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Delhi University’s School of Open Learning (SOL) launches 30 short-term courses catering to various fields under the Open Learning Development Centre. 

The School of Open Learning has launched the registration process for its Centre for Innovative Skill-Based Courses (CISBC). This initiative offers thirty short-term skill-based certificate courses ranging from 25 to 30 hours with a maximum duration of 6 months. These courses are designed to accommodate learners’ diverse schedules and preferences, with options available in offline, online, and hybrid formats.

Registration for the courses officially began on February 15th and will remain open until March 15th, 2024. The courses are set to commence on April 2nd, 2024, providing ample time for interested individuals to enroll. These courses welcome registrations from all, including University of Delhi students, with admission being granted on a first-come, first-served basis, depending on seat availability. As per the official website, for courses with fees exceeding Rs. 1000/-, upon reaching a batch size of 40–50 students, 10% of the supernumerary seats will be reserved for Economically Weaker Section candidates at subsidised rates, subject to screening.

Among the thirty courses available under the CISBC are English Proficiency, GST Executive, Cyber Security, Tax Assessment, Motor Driving, Medical Transcription, Wealth Management Programme, Medical Transcription, Radio Jockeying, Bakery and Confectionery, A/C and Refrigerator Repair, and Beauty and Hair Makeup, among others. 

As per the reports from India Today, Professor Payal Mago, the Director of SOL, highlighted that these valuable skill-based certificate courses would offer students a chance to improve their opportunities for employment.

She emphasised that these courses are highly effective in preparing students for job opportunities by imparting practical skills aligned with current industry demands. The accessible programmes will provide a joint certification from Delhi University and esteemed national and international organisations, enhancing students’ credentials.

The portal was launched on January 31 under the chairmanship of the Vice-Chancellor of Delhi University, Professor Yogesh Singh. He saw this centre as a ‘life changer’, opening doors for students to access skill-based courses. A brochure detailing all the courses was also distributed on the same day. 

For any queries, applicants can email [email protected] or call 9318354363, 9318354636.

Read Also: Inquiry to be Launched Against 12 DU Colleges Funded by the Delhi Government

Featured Image Source- India Today

Dhairya Chhabra

[email protected]

Let’s take a trip down the memory lane and explore different facets of fashion in the post-independence era in the most celebrated pedagogical campus of India.

Delhi University, the most prestigious university in the country also boasts of hosting a wildly diverse student body. The colleges of DU spread all over the national capital have for over a hundred years produced a pedigree of students which have gone on to excel in all sorts of fields. This diversity in culture, ethnicity and identities has facilitated the existence of a vibrant fashion culture in the university.

Umberella shaped sorts of Kurtas without cuts on the side. They were pretty trendy but walking and running around in those was a bit arduous. We paired these with tight pajamas. In the 60s very few ‘mod’ women wore pants. Most girls either made a simple plait or huge high buns with puff stuffed within”, an alumna of IPCW, Batch’62.

Owing to her back to back hits with Junglee, Bluff Master, Ayee Miyan ki Belan, Padosan and plenty more in the 60s, Saira Banu and her style became a cult classic for the youngsters. Her high placed classic bun with a middle partitioned hairline, dramatic winged eyeliner and tight fitted sarees were celebrated and greatly imitated by most young women back then.  Almost everyone wanted to look like her, dress like her.

Popular footwear included Canvas sneakers, T-strap sandals with tiny heels, one toe flats from Janpath or the basic slip-ons from Bata. Archives from websites of DU colleges like LSR and Miranda shows women practicing their P.T drill in tight fitted suits with thin strap slippers on.

By late 60s several new all-women’s colleges had been established, thereby bolstering the admission rate of women into Delhi University. This gave space for their style to acquire a bolder and more liberal facet.

Fashion meant a lot to us back then. With tight fitted shirts, churidar pajamas, full length wrap around skirts, pleated pants and bouffant hairdos with backcombed puffs, we all put our best foot forward when dressing up for college. We didn’t wear revealing clothes but our tops and kurtas were tight fitting”, shares an LSR alumna, batch’1967.

Dr Prabha Jain, an alumna of Lady Hardinge Medical College, MBBS Batch’72 recounts,

As far as I can recall, my college, unlike other DU colleges had certain restrictions on what we all chose to wear – especially the anatomy department. Most girls barring a few wore either sarees or kurta and salwar. Our suits were either sleeveless or tightly fitted, but were all cloaked under our Doctor’s Apron. Our go to shopping place was Karol Bagh – going to Chandni Chowk seemed too daunting because of the rush, and CP was too expensive for us back then”.

“Everything flared” was definitely the fashion tagline of the 70s. This decade had the youngsters drooling over bell bottoms and bell sleeve printed tops. Neetu Singh, Zeenat Aman and Sharmila Tagore were the biggest fashion icons of this age. Dimple Kapadia’s cropped polka dots white front tie top in Bobby resulted in the print being labeled as the ‘hallmark of 70s Fashion’. Denim was formally introduced in the same decade through Veeru (Dharmendra) and Jai’s (Amitabh Bachan) denim jeans and shirts in the blockbuster – Sholay. Nonetheless denim jeans in the common population only became a staple towards the late 80s.

We wore extremely deep cut bell bottoms with embroidered patterns at the lower helm. Styled those with cropped tops with a shrug on top, if not cropped then they would be longer. We occasionally also wore corduroy knee length shorts, not often. Pre-made dhotis with short kurtis and chiffon duppattas had gotten pretty famous. Chand Baliyan, dainty neck pieces, big buns and winged eye liners – we have done and loved them all”, says Ranjana Kohli, a Maitreyi College alumna, Batch’74.

By end 70s/early 80s, owing to it’s pan-India nature, DU had definitely developed itself into a melting pot for different cultures, identities and even fashion styles. Student from different parts of the country, from different backgrounds, ethnicities, elite boarding schools, public schools, rich and not-so rich families came together in one city. This facilitated interaction of faiths and ideologies, and was one major factor behind the fact that Delhi became “mod” (slang for modern) in terms of fashion quite sooner than other major cities.

