Jawarlal Nehru University, an institution known to house radical and dissented perspectives is making another round of headlines by holding the convocation ceremony for its PhD students for the first time ever after 46 years.

The reason behind the gap

The first and only convocation ceremony was held in 1972, where noted actor Balraj Sahni gave his famous address. During the ceremony, the then-President of the student union, VC Koshy, swayed away from the speech approved by the Dean and made remarks against the administration and the ceremony itself. “Events such as convocation were a sheer wastage of taxpayers’ money—they should be dispensed with and the money diverted for the students’ welfare,” he addressed the crowd.

Following this controversy, annual convocations were discontinued until recently. “All research scholars, who have completed the requirements for the PhD degree, between 01.01.2017 and 30.06.2018 are eligible for the conferment of PhD degree at the Convocation”, the university website announced.

Divide in opinions

While this might seem like harmless information, it has further embroiled the administration-student gap. The alumni took to twitter sharing their perspective.

S.C. Garkoti, Chairperson of the committee responsible for managing the event said to the media, “Why should our students just submit their PhD theses and disappear?” and added, “Convocation is not bad for students, why should they take it otherwise? It is part of a university system, we don’t expect opposition to it.”

“Somebody is trying to codify the liberal tradition of JNU and put a stamp of authority on it. That’s not acceptable to students. We are not a teaching school, but a research centre. Students are as good as professors, why not consult them?”, an anonymous doctoral student reported to Live Mint. They further added that “the fear is the convocation may be laced with saffron ideology.”

“The vice-chancellor is making constant efforts to destroy the very ethos of inclusive education,” said Anubhuti Sharma, another PhD student observed. “He has reduced student intake at the doctoral level and has imposed restrictions on students’ movement. Free space and free speech are shrinking on the campus. The convocation is a mere spectacle of his desire to pose as the hollow benefactor of JNU students.”

JNU Student Union President, Geeta Kumari, said they did not have a problem with holding a convocation “but it depends on who they call as the guests”.

Featured Image Credits: JNU


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Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) as part of its ‘satyagraha’ against autonomisation of the University of Delhi (DU), had called off the evaluation for this semester’s examination papers. The DU administration in their press release pleaded teachers to start the evaluation soon.

The press release quoted teachers’ mandatory duty to ‘actively participate in evaluation process’ according to the ‘service agreements, and Executive Council Resolutions of 2003 and 2014’. Further, it stressed on students, their future and how that can get hampered due to this boycott.

In response, DUTA released a statement which said, “The DUTA was forced to take this harsh step because of attack on Reservation Policy through 5 March 2018 UGC notification and because of fear that some of the DU colleges may be made autonomous colleges.” Teachers have been denied promotions, pensions, and appointments which has led to the discontentment.

DUTA also reaffirmed student support for ‘grave issues that are at stake affect the stability and quality of the teaching-learning process’. The students have previously supported DUTA in its march in Parliament Street and actively responded to the call for suspension of classes.

Shimona Sharma, a graduating student shared that, “As much as I support DUTA’s decision, I also am worried I will miss postgraduate admissions for that. It would be ideal if DUTA can reach a compromise and start with the evaluation of answer sheets of third-year students.” In 2016 too, the DUTA had boycotted the evaluation, but it later exempted the final-year students.

In its retort, DUTA advised the varsity administration to stop reminding teachers of their duties and to enter into a ‘genuine dialogue and take concrete visible steps’. They are seeking assurance towards resolution of issues, and plan to take the evaluation issue at their next meeting on 13 June 2018.

Feature Image Credits: The Indian Express

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On 29 May 2018, a transvestite person was stabbed to death by a group of Delhi men, after an altercation with the victim. One of the men accused is a student at the University of Delhi.

Commission of the crime

The accused spotted a woman in a black salwar suit and red chunni and tried to stop her. Once they realised that the person is not a woman, the victim was stabbed in the heart, face, and head with a swiss knife. The crime was committed at about 2 a.m. in the night. The men asked the victim about their mehendi, anklets, and the attire, which led to an altercation as the victim tried to escape.

