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Maharaja Agrasen College organized its 2nd National Student Academic Congress on 6th and 7th February, 2014. While the theme of last year’s congress held in March was “Educational Reforms – The Way Forward”, the discussion this time was focussed on “Power of Ethics”.

The two-day conference was inaugurated by Prof. Sudhish Pachauri, Pro-Vice Chancellor, University of Delhi in the presence of Dr Sunil Sondhi, Principal, Maharaja Agrasen College who said that such conferences serve as a great opportunity for the students to not just compete with one another but also to increase their knowledge by listening to the views and suggestions of others. Prof. Pachauri in his address spoke at length about the recent reforms at the University of Delhi. He reiterated the need for holistic development of students which skilfully integrates mind, body and heart.

Not just students pursuing graduation and post-graduation, even research scholars and school-going students submitted paper presentations on topics like Life Management & Gita, Morality in Education, Globalization & Relevance of Gandhi, Role of Media in Raising Women-Centric Issues and Impact of Kashmir Conflict on Women and Children. 65 research papers were presented by students from Jawaharlal Nehru University, University of Delhi, Mumbai University and Jamia Milia Islamia.

Principals of Shaheed Rajguru College of Applied Sciences for Women, Atma Ram Sanatana Dharma College and Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies judged the congress which was spread over 4 sessions. The two- day event came to end with the distribution of certificates to the winners during the Valedictory Session which was chaired by Prof. MM Chaturvedi, Director, Cluster Innovation Centre,University of Delhi.

Hosted by the students union of Gargi College, the second day of the three-day college fest, Reverie had to culminate with the performance of Coke Studio artists – Adi and Suhail. Crowds had flocked in numbers and the stage was all set for the much awaited performance. Just when the spirits were soaring, Zeus decided to put a cap on all those. Yes, it started to rain at the venue. Though nominal, it ended soon only to start again after sometime. The fluctuating feelings could be seen among the crowd, just when Gargi College’s music society decided to sing some fillers inside the tent where rain was not a problem.

Their performance was accorded with a huge cheer and also gave a ray of hope to the Coke Studio-wallas who then decided to do the same and perform under the tent. In Adil’s own words, “This is the coolest gig we have performed in our life”. As soon as the crowd heard this, they went beserk and repeatedly applauded for the professional singers and instrumentalists. The duo performed several sufi melodies,  including the famous ‘malhar’ and ‘ranjha’.

The Cluster Innovation Centre (CIC) at Delhi University had recently launched a new course in Media and Communication. The closing ceremony will be held tomorrow, on the 5th of February in the presence of the Registrar of Delhi University, Ms Alka Sharma.

25 students from CIC had been selected for this course. The course was a 10-class, or a 30-hour credited programme that was instructed by Brij Bakshi, the former Additional Director General at Doordarshan, joined by Gouran Dhawan Lal as senior faculty and Mike Pandey, a green Oscar winning wildlife film maker, L V Krishnan, CEO, TAM Media Research and Ashok Raina.

The aim of the course was to improve presentation and communication skills of the students while giving them knowledge about various aspects of media in an interactive manner. A wide range of topics including environment and wildlife programming, understanding TRPs, art of video editing were covered.

Sahil Mathur, a B. Tech student who participated in the programme said, “This course allowed me to understand various facets of media, from film making to editing, from technology to understanding how to present an idea to an audience. The course has made me much more aware in the field of media and communication.”

Image Credit: Official Facebook page of CIC

The Supreme Court of India, which is considered the ‘final guardian and interpreter’ of the Indian Constitution sent shock waves across the world as it overturned the judgement of the Delhi High Court(2009) which declared Section 377 unconstitutional. The SC verdict infringes the ‘right to life and personal liberty’ that the Constitution of India promises to each and every citizen irrespective of their place of birth, caste, creed, religion, race or sex.

The SC’s move has moved all spheres of society, Delhi University being no exception. Enactus Ramjas, in collaboration with NGO ‘NAZ Foundation’ plans to start an online petition to restore the rights of personal liberty to the LGBT community. They also wish to forward the demand for withdrawal of the judgement criminalising sexual intercourse between same sex people.

In order to muster maximum support from the youth of DU, a Facebook page in name of ‘E-queer-LIBRIUM’ has been launched that works towards sensitisation towards the gay community. The group provides a platform to reflect the voice of discriminated and reach out to the concerned authorities. Not only is Enactus Ramjas supporting the LGBT community in their legal battle for equality and justice, but also the members have started an innovative plan called – ‘TransCreations’ where the  transgenders are given an opportunity to work in the jewellery designing project of Enactus Ramjas. The jewellery designed is then sold online, in college fests and in select jewellery shops as well. “The workers are thus guaranteed an alternate respectable income, which is a small step towards making them socially acceptable, independent and strong.” said Robin Kumar, President, Enactus Ramjas.