Gautam Kalra, a 1991 DU graduate mentions,

80’s was all about loud fashion, neons, permed hair, bleached hair, plastic jewellery. Students wore a lot of unaesthetic synthetic clothing. 1991-1993, then I went to Delhi School of Economics for post-grad – which was more intellectual and saw a lot of toppers from Presidency college & Stephens. The vibe was Anti-fashion with tailor-made trousers clad nerdy under-dressed people sporting jhola bags and reading glasses. I however continued serving individuality and wore the then cool Bermuda shorts with T-shirts, fake ysL blue reading glasses, plenty of colour and denim”.

The popularity of flared pants and bell bottoms waned towards late 80s and was replaced by straight-fit or bootcut trousers. The 80s and 90s also witnessed an overwhelmingly crazy obsession with denim jeans. George Michael’s typical cross jetted pocketed loose jeans and the multi-pocketed ones were the most sought after styles in denim. 90s brought in the obsession with Salman Bhai’s shirtless look with tattered baggy jeans on in O O Jaane Jana. DU students usually wore jeans from indigenous brands like wrangler or locally sourced them from second-hand markets in Sarojini. International brands like Benetton and Levis became popular among the youth only after mid 90s, post liberalization.

We didn’t really have the kind of influencers you have today on Social Media. We derived our fashion inspiration from movie actresses and pop icons of our time. Luckily for us stereotypically skinny framed girls, Sonali Bendre popularized the ‘skinny’ body type. Madhuri was definitely a cult favorite in the 90s”, says an alumna of Hindu College, Batch’92

This obsession with Madhuri Dixit is implicit in the fact that in the early 90s, almost everyone was trying to emulate her shoulder length, wavy, voluminous, side portioned puff. The impact Madhuri’s purple lehenga with it’s backless blouse in ‘Hum Aapke hai kaun’ was ineffable to the extent that most girls insisted on wearing a similar design for their farewells and other college functions.

The movie “Aashiqui” was all the rage in early 90s. The amount of influence the movie had on everyone back then was overwhelmingly crazy. All the boys in a bid to look like Rohan Roy started maintaining a longer mane and the girls would run to the local tailor to improvise their own versions of Anu Agarwal’s famous white lace navy blue dress. Her polka dots net ribbons had a separate fan base altogether.

Jeans were in, shirts without sleeves were in, but crop tops or any shirts that showed the stomach were still a bold fashion statement. I was rather a plain Jane. So I knew little about makeup and fashion trends. But, Kajal, lipsticks and liners were always a staple for most. Reebok, Adidas sports shoes and Woodland were the flavours of the season”, says Sarika Salil, an English (Hons.) graduate from Hansraj College, Batch’97.

She continues to highlight the darker side of this flourishing period of fashion in India,

People were body-shamed openly and brazenly. Anyone who was considered ‘fat’ according to the rigid beauty standards had to stick to the ‘conservative’ fashion trends, and donned only salwar kameez. They avoided jeans and short blouses because of the persistent comments on their bodies”.

90s was also the time when Aviators gained huge love among the youngsters – especially men. This love can greatly be attributed to Tom Cruise’s look in Top Gun. Only some could afford the real OG Raybans aviators, others managed it with dupes. Women bought more of oval shaped, narrow framed sunglasses. These have made a comeback in recent years. Around this time, the baggy multi-pocketed denims had been discarded for high waist straight-fit bootcut jeans. The aesthetic became cleaner and more sophisticated.

Devika Ahluwalia, who graduated from Venkys in the summer of 98’ remarks,

‘Fashion’ in college for me was on the one hand about kohlapuri chappals and comfy kurtas to slightly cropped belly button showing cotton sleeveless tops over comfy pants. Mismatched laces on cloth trainers (not sure I could afford Converse then) along with shirts tied at the waist over a flared skirt made sense to me at the time. As did cutting off the bottom of t-shirts to make them shorter”,

she continues

Sarojini Nagar export clothes reject market was a monthly hang out for good fashion reject bargains. My hair was long and not “styled” and a pencil was used when I tied it into a bun. Silver jewellery passed/gifted to me by my sister was a part of my daily look. As was kajal and slightly thin eyebrows. Going out at night meant borrowing clothes from friends who had the access to their ‘abroad’ shopping. Tight short skirts and even tighter tops came out of the closet for those times”.

The 2Ks were an era of tube tops, low rise denims, Aishwarya’s dressy dainty micro tops, Poo’s sexy fusion of indo-western elements, the tiniest mini-skirts, natural looking blow dried hair and dangly earrings. All thanks to Juicy’s tracksuits popularized by Britney, the Kardashians and Paris Hilton; and in the Indian context Karishma’s outfits in Dil toh Pagal hai and SRKs wardrobe from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai resulted in a new found love for athleisure. Late 90s and early 2000s was also the golden period for India in International pagents. Back to back wins by Diana Hayden, Yukta Mookhey, Lara Dutta, Priyanka Chopra and Dia Mirza. There was a global recognition and acknowledgement of the Indian beauties globally. Their fashion etiquettes and aesthetics were largely emulated by young college going women. The 2000s also saw a crazy obsession with the front hair being styled into a pouf. Everyone was getting their hair cut into steps or layers.

The DU fashion trends while segueing it’s way into the early 2010s from 2Ks transitioned from bootcut to strechy skinny jeans, low rise to high waisted multiple buttoned denims, from glossy liquid lipsticks to baby lips, crop tops to T-shirts, pencil heels to wedges. Jeggings replaced jeans and was worn under kurtas or loose T-shirts. Short kurtis with harem pants, Punjabi juttis paired with silver jhumkas and bangles from lajpat or janpath was the new staple in DU colleges.

We were obsessed with using baby lips and excessive Kajal. We had luckily stopped with the puffs in 2012 but the side parting was huge. Jeggings and crop tops were fashion in 2015-16”, says Selina, an alumna of Lady Irwin College, Batch’2016.

