Shweta Arora


The Enegry and Resources Institute (TERI) and Power System Operation Corporation (POSOCO) initiated ‘Rhythms from the Riverbanks’-an educational programme for college students on understanding the culture and ecology of two of the greatest river cities of India-Delhi and Kolkata. Launched in December 2012, the programme, which is currently in its pilot phase, aims to make young people understand the history, culture, economy and sustainability of these river cities with the intention of inspiring them to work towards and the appreciation, recognition and conservation of the rich cultural heritage of these cities. In order to deliberate more on the core issues and themes of the project, TERI and POSOCO are proud to present ‘Call of the River-Rhythms Village’ – a 2 day conference in association with one of the oldest and most prestigious academic institutions of India, Miranda House, from 18-19 March 2013. Some of the themes of the conference are as follows:

  • Urbanization and city space
  • Culture and heritage and its relevance and today’s postmodern, globalized world
  • River-centric city planning
  • ‘Cultural leadership’ amongst the youth – what would it take?
  • Focused sessions on Yamuna and Hooghly
  • Social and ecological issues related to the river
Renowned historians, sociologists, artists, musicians have been invited for the conference. The conference would act as a platform to bring all the stakeholders related to the rivers, most importantly the youth, on one platform. For more information, visit the page on facebook: Given underneath is a table of the events taking place at Miranda House, on 18th and 19th March.
 Day 1: 18 March 2013  
0930 hrs – 1030 hrs   Session I:  Inaugural Session    
0930 hrs – 0945 hrs    0945 hrs – 1000 hrs     1000 hrs- 1015 hrs         1015 hrs – 1025 hrs Welcome Address         Dr. Pratibha Jolly, Principal, Miranda House, Delhi University   Special Address V.V. Sharma, General Manager, POSOCO- NRLDC   Rhythms Supriya Singh, Associate Fellow, Educating Youth for Sustainable Development, TERI   Screening of the Students’ Film made as part of Rhythms Shweta Arora, MSc Environmental Studies & Resource Management, TERI University   Vote of Thanks Livleen Kahlon, Fellow, Educating Youth for Sustainable Development, TERI
1030 hrs – 1130 hrs  Session I: Miles on YamunaDU innovation Project Teams
1145 hrs – 1215 hrs Session II: A Life Called Yamuna: Understanding Delhi and its Relationship with the RiverGovind Singh, Research Scholar, Department of Environmental Studies, Delhi University & Co-founder Delhi Greens
1215 hrs – 1300 hrs  Film Screening & Discussion: Delhi-Work in Progress A documentary film by Krishnendu Bose
1400 hrs – 1515 hrs    Session IIIPanel Discussion: Rethinking Urbanization, Redefining Development and Rediscovering City Space   Moderator: Dr. Suneel Pandey, Senior Fellow, Centre for Environmental Studies, TERI   Speakers: Ms. Neelima Soni, Dy. Director, Landscape & Environmental Planning Unit, DDA Dr. Jayanta Basu, Correspondent –The Telegraph & Faculty, Department of Environmental Science, Kolkata University Dr. B.C.Sabata, Senior Scientific Officer, Department of Environment, Delhi Government Prof. Hariharan  Ramachandran, Department of Geography, Delhi School of Economics
1530 hrs – 1700 hrs Competition – Rhythm Projects TERI 
1730-2000 hrs  ‘Nitya’ in ConcertShuheb Hasan (Vocalist), Anil Chawla (Keyboard), Aveleon Giles Vaz (Drums), Rajat Verma (Bass), Rajib Das (Percussion), Qazi Waseem Ahmed (Guitar)  
 Day 2: 19 March 2013Venue: Miranda House, Delhi University  
0930 hrs – 1100 hrs   Session IVTale of Two Rivers – Myths, Legends and Realities of Yamuna and Hooghly   Moderator: Dr Srimanjari, Specialist in Modern Indian History, Miranda House, Delhi University    Speakers: Smita Vats, ITIHAAS Dr. Minoti Chakravarty Kaul, Associate Professor Of Economics (Retired), LSR                                                                   Current Senior RA at Dept of History (University of Sussex)       
1130 hrs – 1300 hrs   Session V: ‘Call to Action: Educating, Engaging and Empowering Youth through different mediums and doorways   Moderator: Rishu Nigam, Area Manager-Visual Media, Film and Television Unit, TERI   Speakers: Ankit Pogula, Independent Film Maker, Tuning Fork Films Radhika Mathur, Coordinator, Right to Information Programme, The YP Foundation Arvind Gaur, Asmita Theatre Group
1400 hrs – 1530 hrs A Dastangoi presentation of the great Rajasthani folk story CHOUBOLIBased on the version created by Vijaydan Detha
1545 hrs – 1630 hrs Closing Remarks Dr. Pratibha Jolly, Principal, Miranda House, Delhi University  Prize Distribution