“This incident reveals the nature of crimes that are carried out against trans femme people. If the victim would have been cis-gender, she possibly would have been raped. The accused probably felt ‘lied to’ in a way and proceeded to commit such a horrible crime.” Bhavya, a student expressed her grief.

Persons identified

“The teams analysed the data of missing persons and identified the [person] as 22-year-old Kalu, who lived near the temple in Kalkaji,” DCP (south-east) Chinmoy Biswal reported to Times of India. The investigation further surfaced that the deceased used to dress up like Goddess Kali on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

As far as the accused go, the police apprehended the accused, Naveen, a first-year student at Kirori Mal College, Delhi University, from Govindpuri area. Six others including three juveniles were also apprehended. The other accused that have been identified are Aman Singh, 20, Mohit, 25, and Sajal Maheshwari, 19. Aman and Sajal are delivery boys while others are school dropouts.

Ruth Chawngthu, co-founder of Nazariya: A Grassroots LGBT-Straight Alliance, brought to light “how much hyper-masculinity is ingrained in our society, to a point where any sign of femininity is seen as an invitation for assault and harassment.” Crimes against women and trans-femme people are being committed at an alarming rate in the country, with no strong judicial mechanism in place.

Feature Image Credits: The Indian Express


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DU cut-off lists have always swept the nation off its feet. With the announcement of CBSE XII result, speculations for this year’s cut off range has also begun.

“Of course cut-offs will increase. But by how much we can only tell after all the applications are received,” a DU official reported to Hindustan Times. The overall pass percentage at the national level rose from last year’s 82.02% to 83.01%. Moreover, there has been a sharp rise in the number of students scoring above 95%. It was noted that12,737 students scored above 95%, 2,646 more than last year. Appraising the data at hand, it is very likely that the cut-offs will rise by a margin of 1%. This is just a speculation and students must wait for the cut-offs to be officially released to know the real picture.

Last year, SGTB Khalsa College reached sky-high limits with a cut-off set at 99.66%, just as much as the national topper had scored, making her the only eligible candidate. Although there is an upward change in the statistics, with cut-offs already reaching extreme ends, there is no room for cut-offs to rise. The real change that may hurt some students will come from the rigidity of the cut-off to reduce in the subsequent lists.

“Whatever predictions people make, the range will go up and down only by a few points. Besides, the mathematics of it is unfair. Say, a candidate scored the highest in English but couldn’t survive the cut off because her best of 4 was reduced due to poor marks in History. This system should change. I suggest that course-specific entrance test should also be taken into account”, Niharika Dabral, a student of Delhi University, aptly describes the fault in the system.

This year all boards had collectively decided to put an end to the inflation in results. From the looks of it, there has not been any change. Could it be that the students are actually capable of scoring such decorated mark-sheets? Or is inflation an age-old practice that CBSE along with other boards cannot break from?

Feature Image Credits: Vikram Sharma

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Every year the headlines flash myriad versions of “CBSE XII Board Results Tomorrow”, producing infinite anxiety and suspense. Today, another lot got their own dose of shock, reward, and disappointment. My only wish is to congratulate them, out of empathy for the system we survive in.

From birth until the very end, we succumb to the pressures of competition. While some pass with flying colours, yet most us settle with the not so great marksheet. Today, numerous posts will shout— “YOUR PERCENTAGE DOESN’T MATTER”, and, from personal experience, I must attest to this. From being a ‘straight A student‘  to barely entering the golden 90+ range, my journey has been one of depression, introspection, and strength.

In 2017, out of over 10 lakh students, only 10,091 students scored over 95 percent and 63,247 students scored over 90 percent. While these high bracket percentages grant the privilege of getting into top universities, a forgotten side of the story is of those who don’t get their choice of college due to an even higher cut-off. “[It] felt like failing all over again, but I didn’t have the luxury to complain or whine about it”, as Vineeta Rana, the former Editor of DU Beat, aptly puts it.