Today’s DU fashion is an astounding amalgamation of fashion aesthetics of different decades, cultures and identities. From the effortlessly chic clean girl activewear, to Y2ks big pants small tops, big T-shirts small shorts, kurta and pajama, crop tops and pajamas, summer midi dresses, dark academia inspired deep shade pleated skirts, Sarojini ke jhumke, Lajpat’s western jewellery, from nike sneakers to ‘kohlapuri chappals’ from janpath to crocs, from H&M, Zara apparels to their dupes and rejects from Sarojini, – us DU students can style all of these effortlessly.

Fashion today is not a mere display of vanity or simply about putting on random trending pieces of clothing. Yes, we do feed on trends and contribute to the fast fashion capitalist economy in a lot of ways, but still, Fashion today has a lot more to do with self-expression, comfort and acceptance.

Fashion for me is acceptance. It is finding solace in the fact, especially in an all-girls college, that no matter what you wear, no one will judge you. There’s always going to be someone more over-dressed or under-dressed than you are. One can walk into the campus wearing a saree and no one will bother, one only appreciates”, says Dolijung Negi, a final year student from LSR.

A lot of current DU students agree that the fashion today doesn’t necessarily coerce one into opting into a particular vertical of trend, but instead, thanks to the diversity in aesthetics one doesn’t necessarily feel alienated and ends up discovering their own fashion sense and learns to celebrate it’s uniqueness.

Rubani Sandhu

[email protected]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 College is often a foray into many new experiences, a lot of which involves the night life. The glamorous ideal of Delhi clubbing, parking lots filled with fancy G-wagons, tons of booze, popping DJ sets has often attracted many young students, looking to enjoy the first dregs of freedom associated with university. However, behind the glitz, many realize that the city that never sleeps doesn’t always have to offer the best experiences once the sun sets.

Clubs are inherently unsafe for many, especially women. Dingy lighting, crowds of strange men, all under the influence of alcohol, and usually heavily intoxicated, spell disaster for several young students. Almost all young women have faced some degree of assault at clubs, from something as easily brushed off as cat-calling, to serious cases of assault.

My first few experiences in Delhi clubs hadn’t been the worst, somehow I had warded off creepy stares or unwanted gropes, but a few months into having moved to the city, I ended up at Ansal Plaza, a place frequented by DU students looking to party. This changed the false sense of security I had gained over the past few months. I suddenly felt suffocated and unsafe, I could feel the stare of random men. I ended up leaving in 30 minutes. Since then, I became more wary of the situations I put myself in. However, I now have a deep seated fear, one that usually gets me whilst traveling back in Ubers late at night, at how women often lose out on the joy of many experiences, because of the sense of endangerment created for them.

Other female students have had similar experiences,

There have been several times when I have been stared at or groped, in many of the supposedly elite clubs in the city. But I guess these are just the things that come with being a girl, and don’t deter me from having my fun” – Siona Arora, B.A. Programme, Kamala Nehru College

 But the issue runs deeper than just personal experiences, incidents like drink spiking run rampant across clubs in general, where women usually account for more than half of the visitors. Articles like this one suggest measures like, regulated security personnel, more female security members, checking men for drugs and a general no-tolerance policy towards drug use in clubs.

Adding to this, several unaware college students, many of whom hail from non-urban areas in India and are unfamiliar with the workings of the city, its various areas or clubs in general, are especially vulnerable to being exploited in such scenarios. Being charged extra money to enter into “exclusive events”, women being forced to couple up with often strange men to enter into clubs, commuting late at night in cabs through unknown roads or routes etc. can all ruin youngsters’ attempts to just have a good night.

Read also – https://dubeat.com/2023/05/25/du-reconstitutes-a-women-safety-committee-in-all-women-colleges/

Image Credits – Getty Images

Chaharika Uppal

[email protected]

 

 

 

 

Enough pieces have been written about the people of Delhi University – people from different walks of life with their diversity of thought; their loud, messy, and innately human lives. But in the hustle and bustle of daily college life, do we forget about another set of residents on our campuses?

Delhi University is known not just for its diversity of student and faculty but also for its enriching biodiversity. Students call the red brick walls of the varsity home for 3 years but the creepy crawlies on campus call it home their entire lives. The sprawling, green college campuses are cozy shelters for a wide variety of fauna. From litters of kittens and protective dogs to majestic peacocks and playful squirrels, campus spaces are made all the more vibrant.

College life is one’s first foray into the real world. Away from your families, out of your comfort zone, it is easy to feel lost in the vastness of the city. Coping with the transition from school days is difficult, but many find solace in the four-legged fuzzballs around campus. Missing home? Having a bad day? Had a fight with a friend? Worry not for our resident therapy-substitute doggos are here to brighten your day.

The sight of puppies and kittens lounging in the soft breeze of air conditioners and fans in the summers and basking in the warmth of the sunlit lawns in winter is a familiar sight to behold. Enter your first year and you’ll be bewildered at the ease with which the animals on campus traverse the people and infrastructure. Move on to second year, and you’ll get comfortable with the co-existence, not batting an eye when a puppy interrupts your late afternoon lecture. Come graduation year and you’ll find that these furry friends have found a way into your hearts. Even if you aren’t an animal lover, this university teaches you many lessons, pleasantly sharing campus spaces with a multitude of species is one of them.

While dogs, cats, and squirrels are a common sight, some colleges are also home to diverse avian species. Indraprastha College for Women’s open grounds often welcomes winged visitors in the winter months. The college’s location between the North Delhi Ridge and Yamuna banks makes it a habitat island for several migratory species. One can also spot the occasional peacock and peahens on the campus of Shri Ram College of Commerce.

Many of these animals are looked after by hired caretakers or gardeners, but students also play an active role. There are animal welfare societies or branches of the college National Service Scheme that cater to everything from immunization, sterilization, and injury treatment by experts to feeding through student volunteers. A few admins also share Do’s and Don’ts about animal feeding by students which goes to show the synergies between the species.

With the rapid urbanization in the national capital, the patches of urban greenery within the varsity become even more crucial for maintaining the fragile micro-ecosystems. They become essential for studying conservation insights and preserving diversity. With UGC and NEP’s guidelines for greater Environmental Science awareness among students, the study and maintenance of the vibrant flora and fauna has become implicit in campus life.