The 25th edition of Surmanjari, the annual fest of Musoc, the Music Society of Kirori Mal College will be held on on 1-2 March. While the fest would see a spectrum of Western and Indian Music competitions being held, the highlight would be the Musoc Concert. ‘This That’, the new in-house band of the society will also gig in the concert.

The Musoc is among the most reputed college music societies in the country, having produced renowned singers like KK, Gaurav Bangia and Shamit Tyagi, Valentine Shipley and the band Parikrama. It’s an Indian cum Western music society where every member performs both the forms of music. Surmanjari is the oldest music fest in the University.

On the day 1 of the fest, the prelims for the Indian and the Western Choir  will be held. This would be followed by the Musoc concert which is scheduled to start at 12 noon. The set-list for the Musoc concert this year includes songs by AR Rahman, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Adele, Coke Studio and Vishal-Shekhar. The concert would be a 3 hour affair. This year, the society’s new band ‘This That’ will put up its first public performance. Pranav Pahwa, a Jazz fusion guitar player and the ex president of the society would also play during the concert. “Fusion music with Carnatic vocals going into modern funk, or a set of vocalists that are trained in Indian Classical music and are equally good at singing western songs with complex harmonies, Musoc’s performance is a reflection of stellar instrumentation and outstanding vocals”, says Shruti Badri, the president of Musoc. A few pass-outs of the society will join the current members for the performance of an original composition by the choir.

A footfall of about 4000 students is expected during the fest, with majority of it for the Musoc concert. “Students from across the campus, even the South Campus come over to attend the concert. Last year’s concert was a big hit amongst the students and we are expecting an even better response this year”, says Parth Sharma, a second year Musoc member.

The day 2 of the fest would see a number of musical competitions being held. The finals for the Indian and the Western choir, the solo Indian Music competition, and the solo Western Music competition will be held. Unlike other solo Indian music events, in Surmanjari, participants are not allowed to sing to ghazals, folk or semi-classical music songs.

The entry for the concert is free for students.


Photo Credits: Shaleen Seth

The students union of Miranda House proved its mettle by putting up a good show at Tempest, the annual cultural fest of the college. The three day affair drew crowd in thousands every day.The swarm of people seen outside the college gate trying to pour into the college through the thin entrance only proved it better.

The day one of the fest, tagged as ‘Qayamat’ kicked off with the stage play competition, which saw the audience asking for more. The plays went house full, while one could always spot a crowd of atleast 20 people waiting outside the auditorium waiting to get inside. A few students misunderstood the entrepreneurship cell event, ‘the End of Times Sale’ as some sale which the society had put up and went back disappointed as the event was about making a product out of waste material provided. The talent show organized by the NSS unit of the college for the differently talented people received a very good response. Supriya from Miranda House won the first prize in dance category while Shipra won the second prize. DJ Sumit Sethi who came dressed in red, coupled with a sparkling red hat, played out some groovy numbers for the crowd while rapper Aman had the audience cheering for him for his Punjabi rap.