Thus, while the fate of this minority group hangs on a loose thread, it is important for us to observe solidarity and create an atmosphere conducive to each and every member of the society.

Relevant links :

Official FB Page of ‘E-queer-LIBRIUM’ – https://www.facebook.com/equeelibrium

Official FB Page of the Trans’Creations’ Programme-https://www.facebook.com/Transcreations?fref=ts

In a performance that lasted a whole of 10 mins, Akshay Labroo and Nikhil Saha of Ramjas College delivered speeches that made them the winners of a one-week sponsored tour in the UK, which includes visits to historical sites, academic institutions, cultural events along with peer group interactions. The Great Debate, organised by the Delhi University in collaboration with The British High Commission  was witness to  participation of 46 teams of the 54 that registered.

In an interactive session on 8th January,2014 at the the British High Commission, Paul Rennie, Head of Political and Bilateral Affairs released the motions for the debate to the participants while , the coordinators of the debate Ms. Suchitra Gupta and Ms. Sumitra Mohanty explained the rules and regulations . Present at the event was Ms. Priti Patel, Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom who encouraged the participants to visit the country.

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The debate was divided into two rounds with the first being held on the morning of 9th Jan, 2014 and the final at 3 pm at the Viceregal Lodge, University of Delhi. The five teams that made it to the finals were Dayal Singh Collge, Janki Devi College, Miranda House, Ramjas College and Sri Venkateshwara College. The teams debated on the motion, “This house believes that it is the best time to be young” and were  judged by a panel of eminent judges including Ms. Ktty Tawakley, Deputy Head Press and Communications and Mr.Stephen King,General Manager Virgin Atlantic which had partnered with The British High Commission to sponsor this debate.

The Vice Chancellor Mr. Dinesh Singh and Sir James Bevan, UK High Commissioner joined the participants a little later in the session. In his speech ,Sir James Bevan listed the top ten reasons on why an Indian student must choose UK as the place to continue their studies over its other competitors. As for the amount that goes into sponsoring a UK education he said, “Studying in the UK is not cheap. But in life you get what you pay for,quality costs money and the cost of a UK education is possibly the best single investment you can make in your own future”. In his speech the Vice Chancellor regaled the the history of debating in India with the example of Mahatma Gandhi and stressed on the importance of form and matter in a debate.

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While everybody enjoyed the debate and the opportunity it presented,the participants were made to wait a long time before the declaration of the results of the preliminary round. At the feedback session, the coordinators were suggested to have an award or recognition for not just teams but also speakers individually, which they promised to include in the next season of this debate.The organisation of the programme under Pradyumna Bora was well performed and managed to resolve issues of late participants and disqualification of a team timely.

imagecourtesy: British High Commision

For more photos visit : http://www.flickr.com/photos/ukinindia/sets/72157639548562095/

For the transcript of Sir James Bevan’s speech :https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/uk-education-the-best-for-the-brightest–2

Results are possibly the most unnerving concept in a student’s life. As the fresh batch of Delhi University students awaited their results, many believed that like the first batch of the semester system saw an exponential hike in marks in their first university exam, this new batch would undergo a similar fate. Another effort by the University to show us all how right they were to introduce the Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP), and how all the dharnas, strikes, protest marches against the FYUP were completely baseless. And as luck would have it, they were not proven wrong. Scores touched the sky, and many of those who didn’t even write the papers got 50% marks.

As someone who believes very firmly that marks are no measure of a person’s caliber, intellect and heart, my problems with the generous marking is that our administration needs to justify its bad decisions. Proven eloquently by many, and multiple times, it is not something that can be solved by being stingy and ruthless, but possibly by some introspection that University officials, teachers, students and even the HRD ministry could all benefit from.

Simply put, it’s not so much about the marks as it is about the intentions. Intentions to make an entire batch of the student community silent, content with the half baked knowledge they’re gaining about subjects that don’t interest them and are poorly structured; intentions to silence all teachers who have been courageously speaking out against the ruin of the University, sometimes even risking their jobs; intentions to give the fore bearers of the FYUP a pat on the back for having achieved what the University has never achieved before – sky high marks, leading to polished CVs, which in turn, lead to the biggest argument made for the FYUP – ‘employability’.