The indelible touch these animals have on our college lives is evident by the numerous Instagram pages dedicated to college dogs, occasional college graffiti, and society logos. So next time you come across a lounging puppy, give it a belly scratch. After all, being cute all day is hard work.

Read Also: How Having Dogs as your Furry Friends in College Helps

Bhavya Nayak
[email protected]

1800-180-5522 : Anti-ragging toll-free helpline by the University Grants Commission (UGC) operational in 12 languages. 

TW: Ragging, death, mentions of suicide 

An 18-year-old student died after falling from the hostel balcony in Kolkata. Family and friends of the deceased allege ragging by senior students.

In an unfortunate incident, a first-year student of Jadavpur University (JU), Kolkata succumbed to his injuries on the morning of August 10, after falling from the second floor balcony of the University’s boys hostel the night before. The victim, identified as Swapnodeep Kundu, was a student of Bengali Honours and had moved into the hostel two days ago, at the beginning of the new academic session. Parents of the deceased and a large section of the student body have claimed that the 18-year-old was a victim of ragging. According to the initial probe undertaken by the police, Swapnodeep had “jumped off” the balcony. On Friday, August 11, the police registered an FIR under section 302 (murder) and section 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) based on a complaint lodged by the victim’s father. A former JU student, who continued staying at the main hostel after graduating, has been arrested by the police for his alleged involvement in the case. 

Shankha Shubra Chakrabarty, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) reported that Swapnodeep had fallen from the second floor of the JU hostel around 11.45 p.m on Wednesday. Police sources reveal that students in the ‘A’ Block of the University’s Main Hostel rushed outside when they heard a loud thud, where they reportedly saw the victim’s naked body lying in a pool of blood. He was taken to KPC Medical College for treatment, where he succumbed to his wounds around 4.30 a.m on Thursday. The initial postmortem revealed that he suffered fractures on the left side of his head and his spine. There were additional injuries on his head, rib, and pelvis, as reported by a senior police official. 

According to the testimony of the victim’s father, the student had called his mother multiple times on Wednesday evening, wanting to return home to Hanskhali, Nadia.

My son called and spoke to his mother on Wednesday night. He was very afraid and was under tremendous pressure. He begged me and his mother to come. It was clear that he was being tortured.

the student’s father told the journalists, as reported by The Hindustan Times. 

Police have also examined the mobile phones of his roommates to further the investigation. 

His phone got switched off later. We are looking into his call list to find out whether he spoke to anyone else after that or not.

stated a senior police officer.  

Reportedly, the student’s uncle, Anup, informed the police that the 18-year-old had told his mother that he was not “feeling well” and was “very scared”.

When his mother asked him what had happened, he asked her to come soon. He said that he had a lot to tell her.

– claimed the victim’s uncle. 

Anup told The Indian Express that the new session had started recently and his nephew had attended a few classes, informing his father that he was “happy”. Since he wasn’t allotted his room at the hostel, he was staying in a friend’s room. Further, dismissing any speculations of suicide, the victim’s uncle mentioned, “Of course, it is a case of ragging. Why else would a boy with a healthy mind suddenly die?. I want a probe so that no other family suffers like us.”

According to police sources, the deceased’s classmates claimed that Swapnodeep had spoken with them about the problems, which were keeping him from getting any sleep at night. These classmates had also brought it to the notice of the concerned teacher. A social media post by another first-year student alleged that Swapnodeep’s unfortunate death was due to ragging inflicted by some seniors.

My name is Arpan Majhi. I am a first-year student at Jadavpur University. My family is economically backward and I grew up in Asansol. Naturally, I applied for a hostel during admission. Spending two to three nights at the hostel was quite tormenting to me and because of that, I have started looking for a mess despite facing great difficulty, even if I have to take out a loan,

he said in that post.

 

I have heard many stories about the main hostel. Stories of them helping flood victims, standing by the side of helpless people during the Covid-19 pandemic. I believe most of the seniors in the main hostel carry this fighting tradition. But for a few of them, I lost my classmate,

the student alleged in his Facebook post.

 

A few students also claimed that Swapnodeep was made to run unclothed on the hostel terrace on Wednesday, which led him to take the extreme step.

However, in a student’s General Body Meeting (GBM) organised by the Faculty of Engineering and Technology Students’ Union (FETSU), a scuffle broke out between 2 student groups with some students alleging that the victim was not mentally stable and took his own life. 

Only a section of students feel that it is ragging. Others believe it’s an outcome of gender-insensitive comments. We want a ragging-free campus,

commented FETSU general secretary Gourav Das.

Kunal Chattopadhyay, a professor of Comparative Literature at the University, also alleged that the student was being ragged. 

A first-year student died a little while ago, being a victim of ragging. I remember that pamphlets were published saying that whether ragging is really ‘ragging’ or not, should be decided through a democratic process. Many will try to save themselves after this death.

– wrote Chattopadhyay in a Facebook post on Thursday.

According to police reports, some students claim that they had called the dean, Rajat Roy, around 10 p.m. to bring Swapnodeep’s “abnormal” behaviour to his notice. However, they were told that the issue would be addressed the following morning. Students claim that they called the dean again an hour later, just before Swapnodeep’s death, but their calls went unanswered. 

However, in his conversation with the media, Roy claims to have involved the hostel superintendent in the resolution of the issue.

At 10:05 pm on Wednesday, I received a call from a student. He said that another student was facing ‘politicising’. I couldn’t understand and asked him to explain. He said that a student was being asked not to stay in the hostel because if one has to stay in the hostel, he needs to jump from the balcony. I asked him to inform the hostel superintendent,

Roy, dean of students of JU, told the media.

The dean claims to have informed the hostel superintendent himself, who reported no such issues after his inquiry.

At 10:08 pm I asked the superintendent to check. The next phone call I got (was a) little after midnight in which the superintendent informed me that a student has fallen from the balcony and I rushed to the hospital,

Roy added.

Students of Jadavpur University have also alleged that the main hostel, which is located outside the university campus, is frequently visited by ex-students, who stay illegally and harass the younger students. On Friday, the student body staged a protest on the university campus to demand justice for the deceased. 

