Vani Vivek


Ours has been popularly called the batch of guinea pigs, and rightly so.

For those who aren’t aware, let me bring you up to speed with some ‘radical reforms’ that my batch has been subjected to: the scrapping of class 10 board examinations, the almost sudden shift to the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation system and most recently, the change from a 3 to a 4 year undergraduate programme.

So here I am, after years of being poked and prodded by the education system, taking a moment to really think about how the first of four years in college treated me. Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a tirade of how we all have been wronged (maybe it will, we’ll see how this goes).

Let’s start off with us all agreeing that in theory, the idea of a FYUP isn’t so bad, keeping aside the issue of having to finance an extra year. The problem, as many of us have realised, lies in the hurried implementation and faulty execution of the programme and not in the actual rationale behind it. What I’m trying to say is, it just doesn’t seem thought through.

Before the beginning of the session, DU Beat came up with two separate and comprehensive lists on the FYUP; on what might and might not work. The most disappointing part is that while the apprehensions still persist, none of the possible positives have made themselves obvious (other than one extra year of being the senior-most batch, yayy).

Two semesters in, I can’t help but wonder how different and positive the situation would have been, had the syllabi for the Foundation Courses been actually relevant, and not so pedestrian. However, things have gotten better from the first semester to the second. Semester one was a mess. The students were confused, the teachers were unsure, college authorities were uncertain, the semester passed in a haze of presentations, cancelled foundation course classes, and suspiciously bloated results. The second semester has been tidier. Some may even say we have resigned to our fate by handing in all submissions, well, submissively.

On the one hand, some of the major highlights of the new system like the DC II and multiple exit options are yet to be tried out, and on the other, BJP and AAP have promised to rollback the FYUP in their manifestos. With ambiguous promises such as these, the fate of the current FYUP batch, the guinea pig batch, remains uncertain.



After years and years of planning to start studying well before the exams and failing to do so, cramming at the last hour, and sometimes miraculously scraping through, we’ve all developed our own ‘fundas’ of preparing for examinations. While we all have unique ways of studying that work for us, there are a few ways that usually don’t. Here is a list you should try not to follow if you want to ace this semester:

1.Decide to get organized

This might seem like a good idea, but tidying up your cupboard/ room/ local river in the week before your exams isn’t likely to unclutter your mind, and arranging all your books and notes in neat stacks won’t boost your grades. If you haven’t been organized all through the semester, trying to do it now will only distract you, tire you and waste precious time.

Best case scenario: You now live in more habitable surroundings.

Worst case scenario: You discover an old photo album (let the reminiscing commence).

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2.Multi task

You may think that playing Flappy bird and upholding a conversation at the same time makes you a master multi-tasker, but rarely does this skill convert well in terms of actual studying. To be able to really grasp what you’re reading, you need all your concentration and more, especially when there’s only a little time left to cover a lot of syllabus. For some students, studying two subjects alternatively without a sufficient gap works wonderfully, but for most of us, this just muddles things up entirely. Stick to one subject at a time and make sure you don’t move on to something entirely different till you’ve given your mind enough time to soak in what you’ve just studied.



3.Pull regular all nighters

Sure this works for all people on some nights and for some people on many nights, but don’t fool yourself into thinking that completely disrupting your sleep cycle will lead to any major leap in your scores. If you aren’t typically a creature of the night, then turning nocturnal right before exams is a very bad idea. Staying up all night to study generally leads to increased consumption of caffeine and decreased concentration. Your ability to memorize and recall what you’ve just learnt falls and your mind tires more quickly.



4.Try to study online

 Because no one really knows how those online notes usually turn into Facebook. And after chatting or aimlessly hitting the news feed button you end up wasting not less than 3-4 hours from your rigorous schedule of last minute studies. So better beware of falling into this trap and stick to the old school method of reading from your books.
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Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? If you know the answer to that one, you probably mentally sang it too. You also probably belong to the generation that’s seen some of the best cartoons ever.

As a kid, my parents often warned me that if I watched too many cartoons, I might turn into one. But somehow that never really seemed like a bad idea. Who wouldn’t want to live in a world where no restrictions existed, a la Ed, Edd and Eddy, or travel with the coolest set of friends and catch the scariest of monsters like in Scooby Doo? From the rock ages (Flintstones) to the distant future (Jetsons), cartoons of our time made everyday life seem way too mundane.

Nostalgia struck one day when I took upon me the herculean task of feeding my kid nephew spinach. Halfway through the theme song, with my mouth full of spinach and a drawn- on anchor tattoo, I realised he had no idea who Popeye was. I might sound over dramatic when I say this, but my world really did come crashing down. To imagine a world where children haven’t heard of Samurai Jack or The Addams Family is disturbing. How will they understand all the ‘omelette du fromage’ references?

