Sara Sohail


The AISA-CYSS alliance unveiled their candidates today in a rally that started from the Faculty of Arts, North Campus.

In a huge show of strength, the alliance of the All India Students Association (AISA) and Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti (CYSS), declared their candidates for the upcoming Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) elections on 12th September 2018, in a rally that started from the Faculty of Arts at 1 p.m.

Abhigyan, a first-year student pursuing B.A. Programme from Ramjas College would be contesting for the post of President while Anshika Singh, a student from Dayal Singh College would be contesting for Vice President. Both are from the AISA. Chandramani Dev, a student from Law Centre II and Sunny Tanwar, a student of Pannalal Girdharlal Dayanand Anglo Vedic College will be contesting for the posts of Secretary and Joint Secretary respectively. Notably, both candidates are from the CYSS.

In a press release, the joint alliance promised to challenge the politics of hooliganism around the campus and to establish an ‘alternative model’ of DUSU which will be student-friendly. They have based their campaigning on issues like better student transportation and accommodation facilities, ensuring a Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH) which would encompass the entire University, better placement facilities for students, student clinics in DU colleges and so on.

The rally of around 300 people moved from the Faculty of Arts in North Campus to Ramjas College, Kirorimal College, Hansraj College, Hindu College, Law Faculty and returned to the Faculty of. When asked why students should vote for AISA-CYSS, Abhigyan told DU Beat, “We’re trying to change the narrative that has been existing around here. We want to change the scenario of people coming with garlands in their necks and trying to portray themselves on a pedestal that is above the students. We’re trying to break that. We’re trying to communicate better with the students and we are fighting every day while understanding that students are also fighting every day.”

Having said that, it was considered ironical that the CYSS panel members started to climb the statue of Swami Vivekananda in the middle of the Faculty of Arts, with garlands in their necks. On the insistence of some AISA members, they descended from the statue and proceeded for the rally on foot.

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat

Sara Sohail

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A few students of Ramjas College decided to hold a meeting in protest of the recent raid and arrest of five human rights activists and intellectuals by the Maharashtra police on 30th August in the basketball court of the college at 12 p.m. However, the protest was cancelled at the last moment by the college administration due to the alleged “fear of violence” in the campus.  DU Beat spoke to teachers, students, and other people involved in the incident. Read on to know the full details. 

Support for the event was generated by a few students from Ramjas College through social media, especially Facebook posts. Dhatri, a second-year student of Political Science at Ramjas, who spearheaded the event, said, “We have seen how human rights intellectuals, activists, and various other people who were highly qualified were arrested on the false grounds that they had Maoist links, which is completely bizarre.  So we were outraged as students and we decided to have a discussion on it? It would only be productive as more people would be informed about what’s happening all over the country and how voices of dissent are being suppressed by the government.” She also alleged that the posters the students had put up about the event were taken down. “Suddenly in half an hour, we see that they have been taken off. In front of the staff room, the posters were taken off in a span of five minutes,” Dhatri added.

DU Beat talked to the security guards, who were ushering the students away from the basketball court. The guard on duty said that the Principal had issued a notice against the gathering of more than four people, in fear of the “threat of violence” because of a rally that started by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) around the same time in front of Ramjas College. On being pressed for more information, the security guard refused to allow even one person on the basketball court and ushered the students away.

According to the students holding the protest meeting, such a rally had not existed till that morning. Although they had not taken prior permission for such a meeting, they said that they had assumed that the students of the college would naturally be allowed to congregate in the basketball court for a meeting. In an official notice by the college administration later, it disallowed “any procession or unlawful assembly or gathering or disturbing the classes in group or demonstration without the prior approval of the Principal inside the College Campus.”

According to Professor Rahul Kumar Rao of the Political Science department, he had been told by the Principal that any such meeting has been disallowed and prohibited. “They said that elections would happen on the 12th of September and there is a fear of possible violence. I told the Principal that we had planned an interactive session instead of a protest and as far as interacting with the students is concerned no teacher can be disallowed from interacting with his students. But as far as protest is concerned, yes, prior permission has to be taken.”

The students then assembled in Room 315 of the college and held a meeting, deciding that they would then submit a petition to the Principal seeking permission to hold an interactive session again. Dhatri also alleged that a person from the Special Branch of the Delhi Police had called her and asked her to keep her updated in case of any meeting they organise. “If I want to have a meeting with my friends in the college or with my professors, why am I supposed to inform the Delhi Police? Why would the police be informed by the Principal of a college about an interactive session with the students? Why would the ABVP start a rally at the same time at the same place?” Dhatri also alleged that the Principal had also put a stop to even small gatherings in the classroom until the elections, without prior approval.

