For me, the idea of Delhi from a nondescript town in Assam had been small. It was bounded by red brick buildings of a campus, in the souls of what I considered the crème de la crème of India’s student life. But after a year in this glorious city, after countless kebabs in paranthe wali gali, I realize that there is so much more to it.

I moved to Delhi during August of the year 2017, very pleased with my admission in Miranda House, a college I had hoped would cater to my feminist wings. I encountered a bunch of people there, who amazingly tackled subtle forms of misogyny and sexism with grace and patience. I was proud to be a part of such an institution.

Come winter, me and my roommate went on the quintessential Delhi darshan: meandering through the crumbling lanes of Chandi Chowk, the jaded monuments of Majnu ka Tila, and the looming monuments of South Delhi. All were relics of the history of the city, all enshrined in glorious magnificence. Having a best friend as a roommate means that you get a partner to be insane with and to hang onto that insanity through the nitty-gritties of college life. It is a blessing to have someone so close to you, that you literally sleep on top of each other during winters (because we cannot afford a heater so we proudly rely on body heat). I saw dervishes in Nizamuddin’s famed dargah, cried in its sweltering heat, and let my teeth chatter during winters. I saw the ghosts of the past and the present.

Ghalib once wrote, “I asked my soul: What is Delhi? She replied: The world is the body and Delhi its life.” His words ring true in every cobblestone path, every blade of grass of the city. The world’s life beats in the streets and the blades of grass of Delhi. But it is the University campus that is where I come to roost— Hudson Lane, McDonald’s, Tom Uncle’s Maggi point, Kamla Nagar, Arts Fac, and Vishwavidyalya Metro Station became my daily vocabulary.

There are still great desires to be fulfilled with Delhi. My tryst with its ghosts and its denizens will continue. But I have come to realize that like Ghalib, my soul lies not just with the city but with its people. It lies with my roommate, my friends at the University, with DU Beat, the guards at my college, the rickshaw pullers from Vijay Nagar who know me well enough to know I won’t ride their rickshaws, the professors who seem to grow in stature, and in the fire that burns in every individual of the city. It lies with the ghosts of Edwin Lutyens, Nehru, and Ghalib. For the freshers stepping into the city, I only hope your experience is just as subliminal and yet sublime. That you realize that it is the people of the city who breathe life into what would have otherwise been a lifeless, insipid necropolis.


Feature Image Credits: NDTV

Sara Sohail
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Our Indian education system’s school boards can be as temperamental as Simon Cowell’s manner of judging contestants at the X Factor: Whimsical and capricious.

Acknowledging this anomaly, the University of Delhi (DU) allows scope for admission through the Extra Curricular Activities (ECA) quota.


Taran Gulati, an ECA candidate who was admitted to DU through the ECA category ‘Divinity for Minority Colleges’ in 2016 told DU Beat, “Since only a few colleges accept students through this category, not many apply for the same. Moreover, very few seats are available for this category.”

She added, “However, this doesn’t affect the standard of competition. There is considerable competition, and the preparation required is remarkable. This is because you have to be knowledgeable in the elemental aspects of Sikhism, as well as be skilled at cultural aspects such as reciting the Ragas or Gurbani.”


  1. Trials will be held at two levels: (i) Preliminary trials (ii) Final trials.
  2. The trials of both these levels shall be the conducted by an ECA Committee appointed by the University Admission Committee.
  3. “Candidates will get a relaxation of only up to 15% in cut-offs if they apply for the ECA quota,” says Suchitra Gupta, Deputy Dean of Culture and Youth Affairs in DU.

This implies that not more than 15% relaxation in academic merit vis-à-vis unreserved category applicants (for the last relevant cut-off) may be given for admission to specific programmes. In simpler terms, if the cut-off for a particular course is 90%, then the ECA candidate will get a relaxation of upto 15%. This means, to be eligible for admission to a course whose last relevant cut-off was 90%, the candidate must have score at least 75% in his qualifying examination.