Looking back, I learnt a lot from the cartoons of the 90’s. Wile E Coyote and Team Rocket were the perfect mascots of the ‘try and try until you succeed’ adage, and Courage the Cowardly Dog taught me to always face my fears, and also that purple dogs are expert typists. Powerpuff Girls was all about girl power and CatDog taught me that despite all your differences, family comes first. Which were your favourite toons to watch while growing up?


Jesus and Mary College celebrated its Annual Intra College Sports Day on Friday, 7th March. The college is well known for its strong sports teams. The Guest of Honour for the day was Mr. Naresh Kumar Sharma. He is the first marksman to represent India in Paralympics in the field of shooting. Mr. Sharma has over 60 medals to his name, and is also a recipient of the Arjuna award.

Like every year, the major highlight was the march past. Each stream was represented by a squad of minimum 32 students, and every team had its own uniform. In all, 12 teams participated. The practice, which had begun a week in advance, proved fruitful for B.A. Programme, English Hons., and B. Com Programme, who won the first, second and third prize respectively.

A new event, the cheerleading competition was also introduced this year. Each department was invited to participate with 5-7 members for a 3-5 minute performance cheering for JMC. Unfortunately, only the Political Science department took part.

There was also a discus throw and shot put competition. Commerce students reigned supreme in almost all the races. The Commerce department also won the relay race, with Political Science and Sociology coming second and third. Other than these, fun events like the Caterpillar race and Train race were conducted. Races and events for teachers like the balloon bursting competition were also held. 100m, 200m, and 400m races were held along with a relay race.

The sports department, which wasn’t allowed to participate in any of the competitive events, contributed in terms of the entertainment factor by putting up an enjoyable Bhangra performance. The marching band from Army School upped the ante. The college’s yoga team also displayed their talents, along with Mudra, the western dance/ choreo society.

Image credits: Divya Baby

Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) held a street dance competition on the second day of their fest, Crossroads 2014. The event was adjudged by two well known names in Delhi’s dancing circuit, Jatin and Sanchit.

Five teams participated in the competition. Delhi Technological University’s team, Soul Diggers were the first to go, followed by Ramjas’ In Step. CVStreets, who ultimately rose as the victors, faced technical issues and were made to perform twice. The Unpredictables from Shyam Lal College performed to a rather fun medley of songs, including oldies like ‘Chura ke dil mera’ and the Vodafone Zoozoo song ‘Zumi Zumi’. Drift Up from DCAC, who had recently won the street dance competition at Nexus’14 went last.

After each college had performed, the judges chose DCAC and CVS as the finalists. What followed was a street dance battle, a la Step Up, which was won by CVStreets.

CVStreets, the team from College of Vocational Studies, has also previously secured the first position at the Goa Nokia India Fest Delhi Prelims, and the second position in both, BITS Pilani and IIM Lucknow this fest season. This was their first DU participation. Their routine was choreographed by Dennis, who has also worked with Yo Yo Honey Singh for Blue Eyes.

Crossroads 2014 at Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) brought together Slovenian rock/folk artist Vlado Kreslin and Hindustani classical musician Sharat Chandra Srivastava as part of Random Collisions on 7th March, day two of the fest. The duo was also accompanied by Gyan Singh, an accomplished Tabla player. Mr. Singh is also a co-member of the fusion band ‘Mrigya’ along with Sharat Chandra.

Sharat Chandra. | Image Credit: Chirag Sharma

The event began quite promptly and created a mellow atmosphere all at once. Vlado sang a mix of his own songs and those of popular rock artists, the unique mix of Slovenian folk and Indian classical music was certainly a change from the Punjabi/ Bollywood/ Pop songs one usually gets to hear during fests. The sound of a violin and tabla accompanying a guitar and mouth organ made everybody sit up and take attention.

Vlado Kreslin | Image Credit: Abhinav Arora for DU Beat

Some of the songs that were played were Kreslin’s own ‘Dizzy from the Height’, Neil Young’s ‘Down By the River’ and Bob Dylan’s ‘Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door’ leading to a violin solo by Sharat Chandra. The fusion act engaged the crowd well, people could be heard humming the songs even after the event ended!

Sri Venkateswara College conducted a Film Making competition as part of their on-going fest, Nexus’14. The event saw a participation of 11 teams from colleges like Gargi, Zakhir Hussain, Maitreyi and Sri Guru Gobind College of Commerce.


The teams had to make a short film on any of the three topics given to them. ‘Voiceless Echo’ received the maximum entries, with ‘Through the Looking Glass’ and ‘I Wish I Was Where I Was When I Was Wishing I Was Here’ being the other two. Each team had to make a film of 5-10 minutes. They were permitted to use techniques such as animation.