While the hype around the country, state, and city toppers top the charts, somewhere in a discreet corner of newspaper lies one column news about student suicides that occur around the country. The reality is that parents and society pressure the child into an expectation of outperforming everyone. Given the unpredictability of CBSE, such expectations prove damaging to one’s mental health. If you are having suicidal thoughts or know someone who is, please get in touch with the required intervention. For assistance, here is a document compiling the dos and don’ts for parents and teachers.

In the face of the result before you, I want every student to realise that — favourable or unfavourable — your marks do not reflect your talent, personality, or your intellect. These numbers will only decide the college that you’ll be placed into and nothing beyond that. Yes, it is easier to have a head-start in your professional journey but, success will dawn upon those who will climb up the ladder, no matter where they have landed, and reach the goals they have set out to achieve.

I could give numerous examples of people who weren’t academically bright, yet have reached a sense of success in their lives. But, not only does this condone a traditional definition of success, associated with wealth and power, but I also realise how little this consoling can help you. The ‘pissing my pants’ feeling to the shattering effect of punching your details on the CBSE website will last for a while. Though I assure you it won’t last long. Maybe, three years from now you can give a TEDx talk on your journey. The idea is to just take this moment and live in it, not what you could have done in the past to make it better or what will happen in the future. Look for alternatives, if your Plan A (getting great grades and qualifying the cut off) has failed then formulate Plan B. There are more than one way to enter in Delhi University. You can still study for the 12 entrance based courses. Remember: When the going gets tough, keep going. You can do it. 

All the best! Brave through!

Feature Image Credits: Kartik Kakkar for DU Beat


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On 24 May, Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) held a protest outside University Grants Commission (UGC) office against the meeting to decide autonomy for St. Stephen’s College and Hindu College. Owing to the protests, UGC dropped the meeting altogether.

DUTA issues press release

Senior UGC Officials informed the DUTA President today morning that the item on granting autonomy to St. Stephen’s and Hindu College has been dropped from the agenda of the meeting”, DUTA issued in its press release. It added, that “this deferral is, however, no guarantee against the Government’s plan to privatise its premier public-funded higher educational institutions.” Yet, DUTA breathes a sigh of relief with this victory. 

DUTA re-affirmed its emphasis on the varsity’s founding act and the autonomy ascribed in it. It further asserted the unwanted result of “forcing [UGC’s] its new autonomy schemes”; commercialising education and making it exclusionary.

Demands raised by DUTA

Primarily, DUTA demands that autonomy is not forced on colleges or DU. On the other hand, many other issues have also been raised. The immediate withdrawal and reconsideration of the reservation roster, issued by the UGC on 5 March, is one amongst them. DUTA has demanded a reformulation of the said roster by standardising appointments by counting subject-wise departments (and not whole institutions) as units. 

The DUTA demands withdrawal of retrograde recommendations of the 7th Pay Revision notification and the UGC draft regulations. We demand that the Revision of pension and other allowances be announced without further delay.” stated the press release.

Further actions expected

Rajib Ray, DUTA President, affirmed the faith in their fight and reiterated their decision to boycott semester-end evaluation until further notice. A Satyagraha: Mass Hunger Strike has also been organised on Wednesday, 30 May 2018 at Mandi House. DUTA will also write to teachers’ and students’ unions of other universities.

Feature Image Credits: Abha Dev Habib

Image Credits: DUTA


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Delhi High Court allows convict Santosh Kumar Singh, serving a life sentence for the rape and murder of Priyadarshini Mattoo, to give his LLM examination.

Terms of parole granted

Justice Mukesh Gupta granted the convict in question, parole for four days till 24th May. Pursuing the second branch of his masters in law from Delhi University, the court verified his claim to appear in the exam. The court also ordered Singh to furnish a bond of Rs 2,000 and surety of the like amount.