Resurrection, the day 2 of the fest saw the two most crowd pulling events being held. The bare spring sun didn’t stop the audience from cheering, singing and clapping during ‘Dhol Pitara’, the street play competition. Shivaji College bagged the first prize in ‘Dhol Pitara’, while Kamla Nehru College and Ramjas College shared the second prize. The third prize went to Ramanujam College.All the three prizes in the Poster Making competition, organized by the Fine Arts society of the college were bagged by the students of the Fine Arts and Photography society of Kirori Mal College. ‘Rear Gear’, the cycle stunts show organized by the Adventure Club of the college was a big hit amongst students.

The folk dance group of the host college won bagged the first prize in Sira, the Indian Dance competition. The day ended with ‘The Last Step’ the western group dance competition. Teams from 17 colleges across the city participated in the competition. The girls from Maitreyi College won the hearts of the crowd and the first prize with their scintillating performance on numbers like the ‘Naadaan Parinde’.

On Nirvana, the last day of the fest, a number of informal events like Holocaust-the ad-mad, Ancient Sleeves- the t-shirt painting competition, The Signs- the Tattoo making competition, a treasure hunt, et al were held. The Nishad-the Indian and the ‘Ending on a good note II’, the Western Music events went on for the whole day.                                                                                                                                                 

The highlight of the day was a performance each by the Hindi metal band Nigambodh and Parikrama. Nigambodh played some original compositions, accompanied by some growls by the vocalists and killer music by the guitarists. Parikrama along with its original compositions played a number of popular numbers of other bands like the Coldplay. People in the crowd were seen banging their heads off to the music of the both the metal bands. Free artist Jasleen Royal sang a number of popular songs and gave away free autographed CDs after the show. Parikrama ended its show and also the fest by calling upon the stage the core organizing committee of the fest and bowing in front of the audience along with them.


Photo Credits: Parthiv Goel, Saurabh Jain and Shweta Arora

As a pre-Tempest event, filmmaker Imtiaz Ali came over to Miranda House campus today to meet his fans. Instead of making a back door entry to avoid the huge crowd of female fans, Imtiaz rather chose to walk down the college aisle and made his way into the college auditorium. Imtiaz who was accompanied by his friend from Hindu College was welcomed by a swarm of fans. They literally had to steer through the crowd to make way into the auditorium. “This was a grand welcome not every Hinduite gets the privilege to receive”, he later said.

His visit was organized by the Film Club of the college exclusively for current Miranda House students. Tempest, Miranda House’s fest kicks off tomorrow. The event started off with the students of the Indian Music society singing a medley of songs from his movies. The crowd couldn’t stop cheering when he took out his phone and started making a video of the crowd and the girls singing. Clips of scenes from his movies were shown to cite the offbeat characters the protagonists of his movies have.

Imtiaz started off by asking the audience about the popularity of his movies. Every statement of his was greeted with a round of cheers from the crowd. “Not every Hinduite gets the opportunity to have Miranda girls in such a frame, with all of them cheering. I am overwhelmed to be here today. In fact I have been here before. I came for the dramatics competition during Tempest when I was a student in Hindu College. My heart has always been here. In my college days I used to visit the Hostel gate of the college hoping to enter the college. But today I was welcomed by the college principal herself at the gate”, he said. This was followed by a question-answer session and Imtiaz did not disappoint his fans and answered every question that was thrown at him. Here are some excerpts from the session:

Q.: How did you find the selection of the clips you were shown?
(Scene: Deepika’s character Meera post her wedding realizes that she did a mistake by marrying)
I was intrigued by the scene you showed from Love Aaj Kal. Meera’s behavior in the scene was criticized by a number of people and I’m glad that a girls college has appreciated this scene.

Q: Have you ever dated a Mirandian?
My friend from college is here so I can’t lie in front of you all. Although I tried a number of times but could never succeed in dating one. I used to hang out a lot outside the Miranda House hostel gate. Even the guard knew me by face and I used to get him beedis.

Q: Jordan’s character in the movie Rockstar faced a number of hurdles. What hurdles did you face?
See, in life the choice to be happy or sad lies with you. Nothing should decide your happiness or sadness. You obviously can’t control the situations that life makes you face but the right to be happy or sad is with you. I chose to be on the better side of the fence.