Ambedkar University bagged the first prize for their film Third, and the host college, Sri Venkateswara took away the second spot for Helping Hand. Their films were judged by Mr. Ankit and Mr. Debashish, alumni of London Film School.

Image Credit: Geetika Varshney for DU Beat

The group Indian Vocal competition, ‘Goonj’ was conducted by Sri Venkateswara College (SVC) as part of Nexus 2014. Eleven teams from various colleges like SRCC, Hindu and LSR participated with a maximum of 14 team members each. The teams were given a time limit of 10+ 2 minutes.

Sangeetika of Kamala Nehru College won the first prize. The team has obtained five wins in the current season already, with Nexus 2014 marking the sixth one, and were visibly ecstatic. They sang a fusion of Karnataka and Hindustani songs. They believe the key to their immense success this year is the fact that they practiced a lot and “We ensured we participated in every competition we could. We didn’t want to let even a single opportunity go by.”

Gargi’s vocal group ‘Samranjini’ and Daulat Ram College’s ‘Alhaya’ tied for the second position. The group from Sri Venkateswara college also performed as a non- competing team as a conclusion to the event.

The event was adjudged by Dr. Avinash Kumar who holds a Ph.D in Classical Music from the Faculty of Music. The internal judges for the event were Dr. Muralidharana Rao and Mr. KV Giri from the faculty at SVC.

Jesus and Mary College held it’s annual fest, Montage, on the 20th and 21st of February. The tagline this year was ‘Bigger, Bolder, Better’, but many were left slightly disappointed as Montage didn’t rope in any big ticket celebrities this time.

Star Night with Nasha


The star attraction on day one was the concert with Akhil Sachdeva and his band, Nasha. The sufi rock band originating from Faridabad is popular among youth for their soulful tracks. Their performance slowly amassed a good number of people, with the crowds swaying to popular songs like ‘Main tenu samjhavaan ki’, songs from bollywood movies like ‘Aashiqui 2’ and ‘Ajab Prem ki Gajab Kahani’ and even their own compositions like ‘Nasha’ and ‘O Mahi Ve’.

Winners’ Tally

Hindi Dramatics ‘Awaz’

First Position: SGTB Khalsa College for We the people
Second Position: Shivaji College for ‘Bas Samajhney Ki Baat Hai’
Third Position: Kirori Mal College for Company Raj

English Dramatics

First Position: Hansraj College for Holi
Second Position: SGTB Khalsa College for Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay
Best director: Ramjas College for Private Ear

Western Dance ‘Chimera’

First Position: ‘Zenith’ – Daulat Ram College
Second Position: ‘Verve’ – Sri Venkateswara College

Battle of the Bands

Conundrum on stage. Image Credit: Abhay Makhija

First Position: Red Shorts
Second Position: The Hansraj Project
Third Position: Conundrum


First Position: Hansraj College
Second Position: Gargi College

Indian Music (Group)

First Position: Gargi College
Second Position: Kamala Nehru College
Third Position: Hindu

Western Music (Group)

First Position: Lady Shri Ram College for Women
Second Position: Sri Venkateswara College
Third Position: Gargi and Jesus and Mary College

Image Credit: Sonam Satija

Apart from these, individual competitions were also held. Other events included a colourful kite show and an exhibition by Snapshots, the photography society of the college.

A rich and cultured soon-to-be married young lady is unwittingly abducted by an uncouth and violent truck driver. What follows is quite a clichéd tale of love, loss and learning, but it’s told in a refreshing manner. Highway is the story of two seemingly opposite people who slowly grow together only to realize that they are not so different while on a road journey.

Veera and Mahabir, played by Alia Bhatt and Randeep Hooda are strong and sound characters, both with an intense background story. Alia sheds the Barbie image with her stellar portrayal of a girl finally breaking free from shackles of a hypocritical society. But even though the actors executed their parts beautifully, the script somehow fails to lend any real depth to the characters.
The movie in itself has ups and downs. It’s unconvincing in some places, such as when Veera becomes too candid a little too soon with her captors; light and funny in others; it even reaches a point where the movie continues with absolutely no addition to the actual story.

Imtiaz Ali also manages to address the issue of rape of minors by their own family members without it sounding preachy or overpowering the entire essence of the film. The music by A. R. Rahman compliments the movie well without being invasive as is the case with many Bollywood movies.

To summarize, Highway is an unorthodox spin on a story we’ve all heard before. Watch it for:

  1. Great performances by both the actors
  2. Visual treats from Rajasthan to Punjab to Kashmir
  3. The virtue of not being a run- of- the- mill romantic movie