (Check out our Events Calendar for some inspiration.)

3.The internet is beautiful. Try using it for things apart from Facebook every now and then.

Yes, it’s easy to get carried away while looking at albums of 200+ pictures from a party someone on our list threw (and didn’t invite us to), but it’s a shame if that’s all we end up using the internet for! Follow a couple of interesting blogs, get on Quora, reach out to alumni from your college through LinkedIn and set up a Google Alert to make sure you don’t miss the application dates for that fellowship you’ve been eyeing. (And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!)

4. It’s perfectly okay if you don’t know what you want to do, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do anything.

Most of us, (yes, even third year students) are still figuring out what we want to do. College gives ample space to try out a variety of activities. Even if you haven’t found ‘your thing’ in college yet, don’t give up. Give multiple activities a shot, find what you like doing, and then get really good at it.

5. It may sound rather simplified, but you make your own college experience.

Regardless of your college and the ‘tag’ that comes with it, your attitude and actions create your college experience, or at least a major chunk of the same. Sure, maybe opportunities are more easily accessible for students of certain colleges, but there is no dearth of opportunities for those who are willing to go the extra mile to seek them.

6. Help out your juniors and ask your seniors to tell you about their college experiences.

Freshers are a rather enthusiastic bunch and always bubbling with a lot of questions about societies, internships, exams and further studies. If you know something useful, help them out. Also take out the time to befriend a couple of seniors and ask them to tell you tales of what they’ve learnt in college.

7. Don’t burn bridges unnecessarily and don’t be ‘that guy’.

Making mean and hurtful comments may seem like a good idea in the moment, but it’s best not to burn bridges if it can be avoided. You know how there’s always that one person in every class who goes out of his/her way to make other people feel bad about themselves? Yeah, don’t be that guy. You don’t have to be best friends with everyone, but maintaining a basic level of courtesy is never a bad idea.

8. Academics are important, but to an extent.

This largely depends on what your plans for the future are (for example, if you want to get into Harvard or research, then yes, academics are supremely important), but for the most part, maintaining a ‘decent’ percentage while getting your hands into other activities can help you lead a balanced college life. This target score, of course, varies from course to course.

For example, most entrance exams for post graduate courses require a bare minimum of 50% in graduation, and some top notch companies only interview candidates with more than 75% aggregate during placement. Keep all these factors in mind, and set your goals accordingly.

9. Show up for your friends.

If your college or school friend is acting in a play, go and support them in the audience. If they’re organizing a competition or exhibition during a fest, go and attend it. These small gestures matter a lot, especially when everyone is always busy and has conflicting schedules. This is definitely something I wish I had done more of.

10. Go on a trip with your friends while in college…at least once.

Depending on your budget and how easily you can convince your parents, select a place and go there with your college friends. Whether it’s for a competition at an IIT, or even a weekend in Agra, it’ll definitely be one of the highlights of your college life. Hill stations, Bombay and Goa are the most popular choices for DU kids.

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The Shakespeare Society, or Shake Soc of St. Stephen’s College held its first term production, ‘The Pillowman’ by Martin McDnagh on the 28th and 29th of August. The play revolves around Katurian, a writer whose twisted stories about murdered children land him into trouble with two detectives, Tupolski and Ariel.

After three cases of children being murdered in ways similar to those in his stories, he is brought in for questioning along with his brother, Michal. All four of them have dark pasts that are revealed one by one during the play, as the mystery behind the murders also unravels.

The Pillowman is a thrilling experience, with moments of the play likely to give the audience goose bumps. Lauren Robinson who played Michal, did an excellent job while depicting Katurian’s brother who is mentally stunted after years of torture. When asked about the play, Lauren said, “It was tough playing Michael Katurian. It’s not easy risking an entire production by just being you on stage”.

The play was directed by Amrita Chakravarty and Diya Deviah, with Ajit Deshpande, Suhasini Krishnan and John Koshy playing Katurian, Ariel and Tupolski respectively.

Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College, on Friday, the 29th of August, organized a seminar on ‘Awakening the Youth’. The event was organized by the college’s MUN club, which is also holding its annual MUN conference (DDUC MUN) later this month.

The event started off with a welcome note by Dr. Nisha Rana, the Head of the Business Studies Department of the college. This was followed by an address by the Principal, Dr. S.K Garg who spoke about the importance of moral values in today’s day and age.

Ashok Kumar, an IIT Delhi alumnus, currently in the Border Security Force started off the seminar by talking about the state of women’s security in India at present. He spoke at length about the numerous additional clauses that had been put in the Indian Penal Code in 2013, like the explicit inclusion of crimes like acid attacks, voyeurism, disrobing along with the increase in the sentence given to the accused in cases of rapes and sexual harassment. In his candid lecture, he also discussed some startling statistics like the fact that only 5% of the cases brought to the Court end with the accused being convicted.

Taking the discussion on law and order forward, the next speaker, Aishwarya Bhati, a Supreme Court lawyer talked about the discrepancies between the law and the execution of the same.

Both speakers had plenty of questions from the audience, most of which were based on the glaring lack of implementation of laws in the country. Issues of juvenile rape, corruption and delayed justice were also touched upon.