He has availed parole in numerous instances. His previous parole lasted from April 17 to May 1 for Personal Contact Programme (PCP), which is a part of his course. On May 15, 2017, he was granted parole for 15 days to write his LLM exams and attend his brother’s wedding.

The reaction of the standing counsel

Delhi government standing counsel (criminal) — Rahul Mehra — opposed the parole plea argued that the purpose of justice is defeated in this modus operandi (way of operating) of taking admission in a course and then asking for parole. The lax in reducing Singh’s punishment from the death penalty to life imprisonment has always been controversial, leading to various protests in the last.

Mehra objected and compared the relief given to prisoners to the distribution of sweets. The court, however, held the view that education is encouraged in prison, as a way of bringing positivity in the jail.

Details of the case at hand

Priyadarshini Mattoo, Singh’s junior, was raped and strangled at her residence in 1996 that led to a 14-year battle of justice, fury, and frustration. In 2006, the high court at the national capital convicted Santosh Singh and sentenced him to death. Subsequently, in 2010, the Supreme Court converted the punishment to life imprisonment. The inability of the judiciary to award speedy justice to Mattoo and her family carries the weight of India’s deepest regrets.

Feature Image Credits: Express File Photo

Image Credits: Outlook, Aditya Raj Kaul


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The qualifying chemistry examination held for the master’s programme has come under scrutiny for breach of secrecy. Students suspect malicious intent by the Head of the Department.

The question under attack

In the inorganic chemistry examination, students of semester IV in the varsity’s M.Sc. (Chemistry) course were asked a 10-mark question — Write a brief note about the presentation assigned to you in class.”

This question became problematic as each student had prepared a unique presentation and answer sheets for semester-end papers that are checked internally.

Students incriminate HOD

During the month of March, students and teachers alleged Prof. Ramesh Chandra, the head of the department, to have sexually harassed them. This led to a protest by the students, and a student in a statement to The Indian Express said, “We have already been threatened once — that we will be failed for protesting. Now this question intends to victimise us when we are in the last year of our masters’ degree. We had written to the examination department but nothing happened.”

Alarmed, a total number of 118 students had raised a complaint to the Dean of Examinations asking them to bar a few professors suspected to err in an unbiased marking scheme. Their request was ignored and the examination was held on May 9, regardless.

Ramesh Chandra’s response

In response to the alleged bias, Prof. Ramesh Chandra told The Indian Express, “Questions are set by teachers in the department and evaluated by them, so writing about the project is not going to cost students anything. They protested against the issue but that issue is over. Why would I want to identify them? Everything is done as per merit and a select few are politicising the issue.”

University policy to prevent bias

The varsity has set norms and procedures to prevent any bias from either side of the examination by removing identifiable aspects such as name and internally assigned roll number from answer sheets before they are sent for evaluation.

According to Ordinance X-A, “deliberately disclosing one’s identity or making any distinctive mark in the answer book for that purpose.” is considered as unfair and dishonest means. The applicability of said ordinance to the question in scrutiny and its consequence remains unclear.

Feature Image Credits: Dept. of Chemistry, DU


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With yet another academic session almost coming to an end at the University of Delhi, it is time to look back at the year that has gone by, before all of us get busy with semester examination preparation. Going by the thought, DU Beat brings to you its exclusive series ‘Colleges’ Round Up (2017-18)’, where we present the highlighting incidents of numerous DU colleges that took place over 2017 and 2018.

From various controversies and protests to successfully organising fests —Mecca, and Mushaira, Hindu College has had quite an eventful year.

Feature Image Credits: DUB Archives


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With yet another academic session almost coming to an end at the University of Delhi, it is time to look back at the year that has gone by, before all of us get busy with semester examination preparation. Going by the thought, DU Beat brings to you its exclusive series ‘Colleges’ Round Up (2017-18)’, where we present the highlighting incidents of numerous DU colleges that took place over 2017 and 2018.

From welcoming their first woman principal to hosting the varsity’s biggest fest, Crossroads, successfully for yet another year, Shri Ram College has had quite an eventful year.

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat

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