As parts of Delhi record temperatures as high as 46 degrees Celsius and a searing heatwave sweeps the city, Delhi University has issued guidelines granting an extended semester break for the current batch of first-years attending the University.

In a notification dated May 25, 2023, the Delhi Government issued recommendations pertaining to the functioning of educational institutions amidst the expected heatwave. With the national capital recording 40+ degrees Celsius consecutively and the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issuing a yellow alert, the University of Delhi, on May 28, released a modified academic calendar for the batch of 2025/26. Scrapping the former one-day break, the University has now granted a summer break that will last a month. According to the newly released guidelines, second-semester examinations will end on July 28, 2023 (Friday), and the batch will be dispersed thereafter. The new semester will commence on August 23, 2023 (Wednesday).

DU registrar Vikas Gupta reportedly told The Quint that the sudden move by the administration comes in light of the sweltering heat in the city.

I hail from Himachal and Delhi weather is nearly intolerable for me. There is no hope for the weather to get better but at least when colleges are shut, I am hoping to protect myself from the heat by staying indoors.

-commented a student at Shaheed Bhagat Singh College.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Yogesh Singh, stated in conversation that the lack of a semester break was a result of the delayed implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.

CUET was conducted for the first time in 2022. Its implementation was gradual which led to semester lengths being halved. To bring the academic calendar for first years back on track, the University had to scrap the provision for a semester break.

– DU Vice Chancellor, Prof. Yogesh Singh

However, following the backlash faced by NEP and amidst demands for a rollback of the policy, the University has decided to offer respite to the students. The Vice Chancellor added,

The last year has seen a drastic modification in the entire education system of the country. As a students’ university, we realize the uncertainty it carried along and the detrimental impact it had on students’ mental health… We believe students deserve a good break and hence start afresh.

The move by the University has been highly appreciated by the student body.

I am glad the University finally realized how hectic our college life has been so far. We are infamously the experimental batch but there is thankfully something to look forward to now.

– commented a fresher from Maitreyi College.

Sources also report that the session for the incoming batch is expected to commence in mid-August. Hence, a semester break will allow the academic calendars of the University to continue in an integrated manner. This will also enable the University to direct its efforts to ensure a smooth admissions process.

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Read also: Jesus and Mary College and DU at Odds over Minority Admissions – DU Beat – Delhi University’s Independent Student Newspaper

Featured Image Credits: The Times of India

Manvi Goel
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