 

JU students organised a protest against ragging on Friday. Image Credits: The Hindustan Times

Meanwhile, the University has asked the freshers to relocate to a separate hostel while ensuring that no outsiders be allowed at the main hostel. To further investigate the matter, the University authorities have set up a nine-member panel to submit a detailed report in 2 weeks.

All undergraduate first-year students have been instructed to temporarily shift to the New Boys Hostel. No ex-students as well as outsiders would be allowed to stay in the hostel. Hostel superintendents have been asked to send names of ex-students and outsiders who do not comply,

said an anonymous JU official.

Jadavpur University Teachers’ Association (JUTA) Secretary Partha Pratim Roy advocated that new students stay in a separate hostel as per UGC guidelines. He demanded that former students, who continue to live in the hostel, must be asked to leave. 

We demand exemplary punishment for those responsible for the student’s death.

– commented JUTA Secretary, Roy. 

Meanwhile, the Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) blamed West Bengal Governor, C.V. Ananda Bose and the State Government for the death of the student, demanding a judicial probe into the incident. 

We blame the Governor of West Bengal and the state education department for the unfortunate death of a first-year student of Jadavpur University. Because of their conflict, there is no vice-chancellor in the university. With a temporary vice-chancellor, no one is willing to take responsibility for anything. As a result, special surveillance and security arrangements were not made for the first-year students.

read a statement issued by the APDR on Thursday.

Governor Bose, who is also the Chancellor of the University, informed the media that he visited the JU hostel to discuss the matter with the student and teacher body and assured the student’s father of stern action against those responsible for his son’s death. 

I went to the hostel, I discussed with the students and also the teachers, they want justice. Justice will be done. They presented before me some of the basic issues here. We’ll address them, we’ll do our best. We’ll give them justice and strong action will be taken.

– stated West Bengal Governor, Bose.

Following the unfortunate incident, he convened an emergency meeting of vice-chancellors, teachers-in-charge of anti-ragging squads, psychologists, and parents on Friday at Raj Bhavan, Kolkata.

It was decided to put an end to the entry of miscreants from outside into the campus of the universities and colleges leading to violence and intimidation of the unsuspecting freshers who join the university,

a representative of the Governor stated. 

1800-180-5522 : Anti-ragging toll-free helpline by the University Grants Commission (UGC) operational in 12 languages. 

 

Read also: DU’s New Mechanism Against Ragging and Harassment – DU Beat – Delhi University’s Independent Student Newspaper

Featured Image Credits: The Indian Express

 

Manvi Goel

[email protected]

A 19-year-old student from the University of Delhi was allegedly stabbed to death outside of Aryabhatta College.

 

On Sunday, in front of Aryabhatta College in South Campus, a 19-year-old Delhi University student, named Nikhil Chauhan,  was allegedly stabbed to death. A week ago, one of the accused had allegedly harassed a woman friend of the victim, to which he had objected, said a senior police officer in conversation with The Hindu.

On Sunday, around 12:30 pm, the key accused and three of his accomplices met with Nikhil outside the College and stabbed him in the chest, the police stated. He was later rushed to the Charak Palika Hospital, where he was declared dead. CCTV footage has surfaced online, which, captured near the college, purportedly showed the accused escaping on scooters and a bike.

While talking to The Hindu, Nikhil’s father had this to say

We deserve justice, this is not what we send our children to school for.” He further stated, “I received a call at 12 p.m. that Nikhil has been injured, I rushed to the hospital, but by the time I reached, he passed away.”

The victim, who has been survived by his two brothers and parents who live in West Delhi’s Paschim Vihar, worked as a part-time model. His parents have said that he loved modelling and acting, taking part in many competitions in the city.

My son was also into modelling. He told me that he also wants to study political science to have vast knowledge about our country. He had a bright future. We don’t know what to do now,”

– said Mr Chauhan.

A case under IPC 302(murder) has been registered and an investigation is ongoing to apprehend the accused-who have been identified, the police have said.

“It is very unfortunate and sad that a young life has been lost and that also just outside the college where students come to learn and make career.”  said a Delhi University spokesperson in a statement to The Hindu.

 

Feature Image Source: DU Beat Archives

Read Also: Mismanagement and Arbitrary Decisions taken at Meghdoot Hostel

Vanshika Ahuja

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Delhi University students organized a protest in the Delhi School of Economics against the recent violence and attack on tribal students in North Campus. The attack on the students was an extension of the crisis in Manipur. With the protest, the students tried to initiate important discourses around mental health, student safety, women’s safety, xenophobia and various other sensitive issues that affect tribal students on campus.

On 12th May, students of the University organized a protest at the Delhi School of Economics to spread awareness about the attack on tribal students in North Campus that took place the previous week. As inter-community violence grips Manipur, even those living away from home are constantly tormented by the possibility of being attacked. Last week, a group of Kuki students were reportedly attacked by a group of around 30 students who identified themselves as belonging to the Meitei community. The victims were followed as they left a prayer meeting near Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute in North Campus. The women were pushed and the men were beaten up. The incident has left tribal students across the university concerned about their safety.

During the attack, women were molested and threatened to be raped. The men were badly beaten up. They have sustained injuries and have scars all over. They are traumatized. Delhi University is a campus for all students. But being tribals, we do not feel safe anymore even on campus

– a participant who wishes to remain anonymous

The protest was an attempt to create a space in which tribal students could express themselves freely and be part of a larger community of students with shared experiences. Students gathered near the Ratan Tata Library at the Delhi School of Economics and expressed their concerns, fears and experiences with one another. Students from different colleges, across the university joined in. The participants spoke about the trauma that tribal students have been experiencing and pointed out that there is a general atmosphere of fear that has affected not only the victims of the attack but all tribal students from Manipur. One of the speakers pointed out that earlier, students would stay out and study in libraries till 2 a.m. in the morning. However, after the crisis unfolded in Manipur, many fear even going outdoors. Such an atmosphere of hostility is hardly conducive to academic growth. It was repeatedly stated that although the situation in Manipur is deeply disturbing, it is important to ensure that what happens in Manipur, stays in Manipur and does not culminate into further violence outside the state.