Assuming this employability will actually exist, what would it be worth if it means employing someone whose result sheet speaks far more than the concepts they learnt? Or if it comes at the cost of being made to study a subject you have absolutely no interest in? Would this employability be worth an unhappy four years, made tolerable by marks one probably doesn’t deserve, making those who deserve these scores feel mediocre? Isn’t the price we’re paying for this (assumed) employability far too high?

Having learnt so much from Delhi University, I’m writing this in the hope that the FYUP doesn’t take this learning away from those who’ve just made the transition from school to college – a transition that isn’t easy, to say the least. And to top that, when all your dreams of studying and learning what you really want to, studying it well, having the time to soak the concepts into your mind, body and heart (which would be far more ‘integrated’ without the FYUP!) are shattered, only to console you with marks that you didn’t expect, the University becomes a mere sham. I hope these scores don’t silence us, and I hope we continue to stand up for learning, education and character.

The shift to the Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP) in Delhi University also led to the incorporation of the much hyped and criticised Foundation Courses. The University also sanctioned some books and extra classes in adherence to the same. The courses sublimed into the regular college hours easily and students accepted them as a part of their curriculum. But now, with the culmination of the 1st semester exams, many eyebrows are being raised on the mere basis of these courses.

The emerging concern here is with respect to the questions that propped up during the examinations. As we approached the students to gather their sentiments on the same, one could easily figure out the angst in them. “I came to college to receive education of higher quality and learn things my school life prepared me for 13 years, not to do things as juvenile as writing a paragraph on national harmony”, said Saptarshi Lahiri, pursuing political science from SGTB Khalsa College. The questions which came in the exams merely connoted themselves to the respective courses.

For example, a student had to write an essay on the ‘Importance of festivals in integrating different religions of India’, in the exam of FC-Hindi, something which he/she could have written on the basis of mere general knowledge. Not only Hindi, but various other FCs had similar questions.

“Anyone could have answered them (questions) without even attending a single class”, said Roopali Handa, a student from SRCC, while referring to a question, ‘To write an article on social networking sites’ which came in the exam of Information Technology. Similar reactions were seen from those who came out after giving the exam for FC – Maths. ‘The material provided in the book and questions asked in the exam were irrelative. For example, Q5 required a person to make a bar graph or pie chart for which there are few methods, which were though not mentioned in book’, said Kalee Kapoor of Matreyi college.

One can easily figure out the increasing rage pertaining to FCs among the students. With DUTA demanding a rollback and the rising sentiments of students who are unhappy with the inclusion of FCs, along with 44 colleges against the FYUP, the Foundation Courses as well as the FYUP seem to be in deep trouble.

Be it student initiatives, changed academic  systems, social work, protests, international trips, inviting celebrities or launching awareness campaigns, Delhi University has witnessed them all. Quite recently, i.e. on 7th August ,2013, ‘Pink Chain’, a month-long campaign to create awareness about breast cancer among the students of Delhi University,  was launched in the national capital. The programme which is disseminating information about breast cancer will end on the 4th of September.

Being an initiative of Punarjeevan Bihar, an NGO, along with eminent doctors from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in association with the Department of Bio-Technology (DBT) Science Centre, Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur (SGTB) Khalsa College, it has some serious messages to give to the students regarding breast cancer. It is meant to create awareness regarding the feeling of caring for oneself, for the protection of women’s feminism and self worth, and maintenance of their healthy or disease-free journey of life. The students from Miranda House, Daulat Ram and Khalsa College were present at the launch.

Screening of the documentary-drama- ‘Pink Chain’, power-point presentations and experiences of people who have seen the disease closely will act as tools to create awareness about breast cancer. Interactive sessions will be held and presentations will be made by the AIIMS doctors. Several colleges will be grouped together to give information about breast cancer.  It can be regarded as a campaign dedicated solely  to the nation’s  women.

While the past week saw sessions in colleges such as Hindu, SRCC and SGTB Khalsa, several other colleges would witness similar sessions in the coming weeks. Here is the schedule of the same:

[tabgroup][tab title=”Forth-coming events”]

16th August: Hans Raj College/Ramjas College

19th August: Sri Venkateswara/Motilal Nehru/RLA College

21st August: Gargi/Kamala Nehru/LSR

23rd August: Lady Irwin College

26th August: Satyawati College

3rd September: ARSD College

4th September: Jesus and Mary College [/tab][/tabgroup]

Delhi University boosts of some strong alumni in every field be it dramatics, politics or even music. Being big on the music circuit, DU bands have exceptionally evolved and are stepping out of the University circle to perform and make it big. To get to you a band that’s struck chord not just within the University but also in other cities, is quite overwhelming with its humble beginning in a college’s music society.