  1. No accompanists will be allowed.
  2. The students should be prepared in the following:
  • Ragas and contributors of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib
  • Teachings of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib
  • ‘Nitnem Banis’
  • Concept of Haume, Naam, Langar, Sewa in Sikhism and the Sikh code of conduct
  • Historical Gurudwaras of Delhi and their history
  • ‘Ardaas’
  • Playing the instruments while reciting Gurbani
  1. An applicant being selected in the final list does not guarantee admission. Admission is subject to the availability of seats in a course and college.


Only 4 minority colleges admit students through this ECA category. The colleges are- Mata Sundri College, SGND Khalsa College, SGTB Khalsa College and Sri Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce.


  1. Candidates must understand the essence of the ‘Nitnem Banis’ which is a collaboration of different banis that were designated to be read by sikhs. The ‘Nitnem Banis’ usually include the ‘Panj Bania’.
  2. Candidates may take reference from , which will provide them with comprehensive guidance in the key concepts of Sikhism
  3. The trials almost always have questions revolving around the historical ‘Gurudwaras’ of Delhi. To prepare on the same, candidates can take reference from


  1. The preliminary round will be held on the 14th and 15th of June 2018, from 9am, at Kamla Nehru College.
  2. Following this, the list of the short-listed candidates for final round will be notified on the university website.
  3. In the final round, the applicants must carry all the relevant certificates in original (and a self-attested photocopy) for evaluation. The certificates will account for 25% of the total weightage while the trials in the final round will account for 75% of the weightage.


The selected candidates will have to submit an Undertaking at the time of admission stating that the candidate will perform for the College for the entire period of the candidate‘s undergraduate programme of study. The college has a right to cancel their admissions if they violate the undertaking during their stay in college.

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat


Vaibhavi Sharma Pathak

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There are many times where we face the dilemma of making a sensitive decision. Especially being college students, we face many questions regarding our careers and future prospects. This makes the need to ask the right questions utterly important.

We encounter many instances within a single day where we need to take decisions. But there are the questions holding significant importance, to which we fail to find an answer. Especially at college level, questions regarding career and skill development are of utmost importance. But because we use a lot of time and energy, we really need to ask ourselves “Are we asking the right questions?”

Let us take a minute and understand the mechanism of questioning. We question out of curiosity. There is something called “the Pandora Effect”. It talks about the benefits and ill-effects of curiosity. This concept suggests that humans have an inherent desire to resolve uncertainty. It says that when humans face any uncertainty, they work on resolving it even if they might face negative consequences.

Interestingly, as per a survey published on New Scientist, researchers suggest that we might make “better decisions” if we “stop and consider” whether our choices will have negative outcomes. At the end of the day, our mental dilemmas and the stress that arises out of it is a direct result of our indecisiveness. Rather than berating ourselves for being indecisive, why not ask ourselves if we are pondering upon something meaningful in the first place? Is all that time and effort over a particular issue worth the effort?

One more flaw that we unintentionally suffer from is getting diverted from yielding an answer to merely solving the question. After a point, we focus on solving the question and forgetting the purpose of it, and how does it align with the answer that we need. One simple example for college students like us can be when we ask ourselves, “What program do I study?” and not “Why do I want to study a particular program” We need to step back and ask ourselves whether the questions we ask ourselves hold priority in our lives or not.

But yes, one prerequisite for doing so would be to have a clear idea of what we want to do. We have heard successful people talking about having a vision and being clear regarding what they want to do. Having a clear goal would allow us to think if the questions we ponder upon are helping us move forward or not. After all, there needs to be a tool that facilitates the process of heading in the right direction and also acting as a guiding factor to help us avoid diversions.

No matter how much we ignore it, we need to underline the importance of understanding a bit of psychology that goes into behaving the way we do. To understand it would help us find why we do the things we do. We need to know about these aspects, and it’s high-time we do it. Executing this process would require a lot of effort. But Robert Half once said, “Asking the right questions takes as much skill as giving the right answers.”