We are really concerned about the safety of tribal students here. On the night of 4th May, there was a mob attack on Kuki students by the other community which we vehemently condemn. We should not be against each other. This is an academic space and we need a peaceful space to progress in our academic career.

– Mr. Haokip, a research scholar at the university

Many of the students were concerned about the impact of the traumatic incidents on their academic life as they are in the middle of their semester exams. Reportedly, many tribal students have been experiencing cyberbullying on social media platforms for being vocal about the crisis in Manipur. They have been receiving death threats and rape threats for their social media posts on Manipur. The victims of the attack and those who have received online threats have become so paranoid that they could not bring themselves to join the protest. One of the participants spoke to DU Beat about the online harassment, transphobic and homophobic slurs that they have been enduring ever since the violence unfolded in Manipur. They further elaborated upon the systematic oppression and xenophobia that tribals experience in Manipur.

Growing up in Imphal, we were used to people calling us (the Kuki people) illegal Burmese immigrants. At school, we were bullied and shamed for our tribal identity. We are mocked a lot for reservations as well.

DU Beat approached multiple stakeholders to include their experiences and insights. However, owing to the matter’s sensitivity, many were uncomfortable speaking openly about it and declined our request for interviews. Nonetheless, the participants at the protest made their demands. Overall, the gathering was a peaceful one.

We would like to put out the message that we all are here for progress. During my 5-year study in DU, I have never felt unsafe. But now, even though I am not a victim myself, I have to constantly look over my shoulder after that incident. We are here to protest against the attack. We are not here to target any community, but simply demand that the culprits are arrested.

 – Another participant who wishes to remain anonymous.

 

Read Also: Students Stage ‘Students for Wrestlers’ Protest 

Image Credits: Tulip Banerjee for DU Beat

Tulip Banerjee

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If we turn the pages of our history, we will realise that our freedom struggle was an essential chapter in the history of the University of Delhi. It has been about 80 years since Mahatma Gandhi gave us the slogan “Do or Die”, and within weeks of the pronouncement of the slogan at the Bombay Session of 1942, protests started to take shape across the colleges of DU. From burning down an electric sub-station (by the students of Ramjas College) to marching in protest on 10 August 1942, against the authorities who jailed the Congress leaders the previous day (students of Hindu College, Indraprastha College, and St, Stephen’s College), DU was the political hub during the time. So, this culture of protest so firmly entrenched among DU students even today can be traced back all the way to our country’s struggle for independence.

Established in 1922, a time when India was engulfed by its struggle for freedom, both students and teachers were active participants in the anti-British movement. However, soon, the students realised a need for a union. It was in 1947, under the founder of the Delhi School of Economics, Vijayendra Kasturi Ranga Varadaraja Rao (V. K. R. V. Rao), when a provisional committee consisting of presidents of all the colleges was bestowed with the responsibility to draft the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) Constitution and take necessary steps for the creation of this institution. On 9 April 1949, DUSU came to life and was inaugurated by our first Prime Minister, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru. Since its inception, DUSU has become the first step toward the political scenario of the larger part of the country. Students belonging to various groups, having a range of ideologies, contest to be part of its panel. Some of the most notable student organisations that it represents are the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), Students’ Federation of India (SFI), Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti (CYSS), All India Students’ Association (AISA), and many more.

Delhi University is as well known for its politics as well as for its historical significance and educational culture. Its political atmosphere is so important that at times, even mainstream political parties take keen interest in it. Nevertheless, it is worth noticing how the culture of protest and dissent was born in the sensitive pre-independence independence and how it has transformed since then to take its present form. Are the organisations doing their jobs correctly or are they just practicing dissent in the name of vote-bank politics? This is one of the most crucial questions we must seek the answer to.

The ABVP, a right-wing student organisation affiliated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), has had the most successful run in DUSU history in recent years. The root cause of this success can be traced back to the period of the Emergency in 1975, when DUSU once again became a centre of political resistance. Arun Jaitley, a former member of ABVP and Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), was elected as the president of DUSU in 1974. He is known to have played the most instrumental role in bringing reform to DUSU. Until 1973, colleges used to elect 10 DUSU councilors, who further used to elect the panel of DUSU. However, from 1973 this policy was transformed into ‘one-student, one-vote’, turning the system from an indirect to a direct democracy. Also, Jaitley is famously known for being the first satyagrahi against the imposition of an internal emergency. In 1977, Vijay Goel, who was affiliated with ABVP, became the President of DUSU. His focus during the campaign was the excesses that occurred during the emergency.

More recently, Nupur Sharma, a former BJP national spokesperson, was elected DUSU president as the ABVP candidate in 2008. This broke the ABVP’s eight-year wait for power in the DUSU, which had been dominated by NSUI. That year, the other three posts (Vice President, Secretary, and Joint Secretary) went to the NSUI.

If we look at the last 10 years, the NSUI has only held the President’s seat only twice. This does beg the inevitable question of why the ABVP has found so much success. During the internal emergency, it can be credited to the country’s political atmosphere, which helped in garnering support. In its initial days, it is safe to say that people were more focused on work than their political inclinations and other interests. But what about today? Is it functioning the way the students desire or is it enjoying an undue dominance? Is it standing for the students and working for their demands, or are they too invested in getting memorandums signed in the name of vote banks? On the other hand, the left-wing parties, which emerged as a force to content with in DU politics quite recently, have centred their existence around fighting for or against various issues through protests and rallies. In this respect, their innovation and resourcefulness is beyond compare.

But the larger question remains: are any of the organisations working for the students, or has their functioning been overcome by their self-interest and blinded by lofty goals of perhaps being a part of the ‘real deal’?

But what is the real deal now, apart from the “glorious” past that DUSU holds? Since 2019, DUSU elections have not been held and even for this year as I type this out, there is no clarity or instruction about them. For a Student’s Union that has not seen elections in the past three years, to term this period as worthy of congratulations to the DU fraternity is a disaster in itself that reflects what sort of bizarreness surrounds DU politics today. At nearly every step the recommendations of the Lyngdoh committee (set up by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) in 2006 as per the direction of the Supreme Court to reform students’ union elections and to get rid of money and muscle power in student politics), are sidelined. Even a short conversation with those batches who have witnessed the famous DU elections is enough to know the huge amounts spent to buy students’ votes with freebies.