With the release of their first album, Myths and Fables, this electronic/pop-rock band, Jester that was started off in the vicinity of Kirori Mal College, Delhi University in 2009 has become a brand and inspiration for many such upcoming bands to evolve and take it up as a thorough profession. The album offers some exceptional songs like ‘broken arrow’, Harquelin’,’ La questa’ which are my personal favourite. It is easily one of the most relatable albums off late, and freshly offers a new perspective to the indie listeners. The band line up- Dhruv Goel( vocals),Adityan Nayyar( vocals) Pranav Pahwa ( guitars), Akshay Dwivedi ( Bass) Shantanu Sudarshan ( Drums) and Harshit Jain ( Electronic Production and Keyboards). I recently caught up with them (considering their extremely busy schedule after the raving reviews of their maiden album) and got them talking about their DU days and life post-album.

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Give us a background of your band. Also, how did Kirori Mal College help you into shaping up the band that you are today?

Jester was formed in 2008,in the music society of Kirori mal college The band was formed at that time with no specific goal but to be the next Kmc college band .Initially we decided to play funk , which was appreciated quite well .We decided to take the band far more seriously after  coming third nationally at campus rock idols .

The band’s sound really evolved after the line-up became stable .So the Jester of today really came about when Akshay joined in 2009 and Adhir and Ronny left.

Bands these days are quickly following the international bands. Jester is influenced by?

Jester is influenced by many different genres of music .Each member brings there distinct taste to the band .The palette is really quite varied, we eventually started listening to everything by the end of it .A lot of the influence come from within our country not just from international bands.

Is it tough beating the conventional bands and carving a niche in today’s ever evolving music scene in India?

Well it is , if you do the formulaic route of playing shows and when your music is just an amalgamation of your influences .When we took the hiatus in 2011 , the real goal was to find out who we were and how individually we could contribute to something .As individuals I mean our interpretation of music rather than just our influences .By that point I think we all formed our opinions and individually had a sound .Which was then brought together .,The album according to us does not sound like anything else .So feel as though have created our own niche .

I don’t think we’ve ever looked at music as competition; conventional bands avante garde artists all have their place.

Considering it’s really critical for a band to get the necessary promotion or the stage for its take off, how did you go about it? Was it tough breaking out of the ‘DU band’ nomenclature?

By 2009 we were quite sick of the tag and all the competitions .We took part in a lot of them in 2008 and then focused on writing playing shows etc .We just played, we never had a marketing or promotion strategy per say. Those days all we did was played our music and somehow it worked.

The tough part was when we all got out of DU, it was as though we started our journey all over again that’s when we start thinking of band as greater than just the music .That is when the band became a brand .Now we promote it as such.

What’s your inspiration for the songs? Do you all pitch in?

Every song is written as a collective .Yes we all do pitch in .It usually takes us a year to get a new song down.

In the last couple of years music circuit has expanded in Delhi, in terms of fests, live gigs, performances in colleges, do you feel Delhi is coming up on the music scene and how is it different from other cities you’ve performed in?

Delhi has come a long way .Even though there has been a boom, there have been a lot of downsides .We were better paid when there were less gigs as well as the gigs were bigger. Delhi has now embraced the pub culture. Lots of gigs and many of them at places which cannot really support a live act .But there is blue frog , Hard rock cafe which are brilliant to play at .The Delhi crowd is really quite open to different music and the indie ,that’s what I think separates us from other cities .I think Mumbai is quite similar.

Tell us your favourite rock bands-in India and Internationally.

Rock I’m not sure of, but here it goes

Internationally –Extreme, tool, porcupine tree, Avishai Cohen, Aaron parks, Kurt Rosenwinkel. Harshit likes a bunch of EDM artists, sting etc

India- Zero, Advatia, Thermal and a quarter, October, Five 8.

Tell us about your DU days.

The DU days were fantastic. They were necessary for the band to grow, for our music to grow. The numerous trips really allowed us to be a band. It definitely gave us the exposure. Plus, college days are unforgettable. The fun we had, the pranks we played on each other backstage, on various fests and trips was just terrific.

Your album ‘myths and fables’ has been doing really well. In fact the ‘big bad wolf’ has become the anthem track. How has life been post- release, seeing the exceptional response Jester has been getting off lately?