It was early morning sunshine that marked the beginning of the day at Lady Irwin College. The front lawn was filled with stalls and the stage was setting up for the day. Soon the lawn was filled with girls dressed in traditional apparel for the inauguration ceremony. Dr. Anupa Siddhu, the director of the college gave her enlightening speech. There were different events going on within the campus on the first day for which the participants arrived at the registration desks.
The events namely “TATVA” organised by ‘Nrityanjali’ the dance society, “SOLILOQUY” arranged by The debating society, ‘ALOHMORA’ the stage play society and  ‘Mukhauta’ the dramatics society events took place. Under the amphitheatre,  “VIRTUOSITY” the art competition started with various fun contests.
There were games going on in the back lawn which were fun and light for all the people to participate. The night was another anticipated moment and, when it started with arrival of DJ Suketu, the venue was packed with people. Finally the day ended with his performance to remember and cherish in one’s mind.
The second day of Quintessence’18 was welcomed with full zeal and enthusiasm after the first day had ended and began in a full swing.
The events that took place were, ‘Yatharth’, organised by the Street Play Society ‘Akaar’,  ‘Lexicon’, the Literary Society event, the Eco Club of the college organised a competition ‘Naturaleza’, ‘Virtuosity’, the Fine Arts Society events took place along with ‘Alohmora’, an event organised by the Dramatics Society ‘Mukhauta’. Temperatures were rising and the sun was at it’s full peak!
Suddenly the stage was lit up with the event ‘Razzle Dazzle’, an event organised by the Fashion Society ‘Prophecy’. Another event, ‘Arohanam’, organised by Dhwani, the Music Society also took place. The sun had started to set and the night was rising with the much awaited Star night. The audience was growing impatient. And then the ruler of all the hearts finally arrived on the stage, Darshan Raval! With his amazing performances he won everyone’s hearts and made everyone in the front lawn dance to his beats and sing along with his melodious voice. The crowd enjoyed a lot along with him.
Quintessencecomes once in a year and the Irwinite girls make sure to make it a memorable one. The hardwork of the girls had finally paid off as the event was a great success!

Odd semesters usually start with a burst of energy, (which is visible in the first week only) and give hope to many as a means to seek redemption for the erroneous mistakes committed in the past year. The fest scene is definitely lackluster in the Delhi circuit when compared to the even semester; there are, nevertheless, many moments to compensate for that. We take you through a recap of the semester gone by and dive head-first into the highlights that make the odd semesters so endearing and special.

1. The Admissions Hullabaloo: Clueless freshers and even more clueless professors regarding the syllabus, the first month is a spectacle to cherish — seniors reminisce their college life, and juniors eagerly look forward to interviews and freshers’ parties and competitions. This phase lasts roughly until the end of August and is followed by the reality of elections dawning upon us.

2. The Elections Turmoil: After many days of throwing pamphlets in the air and shouting out manifestos, the entire process of campaigning boils down to one day, the day of elections. Many controversies marked this election season eventful — from AISA’s panel yelling ‘Go back ABVP’ in Miranda House to Rocky Tuseed being barred (the ban was later removed),  from contesting for elections, two days before the election day. This year, elections were conducted on the 11th of September and saw an increase in the voter turnout. Rocky Tuseed and Kunal Sehrawat from NSUI won the positions of DUSU President and Vice President respectively, while Mahamedhaa Nagar and Uma Shankar from ABVP won the positions of DUSU Secretary and Joint Secretary, respectively.

3. Outstation fests, Part 1: Antaragini, IIT Kanpur, cultural extravaganza was a 4-day affair from 26th to 29th October, that had a cumulation of the best talents across India. The audience grooved to the tunes of famous artists like Euphoria, the famous duo Vishal-Shekhar, and KSHMR along with other DJs.

4. Outstation fests, Part 2: Oasis, BITS Pilani was a 4-day fest from 30th October to 4th November that witnessed thousands of students from all colleges all across India competing for the top prizes in various performing competitions. Renowned filmmaker and director of Baahubali fame, S.S Rajamouli declared the fest open. The famous duo Vishal-Shekhar sang their all time famous tracks on the 2nd night, while Candice Redding and, other international DJs performed on the EDM night for day 3. Ashish Shakya and Karunesh Talwar successfully called the fest to an end and threw everyone in fits of laughter in the process.

As ridiculously long this semester seemed to be, it officially ended on the 15th November. Here’s hoping for an even more eventful next semester, with fulfilled promises and newer heights to accomplish.

Image Credits: DUB Archives

P.V Purnima

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Vijeata Balani

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