Every party in this arena carries its burden of faults. With major players being invisible throughout the year, some parties have engaged themselves in constant show politics. earning a name for themselves as “far protestors”. Be it any event or protest, you are most likely to see the same faces appearing everywhere, carrying faulty lies around.

But what’s the real issue here? Are parties facing problems in mobilising the students of DU? Or has its flame died down? Maybe it has just become a mere shell of what it used to be with constant clamping down on dissent at the college level. Though efforts by left parties in the form of reading circles can’t be ignored, ABVP too has attempted to mobilise students. But the fault of parties lies majorly in being unable to maintain a connection with the students. Even with these events and attempts to get closer to the students’ community, student parties cling to rigid ideologies rather than adapting to the circumstances, often barring those without political influence from engaging in what remains of student politics at the university. Indiscriminate fights and beatings do the rest of the work of turning students away from politics, with only 39% voting recorded in the last elections.

One of the biggest shortcomings of the DUSU is the exclusion of various colleges, especially ‘women’s colleges’, whose students have been visibly political in their stance. The absence of political presence on these campuses is clear exclusion by the administration and the silence of student parties over this issue makes clear their lack of concern over diverse representation in their parties, which is often stressed upon by them to win brownie points.

With fringe protests occurring only for some matters chosen specifically to grab as much attention as possible, the majority of student issues largely remain ignored. So, it is the right time to question what is being done of the legacy DUSU had in the name of power and politics and, more importantly, to start a conscious and organised movement to politicise (or rather, repoliticise) DUites.

 

Image Credits: Times of India

Ankita Baidya

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Kashish Shivani

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The University of Delhi is the place to be for most non-pcm students in India. Why is it, then, that the varsity is not able to compete with higher education institutions abroad?

If I told you, dear reader, that I knew where to start when I first took on this topic, I would be blatantly lying. Should I start with the insane cutoffs that plagued the varsity until this year? Perhaps the lack of teachers for advanced subjects in various colleges? Maybe the Sisyphus level pointlessness of trying to cooperate with DU’s admins?

Or maybe where it all starts and ends: the education system. It is no secret that India’s education system has lagged behind for a long, long time. Ask the first student you see about what they think of the education system they are a part of and answers range from a frustrated and tired admission of defeat to a colourful and impressive string of swears (the latter is a lot more common in Delhi though).

It might just be that universities in India are seen as the natural extension of the schooling system instead of a place for learning and growth – quite unlike their high ranking counterparts in other parts of the world. The schooling system is geared towards gaining marks, memorising book knowledge to then ace exams and DU seems to be a very similar system but without the influences of a schedule or teachers. For example, students in higher education institutions abroad choose electives and minors in fields that support their major, are their interest or are beneficial to their overall development. However, you will find most students in the University of Delhi picking their electives and by extension, their minors, based on what’s scoring and what gets marks with the minimum amount of effort. Despite learning how to score in exams instead of true learning for the 15 years of school life, it seems that students will not or cannot make the choice to expand their knowledge in an environment with experts that can offer that knowledge to them.

However, can you really fault them? After all, it’s hard to gain knowledge and gain insightful learning from experts when your college doesn’t have any of them for your subject. Delhi University struggles with having enough professors for undergraduate subjects across different colleges. According to the data shared by the education ministry, as of April 1 2022, DU has 900 teaching positions vacant. As Hindustan Times found out in its piece, as of 2019, there were 4500 ad-hoc teachers – about 50% of the teaching posts available at the varsity.

Then there’s the issue of infrastructure. Colleges across the university seem to only remember to invest in infrastructure and facilities during inspections. The University of Delhi has a long history – most of its colleges were established in the 20th century. As its reputation as being one of the most sought after universities in the country has grown immensely, its infrastructure has barely followed at all in the decades that have followed. To give you perhaps the quickest summation of this issue that I can: in April of this year, a ceiling fan fell on a student in Lakshmibai College. Only colleges like SRCC and Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies have centralised air conditioning, with most other colleges having only a few classrooms that have this amenity. Some colleges, on the other hand, barely have working fans let alone air conditioning. The lack of air conditioning in most colleges, thus, made the lack of summer holidays for the batch of 2024 an especially hellish condition during the Delhi summers this year.

Which brings us to the next issue: the University of Delhi’s admin. The university and its college’s administration is notoriously caught up in bureaucratic chains. Its almost impressive inability to address issues in an efficient manner led to the delay in admissions and the subsequent start of the first semester for the 2021 season. This delay in sorting out the admission process then led to a first and second year with barely any breaks in between semesters and thus the aforementioned lack of summer holidays. In fact, the batch of 2024 have been given the long, relaxing and peaceful vacation of exactly one night after their third semester exams. The Lakshmibai incident we mentioned earlier, needed the filing of an RTI to gain any sort of transparency on the state of infrastructure within the college due to the college’s repeated refusal and avoidance to answering any questions.

Delhi University ranks 521-530 in the QS Global University Rankings. The reasons behind such a low rank for a university that lakhs of students clamour to gain admission in are varied. There is the emphasis on studying for marks, an education system that teaches you how to work hard and worry about placements that net you a decent amount of annual packages instead of growing and developing a knowledge base that goes beyond the books. There is the lack of infrastructure except for when you’re getting graded on it (ironically, just like most students including yours truly’s tendency to study the night before exams). Quite infuriatingly as a student of this university, it’s also the typical bureaucratic government administration style.

Perhaps, these are all signs of an institution that knows there are lakhs of students fighting for a seat here anyway. Perhaps, Delhi University is simply an institution that prefers to rest on the laurels it won in days gone by instead of actively competing with the Harvards and Oxfords of the world. After all, when all is said and done – DU toh DU hai!

Read also: DU and its All-Pervading Issue of Inadequate Infrastructure

Siddharth Kumar

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The Tis Hazari court granted bail to DU Associate Professor, Ratan Lal, who had been arrested on Friday by Delhi Police responding to an FIR lodged against him in regards to the ‘shivling’ comment controversy. Read to find out more.