Q: Why Nargis Fakhri in Rockstar?
Because I had not met you girls before.

Q: Give us Ranbir Kapoor’s number (more than a hundred girls, in unison)
981… Well leave it, you guys don’t seem much interested.

Q: What’s your next movie going to be about?
I don’t have a story in my mind yet.

Q: Which movie you didn’t direct but you wish that you did?
Sholay, Junoon, Big Fish.

Q: All your movies have been commercial ones, when will you get into Art House film making?
You make movies on things and the way you relate to life; as you growth up, your style of filmmaking changes. So as I grow old and become more grounded, I too will get into art house film making.

This wasn’t the end of his visit. Anukriti, the Hindi Dramatics of the college put up its street play for Imtiaz. After which he went around the campus, paid a visit to the college hostel to interact with his fans there, and had lunch with a few Miranda House students in the hostel mess. He stayed in the Miranda House campus till evening.


Photo Credits: Sonakshi Pandey


Switch. A 19-year-old clad in a khadi kurta and jeans along with his teammates, is performing a street play on ‘Whistle Blowers’ in a slum in north Delhi. Lavanya, another 19-year-old girl, from a well-off family, is teaching kids of sweepers and peons near Nehru Place metro station, while another group of 19 to 20 year olds is preparing for a flash mob in an east Delhi mall. All these cases have one thing in common. People of the college-going age are taking up causes, and working to eradicate them. Today’s youth has long been tagged as the ‘indifferent lot’, obsessed with technology, clothes, flashy cars, money minded to the extent that they’d pursue their higher education from the country’s top colleges and then go serve in the foreign land for the sake of heavy pay packages. This might be true for a percentage of the present generation, but the majority tells a different story. Street theatre, environmental activism, teaching underprivileged kids along with pursuing their own studies are only a few examples of the various ways by which students of the varsity are showing their patriotism. But if you go talk to them, they’d call it not flashy patriotism but would rather describe it as their duty. Street theatre in itself is aimed at bringing to the fore a social cause and talking about it to the public. This year again, the Delhi University theatre circuit has seen a number of commendable street plays based on often-ignored issues like promotion of secularism, whistleblowing, and the problems faced by the people of north-east India. SGTB Khalsa College’s play, ‘Dharma’ is its students’ initiative to promote secularism in the country. The play talks about the existence of unseen lines which prevent people from marrying a person of another religion, or worse, even visiting an area dominated by people of a religion whom they abhor. Intolerance towards other religions is an abomination that is prevalent especially amongst the people who call themselves educated. The play does not promote atheism or target any particular religious group, but is rather aimed at promotion of secularism amongst the people. “Religion is not a way to reach God but rather a way to live life. Religion dominates our life and through ‘Dharma’ we wish to promote religious tolerance amongst the people”, says Kunal Arora, a member of Ankur, the dramatics society of SGTB Khalsa College. The members of Verve, the dramatics society of Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, have made a street play on ‘Tu maar de seeti’ which literally translates into ‘blow the whistle’. The play revolves around the concept of whistleblowing, which is the act of telling on all sorts of wrongdoers. Abraham Lincoln had once said, “To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards out of men.” Whistleblowing, rightly justifies this dictum, instead of being a passive observer, one should consider this active approach and raise his voice against all forms of oppression/injustice/wrongdoings. Another thing that instantly made these young men and women fall in love with whistleblowing as their theme is a song called ‘Bilqis’ by Rabbi Shergill. The song talks about the tragic fate of a few, then relatively unknown people, who were ruthlessly murdered for talking about the right things. A refrain from the same song goes, ‘Jinhe naaz hai Hind par wo kahan the?’ (Where were those who took pride in India?) All of the team members could easily and very strongly relate to this refrain and this has been an inspiration for them ever since. Another striking feature of this theme is its timing and its relevance. It comes at a time when the whole nation is riding on an Anti-Corruption, patriotic sentiment. This theme tries to make people realise that they are equipped and they can actually make a difference on an individual level. “The idea behind performing this play was never for garnering acclaim or winning competitions, it was more of an endeavour by a few college students to actually set things in motion and harness the power of street theatre to bring about change. As soon as we could, we took this act to the streets between ordinary people and tried to share our vision with them. This play has already been performed at Hauz Khas Village, Chandrawal Village and Green Park area in New Delhi. This is also our tribute to those martyrs who were killed for making the right noises”, says Rohit Benival, a member of Verve, the dramatics society of SSCBS. “Our biggest motivation is a sense of patriotism and consequently, the biggest reward is somebody actually absorbing the essence of our act. In our act, we use whistles as a symbol for raising our voices against all things wrong. The simple message that we try to communicate is: whenever you see something wrong happening, don’t stay quiet, blow the whistle! After one of our performances in Chandrawal village, a kid, somewhere around ten- eleven years of age, came running towards one of our actors and said, “Can you give me your whistle? Our canteen-wala (School caterer) charges extra for bad food. I will blow the whistle””, he adds. North-east India has always been considered a region unsafe to visit, while the problems of the people living there have always been ignored. “Our play, ‘Ugte Suraj ka Sapna’ talks about how the people of the north-eastern part of the country are still fighting for their existence in the “mainland India”, as they say. It depicts the discrimination of the people of that specific region. It also discusses the loopholes in the constitution regarding that area. It shows the disparities between the rights of northeast people and the rest of Indians. The region has faced decades of ignorance from the media. None of the major movements have been covered by the media. It has failed to capture the 11 year long hunger strike/struggle of Irom Sharmilla against the law. The centre point of the play is that the common man of north-east India gets sandwiched between the pressure of insurgence and the implications of AFSPA and they still have hope for a new morning,” says Ayushi Aggarwal, a member of Manchatantra, the dramatics society of SGGSCC. “It has been years and they haven’t seen the dawn. It’s high time for the sun to rise in the north-eastern part of the country. Our slogan is ‘Save Democracy, Repeal AFSPA’”, she signs off. Lavanya Julaniya, a second year student of Miranda House has an interesting and inspiring story to tell. Lavanya attended the Global Youth Summit in London in January, 2009. Global Changemakers was founded in 2007 when six young activists, brought together by the British Council, were invited to lend the ‘voice of youth’ to the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum. Since then, the network has grown to a community of over 730 Changemakers in 121 countries world-wide. The mission of the programme is to empower youth to catalyse positive social change and to bring together social entrepreneurs. It has expanded since its inception, and is now built on three pillars: LearningDoing and Advocacy. Amaani, meaning aspirations in Arabic was envisioned at the Global Youth Summit after seeing so many young people take action in their own communities to bring about a positive change. Amaani is a non-profit teaching initiative for disadvantaged children who do not otherwise have the means to obtain quality education. Amaani is supported by the British Council’s Global Changemakers Programme and is collaboration with Leaps and Bounds institute.  Amaani breaks from the conventional class room teaching and classes are conducted with hands on models and experiments. Creative and innovative methods are used in order to facilitate growth in the child’s knowledge and imagination. Fun workshops are conducted from topics ranging from subjects like astronomy, botany, zoology, history, geography, literature; all are part of the curriculum. A nature table, story time and celebrating festivals are integral to the program. It roughly takes about a month’s time to complete one project. At present there are four centres running in New Delhi – evening classes for children of workers, sweepers, peons etc at St. Stephen’s College, SRCC, Hansraj. The fourth centre is outside Nehru Place metro station where such workshops and teaching is organised for children who live in the nearby slums and often beg all day. Rohit Beniwal, Kunal Arora, Ayushi Aggarwal, and Lavanya Julaniya are only a few names. There are thousands of more young people who in contrast to the general perception about the youth are coming forward to show their love for the country, and spreading out their message through their work.  ]]>

The 4th edition of Histrionica, the annual theatre festival of the Shri Ram College of Commerce is here, but with a changed format. A four day festival, it will be held from the 16th-19th January 2012. The previous editions of the festival were competition based, but this year, productions won’t be competing for any prizes but the participating teams would instead be felicitated with certificates, cash, and mementos.