The session wrapped up with a talk on the connection between one’s mental and physical health, with emphasis on the importance of meditation and exercise. The Principal then gave the vote of thanks, appreciating the speakers on their keenness to address the students’ questions, along with bringing up such matters of relevance.

Kanan Gill, a stand up comedy artist from Bangalore was recently in town for his Pretentious Movie Night show in Gurgaon with Biswa Kalyan Rath. The duo’s YouTube series on Pretentious Movie Reviews have gathered a lot of loyal followers with hilarious videos on movies like Gunda, Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon and the most recent one, Prem Aggan. We managed to catch up with Kanan at Mia Bella, Hauz Khas Village for a pretentious conversation on his videos, his college days and the stand up comedy scene in India.

Read on for a glimpse of the full interview!
Priyanka: So, firstly, most people fantasize about getting into YouTube and stand up comedy, but rarely do they do anything about it. What was the first push for you?
Kanan: It’s weird to fantasize about getting into YouTube, because anybody can start a YouTube channel! Uh, for stand up comedy, it’s a much bigger step. For me, I was lucky. Comedians from Bangalore (Sandeep Rao, Praveen Kumar) started a stand up comedy scene, English Language, which is very difficult, but they started with open mic nights in Bangalore where anybody can go and tell jokes. So I stopped by one of those, and I really liked it so I thought I should do this. And I have a bit of a background in being on stage; I’ve been in bands and music groups before and wrote funny songs. So I knew that the “funny part” was there and I liked being on stage, but stand up comedy was the best form of that.

Mehr: And how did you and Biswa start out and get together?

Kanan: Both of used to do stand up in Bangalore and we met at an Open Mic. Both of us had IT jobs and in the evening we used to come and try and tell jokes. We started writing jokes together, just to try and help each other out. Eventually when this YouTube thing started, I asked him if he wanted to be in the video, mainly because I was scared of doing it alone [laughs]. And he did not want to but I convinced him and that’s how it came about.

Priyanka: People usually review new movies, so where did the concept of reviewing old, trashy Hindi movies come from?

Kanan: That was the whole point! I see no point in reviewing current movies; just watch it or don’t watch it. For me, the funniest thing is doing things that are unhelpful. The very first video I made, was called an ‘Indian Accent Tutorial’ that was not helpful at all. So, I decided, hey, let’s make movie reviews that have no value! They are not for current movies and it should be just that you watch the review to watch the review; you’re never going to watch the movie, so that was the idea.

Mehr: You recently went to St. Stephen’s College in Delhi University. Do you have any stories to tell from your crazy college days?
Kanan: No I was very boring in college! I was not extroverted, didn’t take part in events. I was just quietly there. Crazy stories, well there are a bunch of them. I once got a bomb squad called for my friend’s car, that was pretty crazy.  You’re not supposed to park your car in the college campus but I was like, ‘Leave it na, nothing’s going to happen!’ The next day we came back to his car and the doors were not there! In his car there were was a cricket kit in the back,  and someone thought it was a bomb, so they called the bomb squad and they disassembled his car!
Priyanka: Do you have any ‘words of wisdom’ to share with people who want to get into stand up comedy?
Kanan: Sure man, do it! That’s it; there’s nothing stopping you besides going out and doing it. Here in Delhi, Gurgaon there’s a lot of opportunity. There’s a full Delhi stand up scene, they have Open Mics, get in touch with them. The best thing about the stand up comedy scene in India is that it’s not very big; there’s nothing stopping either of you from organising a show tonight and saying, ‘Hey, stand up is happening, come!’ So why not do it?

Priyanka: What sort of response do you usually get from the Delhi audience? You’ve done a couple of shows here, so what’s it been like?

Kanan: You know, it’s weird; you can summarise the audience of different cities, like Bangalore is little more posh, a slightly difficult audience which is good because it makes you work hard. Bombay’s read to laugh at most things, they just want to have a good time. In Delhi I’ve had very opposite experiences. The first time I came to Gurgaon, I was horrible! But recently it’s been amazing! So what I’ve realised is that the crowd from Noida, from South Delhi and from Gurgaon are all very different and you can’t judge an NCR crowd as one.

Mehr: Were you happy with the kind of reception you got for the first Pretentious Movie Night show?

Kanan: Oh yes, so happy! Mainly because we haven’t slept in so many days, not because we were working (well, partially because we were working) but because we were so stressed!

Priyanka: All the viewers have their favourite Pretentious Movie Review. Which one is your favourite?

Kanan: I think for different reasons, different ones are my favourite. Weirdly, the ones we spend less time on become better. For example, Prem Aggan, when we finished shooting it, it was 5:30 in the morning and we were like, ‘This sucks! No one’s going to like this.’ Later, I did a rough edit, just to see and by the time I was done, I decided ki isko daal dete hai. And the response for that was insane! In contrast, Hum Saath Saath Hai, both of us really liked and we spent so much time on that! We shot for 5 hours to do that video, but people were like, ‘Yeh kya hai?’ and we said were giving advice and all that, but people didn’t want that! We don’t have a formula for what works. Even the Movie Reviews were just supposed to be a thing that was in between the other videos but now it’s the most popular segment!

Priyanka: Can you spill any secrets as to which movies you’ll be reviewing next?

Kanan: [laughs] Absolutely not! Nope, nope.

Take a look at Kanan Gill’s channel on YouTube here.