Delhi University Associate Professor, Ratan Lal, who was arrested on Friday night, 20th May 2022, after an FIR was lodged against him for making alleged objectionable remarks through a Facebook post, has been granted bail, on a bond of Rs. 50,000 and a surety of likes, by the Tis Hazari court.

The complaint, which was lodged by a Delhi-based lawyer, Vineet Jindal, alleged that Lal had recently shared a “derogatory, inciting and provocative tweet on the Shivling”.

The DU professor had been arrested by the Cyber Police Station, North under IPC sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 295A (deliberate act to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion). The Delhi police had been seeking a 14-day judicial remand of Professor Ratan Lal in order to facilitate a proper investigation in the case, considering that they had received six complaints against him so far.

 

Appearing on behalf of the police, Additional Public Prosecutor, Atul Shrivastava, told the court that, “prima facie some comments have been passed that have the potential to disturb public tranquility”.

Accordingly the FIR was registered… the most important aspect, not expected from such an educated person, was after making such type of remarks, he has not stopped there, he has been defending himself through different videos uploaded on YouTube,” Shrivastava argued.

 

On the other hand, Professor Ratan Lal’s lawyers (Advocates Amit Srivastava, Aditya Kumar Chaudhary, Dr Satya Prakash, Sanjay K Chhadha, ND Pancholi, Rahul, Mukesh, Deepak Jakhar and Karish Kumar Mehra) had moved his bail application before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Siddhartha Malik, arguing that his arrest was in violation of the Supreme Court guidelines as mentioned in the Arnesh Kumar judgement.

What circumstances happened that you had to make an arrest? He was not a criminal or a habitual offender. He is a professor in a reputed college… You had proper time, you could have served notice, waited for a reply, and if there was an unsatisfactory reply then you could have arrested. This is contempt of Arnesh Kumar judgment and the officers involved in this arrest should face departmental enquiry,” Lal’s lawyer submitted.

 

On Saturday, 21st May, 2022, students as well as student organisations had held a protest outside Arts Faculty, DU against the arrest of Professor Ratan Lal. This included organisations cuh as AISA, Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS), and DSU taking a stand in support of the professor. The students participating in the protest held placards saying “Stop attack on our teachers”, “Stop curbing democratic voices”, and “Release professor Ratan Lal”.

The FIR has been lodged against Prof. Lal under the section of blasphemy, an act which has no place in a country such as India which is not a theocratic state. Our constitution recognizes itself as a secular country, promoting all contending schools of thought, including those that are against institutional religions. Therefore, blasphemy must be decriminalized. It is only a tool in the hands of religious fundamentalists to quell voices who stand firmly against religious mongering,” said Noel Benny, SFI Delhi State committee member, while addressing the student gathering.

 

SFI Delhi also issued a statement in solidarity with the professor, condemning his arrest and the arbitrary action of the state.

This punitive action against Prof. Lal is characteristic of a Brahminical state. Brahminism since its inception as a hegemonic ideology has always violently suppressed its opposers… The current instance of using state machinery and constitutional provisions to penalize critics is only a manifestation of the oppressive ideology, which reaffirms that the state continues to follow the traditions of the Brahmanical order,” read the statement made by SFI Delhi.

 

Taking its decision, in addition to granting bail, the court directed the DU Professor to refrain from making any new social media posts or from engaging in different means of interaction such as interviews concerning the ‘shivling’ controversy.

In regards to this issue, Professor Ratan Lal had previously argued and made a statement that all he had done was impose a question to the general public as a student of history. 

People can be hurt by anything. Academic discourse cannot be sidelined on account of perceived hurt. I had asked a simple question to enquire if the so-called shivling was broken or cut. Mullahs and Pandits don’t need to comment on it. An art historian should answer this question,” said Professor Ratan Lal.

The court said that considering that the concerned remark by the professor had not been made with the intention of inciting any particular group or promoting tension/ enmity between people and had been made on a structure that was being claimed by different groups as different religious symbols, the court considered that “the post of the accused may be a failed attempt at satire regarding a controversial subject which has backfired, resulting in the present FIR.”

The presence of an absence of intention to create animosity/hatred by words is subjective nature as is the perception of the recipient who reads/hears a statement,” the court order stated.

The court also remarked that the feeling of hurt by one individual cannot be considered representative of an entire community or group of people. Thus, any such complaints should be considered in the larger context of the actual facts and circumstances.

 

This controversy also launched a lengthy discussion on the concept of tolerance as it exists in the Indian culture and the array of opinions that people might have on this subject.

It is observed that Indian civilisation is one of the oldest in the world and known to be tolerant and accepting to all religions. The presence or absence of intention to create animosity/ hatred by words is subjective in nature as is the perception of the recipient who reads/hears a statement,” the court remarked.

The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate also commented that with India being a country of more than 130 crore people, there can be 130 crore different views and perceptions on any given subject.

The undersigned, in personal life, is a proud follower of Hindu religion and would call the post to be distasteful and an unnecessary comment made on a controversial topic. For another person, the same post can appear to be shameful but may not incite the feeling of hatred towards another community. Similarly, different persons may consider the post differently without being enraged and may in fact feel sorry for the accused to have made an unwarranted comment without considering the repercussions,” said the court, talking about how different people might view the controversial post differently.

 

https://images.assettype.com/barandbench/2022-05/95080cc7-8d4c-4537-9525-eb04df387e6d/State_v__Ratan_Lal.pdfThe judge noted that the anxieties of the police could be understood and had not been completely ill-placed as they were only trying to accomplish their task of maintaining peace and order amongst the people. However, the court made its decision considering all the facts that were presented before them.

It is true that the accused did an act which was avoidable considering the sensibilities of persons around the accused and the public at large. However, the post, though reprehensible, does not indicate an attempt to promote hatred between communities,” they stated.

 

Additional Resources:

https://images.assettype.com/barandbench/2022-05/95080cc7-8d4c-4537-9525-eb04df387e6d/State_v__Ratan_Lal.pdf

Read Also: DU Professor Booked for his Remarks on “Gyanvapi”

Featured Image: @profdilipmandal on Instagram

 

Manasvi Kadian

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