The four day festival is slated to see performances of nine stage plays including three by the dramatics society of SRCC, eight street plays, ‘Groove’ the choreography competition and a number of filler events which include Shutters- the photography competition, Ad-Mad, Imagery-the poetry writing competition, ‘This, then that’- the act and react competition, Mimmikry Gimmikry. Along with these events, there’ll be a street play performance on the ill effects of tobacco by the children of NGO Hriday. These children were subjected to tobacco torture and have now been rescued. As a part of its roadtrip, Lok, the theatre group from Kolkatta will be performing its musical. It will also be conducting workships during the fest.

The festival received 21 stage play entries out of which 13 were shortlisted based on the content, and the idea was to select a spectrum of genres. The judging at this level was done by the faculty of the dramsoc of SRCC and certain alumni. These teams went through another round of selection in which they showed a few select scenes from their play. Acting, direction, execution, basic lights, music and use of the sets were some of the parameters on which they were evaluated. The judges’ panel in this round included two alumni of the dramatics society of SRCC, and one each from that of Sri Venkateswara College and Hindu College.

The plays that will be performing are ‘Mr Kolpert’ by Ramjas College, ‘Us Paar’ by Ibtida, the Hindi Dramatics Society of Hindu College, ‘Ek tha Gadha’ by Hansraj College, ‘Skeleton Woman’ by LSR, ‘Park’ by Ramjas College, ‘The Blue Moon’ by KMC. Plus, SRCC’s own dramsoc will be putting up the plays titled ‘The Untitled’, ‘Three Blind Mice’, and the ‘Studio Ruins’.

‘Skeleton Woman’ by LSR is a story about two people who defeat fantastical odds to be together. Swinging between reality and make believe it weaves together an Inuit folktale and a modern day story about a young fisherman turned writer with a potent imagination and his long suffering wife. Raksha Thakur plays the young man, Saumya Deojan plays young woman one and Garima Jaju plays young woman two.

‘Us Paar’ by Hindu College revolves around Meera, an ordinary homemaker, a mother but an extraordinary wife who sees a hero in her poet husband – Sagar, whom the world has conveniently tagged a failure. To reassure Sagar of his greatness, Meera takes it upon her to make him believe that he will essentially complete that one composition with which he has been struggling. The play is directed by Aarushie Sharma and the charcters are played by Anuran Das Gupta, Vishakha Singh, Vedi Sinha, Shreya and Animesh Panwar.

For the street play part, nineteen entries were received out of which eight were selected. The plays that would be performing during the festival are ‘Tu Maar De Seeti’ by CBS, ‘Zarurat Kya Thi’ by Hindu College, ‘Albert Pinto ko Gussa Kyun Aata hai’ by IP College, ‘Mehfooz’ by DRC, ‘Praathmik’ SRCC, Dharm by Khalsa College, Laalsa by Hansraj College and ‘Ugte Suraj ka Sapna’ by SGGSC.

DHARM- the street play of Khalsa College tries to question the concept and relevance of religion in the contemporary world. The focus of the play lies on the creation and establishment of religion/religions and their interpretations in today’s times. The play tries to explore the control on and fear of religion in the common man. The play is an attempt to look for answers to a few difficult questions like-‘Is religion a creation of man’, ‘Has religion become an escape for us’, ‘Has man become a puppet in the hands of his own doing’ and ‘Do all religions preach the same things’

‘Albert Pinto ko Gussa Kyun Aata hai’ by IP College disapproves the apathetic outlook to daily news headlines of rape, murder and abuse and questions human nature.

The theme of the play ‘Tu Maar De Seeti’ by CBS primarily revolves around the phenomenon of ‘Whistle-Blowing’. The motivation for the play came from the tragic fate of Sh. Satyendra Kumar Dubey, who was murdered for raising his voice against the corruption in NHAI. The play aims to awaken the conscience of the masses and encourage them to speak out against anything wrong.