It has been crazy, but good crazy. We’re getting a lot of show offers from outside the city. The reviews are a lot better than we expected. In fact what others albums strive to reach at.is what we’ve been getting.

About ‘Big bad wolf’. The song was our first single release and helped us get where we really are. It took us almost 1 year to write and conceptualise the song till its release but it was our hard work well paid off. It was written during our college days; in fact a lot of our songs are from the college days. But in totality it took us around 4 months to get the album out. And the response has been phenomenal.

When not jamming and creating music, what does Jester do?

We hang out at Pahwas. Jam because that just happens. It just happens we all are together most of the days of the week, even if not working together on a song. We chill, dig out old stories.

Lastly, how do you suppose upcoming DU bands who also want to follow the musical path should go about it?

Stop concentrating on shows, Get out there. Try coming up with their own music, it really helps you get the experience, gives you the edge from other bands considering g flocks of bands are flouting about the places. So much of free time college offers, utilize it. Make great music, even more just enjoy your time with music.

The Quiz circuit quizUnlike common perception, winning a quiz competition is more about how much you can analyse and deduce than how much you can memorise. Societies around the university will second to this opinion. Quiz culture in the University is not many years old and has a small but dedicated team of enthusiasts. “It’s a group of like minded people participating in quizzes together and learning together as everyone brings something to the society,” defines Abhaas Mohan, founder of Conquiztador, the Quizzing society of Sri Venkateswara College. As for the auditions, societies have their separate method of evaluation. “Every person has their own interests, therefore we cannot expect them to be good at everything. we have a written test which has questions from every field. Then based on overall score and sectional score on our personal we take people in, There are also people who join us after the auditions,” says Abhaas. For Quest- the Quiz society of SGGSCC, it’s all about testing while having fun. “We have fun and interesting questions, where we can entertain them as well as test their aptitude and decide if they are good enough for quizzing or not,” says Utkarsh. As for preparing for a quiz competition, everyone agrees it’s about what you read, the movies you watch and the number of quiz competitions you attend as it gives you a fair idea on the way questions are based and what to expect.

“Frankly, there is nothing like preparing for a quiz. There might be moments where you think you know everything, but you actually know nothing,” relays Utkarsh.
Lookout for
  • Landmark Quiz- if you win this you are apparently a legend in the field.
  • Cannot Place? – a quiz conducted by the Delhi NCR Quizzing Fraternity
  • Karnataka Quizzing Association
  • World Quizzing Championship
  • Competitions organized by various colleges in Delhi University.
creative writingWrite a little Writing is one of the most immaculate form of human expression. For an activity of such kind, it is imperative that there be a society which brings together individuals with a special gift in the play of words and help them enhance their qualities. Almost all colleges of the University have a Creative writing society, which regularly hold workshops and sessions and also competitions. Auditions, usually involve submission of original pieces be it prose, poetry and then the shortlisted go through an impromptu writing session. Look out for:
  • National Novel writing month
  • SRCC- Zephyr fest
  • LSR- Expressions
Catch the Photo bug With the availability of camera’s which are smarter than it’s users, highly professional online editing tools and a captive audience, it’s not hard to declare oneself as an amateur photographer and why not, photography is all about how you perceive things around you and if that only includes your self reflection in the mirror, so be it. But then there are these and they are individuals who take it to another level, who strengthen their foundation and learn from their peers.
photography206“I have been into photography, so the next logical step was to be a part of a society where you meet other photographers and get to go to photo walks and learn from professionals,” says Jayati Bhola, a member of the Fine Arts and Photography society of Kirori Mal College.
Giving an overview of the auditions she explains,”We have ECA trials, with grading systems in which 20 or 30 marks are for certificates, then some marks for portfolio and then on spot. We give random themes to people and a limited time in which they have to submit their photographs.” Things in St. Stephens are done a little differently though,”Technically, everyone who wants to be a part of the society, is a part of the society. but the working committee is decided on our own. We notice their work for 6 months and if we think they can contribute well, they become a part of the executive council,” says Satender Singh, President of Stephen’s Photography Society, which also might be the only society to have it’s own dark room. Like all societies, this society also receives funds from the college but they are nominal and a lot of expenditure is self incurred. “We get sponsors for our fest. Also, our team is in charge of the college calender and so we get the calender printed and get some profit out of it, but that money is not much,” explains Satender. Look out for
  • Various competitions by colleges in the University.
  • Online competitions.
  • Nikon School workshops
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