Was ABVP involved?

The ABVP had meanwhile arranged a rally at the Faculty of Arts at 11 p.m., campaigning for which, according to its volunteers, had started a month before. Various pre-election candidates started their own individual rallies around points like Ramjas College, Kirori Mal College, School of Open Learning, etc. They all congregated at the Arts Faculty. According to an official poster, the rally was supposed to focus on various issues related to concerns of students such as the construction of new hostels and colleges, installation of sanitary pad vending machines in all University of Delhi colleges and so on.  

While inside the campus, the security guards of Ramjas College closed down its gates, not allowing anyone to enter or leave the campus, claiming that they have orders from above. Sudhir Dedha, an alumnus of Ramjas College, was the ABVP potential candidate who started his rally at the Ramjas College gate and marched towards the Arts Faculty.

Mahamedha Nagar, the General Secretary of Delhi University Student’s Union (DUSU) claimed that the ABVP rally had nothing to do with the cancellation of the meeting. According to her, the ABVP had never meant to enter Ramjas. When asked about the alleged “threat of violence”, Bharat Khatana, State Secretary of ABVP, said, “These are false rumours. There was no such protest or rally to be held in Ramjas by us. Our rally was in Arts Faculty. We had no plan to go inside Ramjas College.”

Allegations of “Urban Naxalism”

The issue of “Urban Naxalism” has gripped the recent discourse in media. Shri Niwas, National Joint Organising Secretary of the ABVP, threw up allegations in the rally at the Arts Faculty that the professors of Delhi University were slowly propagating Urban Naxalism. He specifically mentioned colleges like Ramjas, Kirori Mal, and Hindu College as being hubs of such ideology.

“We see that there is an issue on campus about Urban Naxalism. So, we need to make students aware of these because these are Urban Naxalites,” Mr. Khatana said when asked about Shri Niwas’s comments.

“There are certain professors who are spreading Urban Naxalism in campus. For now, we cannot say who these people are. In time, they will show their colours. Not just these three colleges, there must be other colleges too,” he added referring to the arrest and conviction of Professor G.N. Saibaba and the 2017 Ramjas incident wherein slogans for the independence of Bastar (in Chattisgarh) were allegedly raised.

When asked about the allegations of violence perpetrated by the ABVP members in the 2017 conference in Ramjas College, Mr. Khatana said, “It was the college union which gave an application to not allow people like Umar Khalid to come and speak in their campus. The violence had started from their side and not from the ABVP.”    

Meanwhile, the students of Ramjas plan to continue with their meeting on 1st September, Saturday after their petition to hold a meeting was denied by the Principal to avoid “disruptions by college election groups”, as Dhatri claimed.

Sara Sohail

[email protected]

With inputs from Haris Khan ([email protected]) and  Sharvi Maheshwari ([email protected]


The All India Students’ Association has released a ‘report card’ on the conditions of the University of Delhi (DU) in four years of the Modi-led government. Culled from a common survey form distributed across various colleges of DU, the report claims that the University has “rejected the Modi government” and that it has “failed”.

In a ceremony attended by President of the DU unit of the All India Student’s Association (AISA) Kawalpreet Kaur, former President of the Delhi University Teacher’s Association (DUTA) Nandita Narain, and almost two hundred AISA members, Ms. Narain unveiled the report along with Ms. Kaur. The survey form which featured questions on the state of hostels on campus, issues of transportation, gender violence, infrastructure development and academic freedom among others was reportedly distributed to 21,456 students. AISA claims in its press release that only 19% (4056) of the respondents had said that they were satisfied with the Modi government.

Ms. Narain raised several issues in her speech such as the cuts in JNU research seats in 2017-18 by the Academic Council, the loan-granting system of Higher Education Funding Agency (HEFA) and the debate on autonomy and privatisation and the recent assault on Assistant Professor Sanjay Kumar at Mahatma Gandhi Central University. “Wherever you students have any movement or any programme, the teachers will always try to extend their support to you…all for one, and one for all will be our motto. Only then can we save this country,” Ms. Narain added.

Later, members of the AISA also launched a rally across the various colleges of North Campus and entered Ramjas College, Hindu College and the Faculty of Law with heavy sloganeering such as, “Arre Dekho Kaise Jhoom Ke Aya, AISA! AISA!” (See how we come dancing now, AISA! AISA!).

Through an official press release, Kawalpreet Kaur said, “It is clear that DU students believe that this regime has been the worst and should be ousted from both the centre as well as DUSU…We appeal to all anti-ABVP forces to come together to give a strong message against the anti-student Modi government and defeat the ABVP in the DUSU elections.”

A Different Kind of Question  

Priyanka Chawri, former Vice President of DUSU talked to DU Beat about the rally taken out by AISA. In a telephonic conversation, she categorically denied that the ABVP was linked to the BJP and stressed that in many instances, the ABVP has criticised BJP’s policies. Regarding AISA’s jab at gathering “anti-ABVP forces” to “defeat the ABVP”, she said, “The DUSU elections is about the students and the students of DU vote in these elections. So there are no ABVP forces. There are only normal students who will vote for you based on what agenda you have. So I think AISA should work on its agenda and enlighten the students about what they would do if they came to power instead of leading an anti-ABVP campaign.”

“As far as the work of ABVP-led DUSU is concerned, everyone is aware of how ABVP was instrumental in getting the sanitary napkin pad nationwide campaign in process…We have already started our campaign and we are getting very positive and immense support from students,” Ms. Chawri added.

According to several sources, however, the questions in the survey contained statistics that favoured certain kinds of answers. One source at Ramjas College, on the condition of anonymity, said, “The survey put facts before each question. I didn’t have time to go through each number and verify the legitimacy of each question, but it did come to me as a surprise, given AISA’s liberal reputation…that they did not truly cater to the true essence of conducting a survey.” An instance of such questions can be: In the last four years, metro fares have been hiked by 100%, thereby forcing students to pay more than INR 100 per day on transportation. Are you satisfied with this state of transportation facility? (Yes/No). An anonymous source at Miranda House said “The survey sheet had already declared what is right and what is wrong. So, a lot of people had to tick mark only one option. I think they could have raised the issue and left it on the people to judge what was correct.” However, Navneet Khubber, a student at Miranda House, said, “I think that the survey form prompted the respondents towards a certain direction but I think that the questions were well-chosen.”

Another source said, “Even if I could clearly see the questions in their questionnaire leading to certain conclusions, I don’t think those conclusions were based on wrong principles. Since the purpose of this survey, unlike an academic survey, is not neutral, it wanting you to arrive at certain conclusions is not essentially problematic in itself. Also, AISA is doing amazing work in the case of metro passes which the ABVP is trying to pass off as their own work.”A few other sources also mentioned how they could not relate to questions regarding transportation and infrastructure since the levels of such costs differed widely across the student community of the University.

AISA’s questionnaire, therefore, seemed to have raised a lot more questions than answers and these answers need to be sought in the future.


Feature Image Credits: Adithya Khanna

Sara Sohail

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The Delhi University and Colleges Library Employees Association went on a strike on 3rd and 2nd of August 2018 in Arts Faculty for the implementation of their recently revised recruitment rules. DU Beat reports on the story.

Library staff from various colleges of the University of Delhi (DU) went on a strike in front of the Faculty of Arts on 3rd and 2nd August 2018. The library staff was demanding the implementation of the Recruitment Rules Review Committee Rules and the ACP/MACP Pay Scale Committee Report that had been delayed for one year. The strike has been continued indefinitely till Monday by the Working Committee of the Association.

According to a letter submitted by the Delhi University and Colleges Library Employees Association (DUCLEA) to the Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the University on 26th December 2017, the Recruitment Rules Review Committee was constituted in March 2017 to review the rules of appointment and promotion of Non-Teaching Staff. Even though the University administration had promised that the Review Committee would submit its report within three months of the date of its constitution, it wasn’t done so, says the letter. The letter also mentions that vacant posts had been continually being filled in colleges that have restricted the promotion of long-term library employees. The staff was also protesting against the recovery of pay scale given to library employees which allegedly denied proper remuneration to the long-term library employees. A series of strikes have also been held over the past year but didn’t elicit a satisfactory response from the University administration.

Along with these two main demands, the DUCLEA also necessitated the removal of library attendance system from college libraries, promotion of library staff on the basis of seniority, filling up vacant posts in libraries according to the RR Review Committee Rules, among other concerns.
The strike lasted on both the days. On the 2nd August, the staff raised slogans outside gate number 4 of the Arts Faculty and then took out a march from there throughout the University campus. On 3rd August, after there was no response from the University administration, there was a meeting of the Working Committee of DUCLEA which ascertained that the strike would be continued on Monday.

Sanjay Bhareri, the President of DUCLEA, speaking to DU Beat said, “We have been writing letters to the administration for one and a half years demanding that our general demands be fulfilled. For instance, our salary which was fixed according to a grade pay 18 years ago is now being recovered when our salary has been increased. The RR Review Committee rules have still not been implemented.” “We will stop the movement if they simply implement the rules that they themselves have created. Today we have to, under compulsion, strike. The VC always gives statements that he is with the employees and yet, there has been no implementation of a report which has been stuck for 18 months,” Mr. Bhareri added.

Feature Image Credits: Namrata Randhawa for DU Beat
Sara Sohail
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The modus operandi of a college with its jam-packed classes and extremely busy professors defers from the relatively relaxed atmosphere of a school. Although it might not be easy to shake off the feeling that school is over, you will face the ultimatum of settling in inevitably. Here are some ways in which you can understand, right at the bat, the crucial differences between the operating systems of schools and colleges:

  1. To each his own: Unlike the schools where there are set timetables and teachers know the students personally, colleges are have thousands of students. The professors are too busy with academic ambitions of their own to go out after every student and ask them about their progress. It is largely the duty of the student to pursue their educators and let them know if they face any problems.
  2. It’s not all a party: No, unfortunately colleges in University of Delhi (and elsewhere) do not host year-long parties. Parties are highly small in number and restricted to a handful of formal occasions like fresher’s, farewell, the fests, and so on. Even though informal parties might abound, students are often seen buried in books, trying to outpace the amount of readings given to them to save their lives.
  3. Bunking is not occasional: Those of you who have concocted rose-tinted dreams of college life being full of bunking classes and going to their “hangout” spots, are about to get a rude shock. Professors are strict about attendance in many colleges, and unfortunately, it is one of those ways in which they actually track the movements of the students.
  4. Hush, it’s not all that bad: Although there are many things that make college life harder than school life, there are some amazing perks to be enjoyed as well such as the relative independence it offers, the wide range of societies that cater to the different skills of a student and of course, the out-station trips and the fests. Enjoy these moments with full enthusiasm because of their apparent rarity, almost like pearls found in an oyster.

Although college life can be intimidating to many, the important thing to remember is that adjusting to college life is something every student grapples with in the beginning and figures out by the end of it.

Feature Image Credits: Surabhi Khare for Mercatus

Sara Sohail

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In a protest held by the All India Student’s Federation (AISA) from the Civil Lines Metro Station to the residence of Chief Minister (CM) Arvind Kejriwal on 31st August 2018, the students demanded concessions for students travelling on AC buses.

Led by AISA leaders like President Kawalpreet Kaur and Secretary Madhurima Kundu, the thirty-odd strong group of students marched to Raj Niwas shouting slogans for the reduction in a price hike for AC buses.

Five members of the party including Ms. Kaur were allowed to go in to discuss their demands with the CM, while the rest of the students sat at dharna in front of the barricades outside the CM’s residence. After almost six hours of the sit-in protest, during which the party members outside sang protest songs and spoke about issues troubling the common student like fee hike, a conclusion was reached. In a press release, AISA members raised allegations of manhandling by the police inside the CM’s residence when a student from Hansraj College was kicked out. However, later they were soon called back into the CM’s office to wait. Finally, around 7 p.m. the CM met the student leaders and agreed to ensure the entire process for validation of the Student’s Bus passes.

AISA has been protesting for this issue since 25th January 2018 when they led another mass delegation of students to the CM’s office. The CM had then agreed to extend the validity of DTC bus passes from four months to six months for students and extended its preview to AC buses as well. However, since then, no such plan was executed.

In an official press release by AISA, the party mentions that the CM has agreed to complete the validation of the Student’s Bus Pass in AC buses within a month from 1st September. Mr. Kejriwal also tweeted recently about expediting the same.


In the same press release, AISA also mentions that it will now continue to further their demand and meet the Housing and Urban Minister, Hardeep Puri, on 3rd August 2018, demanding metro concessional passes for students.

Feature Image Credits: Adithya Khanna for DU Beat

Sara Sohail

[email protected]