Histronica is one of the finest and the most popular theatre festivals in campus. It was started four years back by four of the alumni members of the society. Talking about changing the format of the festivals, Medha Bankhwal, organizer, Histrionica says, “ The idea of holding a performance based festival is to bring together theatre enthusiasts to appreciate the art and not rank them as first, second and third. Street plays can’t be judged. Because you can’t label one social issue as more important than the other”.

Street theatre today, as we see has evolved a lot. Its not only about a group of young men and women performing a street play using danda, chunni and daffali as props. Today we see innumerable musical instruments, jute sacks, powdered colors, placards, banners, huge cloth pieces, et al being used as props. Talking about this change, Dhruv Raj Gupta, an alumnus of SRCC dramsoc says, “If using different props makes conveying the message of a play easier, then why refrain from using it. Theatre after all has no boundries”.

Medha agrees with him, “Street theatre gets audience who aren’t even vaguely interested in theatre. It spreads a message through entertainment. So if using certain props makes the play more interesting, then why not use it. And anyway there isn’t any hard and fast rule that you have to stick to a chunni danda and daffali as props”.


Agonized by the conditions imposed by the semester system, a group of third year students of University have initiated an online petition to protest against the system. The campaign was started by two DU students, Ankita Rastogi and Shefail Saini.

The demands written in the petition include: Continue the system of re-evaluation and rechecking of exam papers; Any academic reform should start from evaluation of the existing annual system, its benefits and weaknesses and to devise a system which specifically redresses those weaknesses, Keeping the interest of students and teachers in mind. Whether the solution will emerge from within the annual system or a different one (semester/trimester etc) cannot be pre-decided; Ensure a sustained improvement in infrastructure and share the details with teachers and students and show transparency; Improve infrastructure and student teacher relationships to ensure that dreams of lakhs of students who come to DU every year and create an efficient education system in the varsity.

The petition, compiled and posted on the internet just before the first semester exams kicked off, has received about 107 signatures so far. The number might be small but the students behind it are still hopeful to get more support. Talking about the reason behind such a response of the students, Ankita Rastogi from SRCC, the student who’s leading the campaign, says, “The response from students has been decent considering their brief stay in the University. The petition was uploaded just before the first semester exam due to which students were not quite aware of it, post that there were holidays during which the petition got the bulk of its support. But then the first semester results doused the petition since the students were overwhelmed by their inflated marks. The results made the semesters so attractive to everyone that students under the annual mode regretted not being under the semester system, totally ignoring the cutthroat competition this is going to create amongst students. Besides, such inflation of marks indicates the foul play the university has indulged in to push through the semester system smoothly, how else can you explain 99% marks in Economics and that approximately 20% students in the University have secured above 95%? If we assume the checking has been efficient and correct, then why were the question-papers sub-standard?”

The fact that the petition has been compiled by a group of third year students who do not even have to bear the system sounds surprising. But that’s where they decided to take up the responsibility so that students don’t have to bear the brunt in their fifth semester. She states, “The reason why we consider it our responsibility to oppose a system we are not under is because we’re able to see that the University is getting away with all the illegalities it is involved in due to the fact that the student fraternity is unaware, fragmented and self-involved. The time by when all students will realize the ill effects of the system it might be too late to do anything. Therefore we consider it important to stir students out of their ignorance so as to create solidarity against a system that may not benefit them in their future. But the reason that made me prepare a petition before my exams was that perhaps by the time students begin having problems with this system they will be rendered absolutely helpless.”

“In their fifth semester, when students will be preparing for entrance exams, that will clash with their semester exams. Would they be able to sacrifice an entire semester in a system of such strong meritocracy? What will students do when in subsequent semesters the course load increases and they are not awarded marks generously and they don’t have the option of re-evaluation with them?”, she questions.

Their next step would be to officially submit the petition to the Vice Chancellor of the University, after they have gathered enough support. They also plan to file it in court if the University fails to deliver. “The whole objective of this petition is to roll back the system till the University brings in a well thought out, democratic and transparent semester system,” she adds.


Here’s the link to the online petition: