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Delhi university, in a recently established agreement with a non profit organization, Dhriti has introduced an entrepreneurship course in certain colleges across the varsity. A three-month entrepreneurship course was initiated in SRCC, and then went on to be conducted in Ramjas, Gargi and Miranda House. The specialty of this course is that instead of just sticking to conventional theoretical practice and guest lectures; it encourages the students to initiate their own venture with the help of a live project. Dhriiti is a unique organisation that promotes and protects Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) and helps build and create a spirit of entrepreneurship amongst the next generation of Indians, the youth.

How do I make money out of my passion? What if I start my own business? But how? What does it take to be a successful entrepreneur? Who’ll support me?

If these are the questions which come into your mind every now and then and if you think you have the aptitude to start your own venture, then you don’t need to stop on these questions anymore, for all you wanted to know about entrepreneurship is now be available to you in Delhi University.

The concept of entrepreneurship among the youth is a highly new concept in India while it has been going on successfully in the US and its counterparts since a long period, and this course is here to promote just that.

The next session starts in the third week of October in LSR. Colleges like Miranda House and LSR have also started their own entrepreneurship cell to promote entrepreneurship among its students. Ambika Ghughe, President of the Entrepreneurship Cell in Miranda House states, “Academic inclination in Delhi University is high, but not directly in tune with what is required in the real world. Students, through this initiative, get the feel of how initiatives are taken in a corporate world, and view the same not from the point of view of an employee but an employer.” The cell has also recently collaborated with the Miranda House Vatavaran Project dealing with recycling and plans to take it on a higher level.

The students also get the opportunity to interact with prospective funders based on the credibility of their project via the course. The course is also supplemented with an exposure trip to study the working of an enterprise. Last year the students were taken to the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF). All that the students require to be a part of this course is to have the attitude, aptitude, an idea, and the zeal to bring it to life.


The monkey rampage in several colleges of Delhi University has been a problem for the students and staff alike, the animals being the cause of major havoc and many complaints over the years. Recently, however, two colleges of Delhi University have come up with a rather odd method to get rid of this menace- langurs. St. Stephens and Delhi College of Arts and Commerce have employed langurs to help keep the college premises and surrounding locations free of monkeys. They are handled by keepers that have been employed by the college to take them on rounds everyday.
Drishti Anand, a second year student of DCAC states, “Initially it was difficult for students travelling by public conveyance to reach college as one couldn’t cross the long stretch from the main road to the college without encountering monkeys, who have even attacked students in the past. These cases have drastically come down since the college has kept the langur to keep them away.” Students of St. Stephens seem to gain relief with the arrival of the langur as well. Says Simi Sara Thomas, a third year student, “I remember the time when the monkeys created a nuisance and disturbed the whole environment of the college. That doesn’t happen anymore.”

However, this move by the colleges is highly questionable. While the langur in Stephens is owned and kept by the keeper himself, DCAC keeps the animal in a dark room, and rather inhospitable conditions. On enquiring about the same in DCAC, the guard reluctantly admitted to the fact that the animal was sometimes kept within the college premises in the absence of the keeper, and if let out, it was moored to a tree with a leash. The students confirm the same. The keeper himself was unavailable for comment. A case along similar lines took place in 2008 when PGI employed langurs to keep away monkeys from PGI and Punjab University. Consequently a case was filed against them in the High Court by animal activists on the grounds that the langurs are schedule- I animals. Hence their use for the purpose was deemed illegal as it violated the provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act as well as the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act, 1960. Also, special permission from the Animal Welfare Board of India, Chennai, needs to be taken to use the langurs for this purpose. This makes one question the conditions in which these animals are kept in our own university and whether if it is even right to keep them for such a purpose at all.

momos

What: QDs…love @first bite!

Where: Momo Street, Kamla Nagar, Delhi 11007

There are many things about college life that one would like to reminisce in his or her ripe old age, and probably one of those precious things that will definitely come to mind would be tandoori momos.

Located bang in the centre of Momo Street, Kamla Nagar, QDs has the warmth of a café, juxtaposed with the uber chic crowd that defines this place. With a relaxed ambience, it sets the tone for a good, well deserved luncheon. QDs is different from the other eateries lining this street; wall paper depicting fine food, popular cult musicians, and eclectic quotes, it makes for an interesting cultural point, in the true University sense. Its small, but we don’t mind.

More importantly, the food. It is delightful, to say the least. The crux of their menu though are the the very famous tandoori momos. Tandoori, as we all know is anything cooked in a tandoor, which gives it the very characteristic and intrinsic flavor. These are the usual momos cooked in a tandoor just before serving. And the result, ah, we like it! There is just something special which the tandoor does to these simple steamed dumplings, and coupled with garlic sauce, they soon fall into that category of irresistible treats. And now, try saying no to that! Impossible isn’t it?

For Rs 60 a plate for the veg tandoori momos, it’s a winner.”Veg” tandoori momos, yeah. This is perhaps every wannabe-carnivore-but-not-quite there personality’s delight. And of course, the chicken momos for a mere 10 extra rupees a plate is a sure fire success too.QDs serves both Chinese and Indian cuisines, but we recommend the former over the latter. And tandoori momos, more than anything else! This is the one and only place where you get them, and infact it seems QDs came up with this unique gastronomic invention following north campus’s infatuation with momos. Only this time it ain’t infatuation anymore, its love at first bite, literally!

With a deadline of December this year, Delhi University’s Institute of Life long learning is preparing to make lectures and some of the best course content available online.
The Human Resource development Ministry has awarded ILLL a 2 crore pilot project to develop e content for 14 papers of seven discipline. The list includes mathematics, botany, chemistry, economics, history and commerce.
The project is a step in the direction of ILLL’s Rs 100 crore proposal to set up a national centre for e-content development for the undergraduate and postgraduate courses under the University Grants Commission’s Model Curricula.
If the plan is successfully implemented, it would bring about a significant change in the field of higher learning as the best content and lectures would be accessible to eligible students throughout the country. Furthermore undergraduate and post -graduate studies would be available under the same roof.
E learning would also enable students of any college to access lectures on different topics. In addition to providing information about a particular topic , the e portal would include video lectures, online quizzes, animations, simulations to help students achieve a better level of understanding.
The e-learning material would include certain value additions to the traditional content such as a glossary of difficult terms, common misconceptions, pop-ups, points to ponder, web links etc
The major concern regarding the implementation of this measure has been that there might be a compromise in the quality of education provided. The varsity is however planning to set up an internal quality assurance cell to assess, monitor and enhance quality standards.
According to Vice -Chancellor, DU, Deepak Pental, “We are not even in the top 10 Asian Universities despite having all the programmes, faculty and infrastructure. There’s need for enhancing quality on all fronts and we’d like to have an internal mechanism for this. We would like to compare our university with global standards for which we may even consider inviting an international agency. The academic council would be consulted for its opinion before we proceed on this.”

Delhi University has made life easy. All you need to do is study as final exams approach. It worked for the lazy lot, but the university seems to be heading towards a revision of plans, with talks of introducing the semester system post recommendations made by the UGC and NKC . This however has generated mixed reactions.

The Vice Chancellor in an online addressal to members of the university elaborated the rationale behind this system. Enlisting the numerous benefits, Professor Pental said that introduction of the system would inculcate better paced understanding of the subject and more focused classroom interaction. Two semester examinations would not only inculcate regular study habits among students but also eventually halve their workload, as they’d only have to prepare half of the syllabus that is presently prepared for the final examination.

Introducing this system also implies greater stress on interdisciplinary courses. While some professors and students feel it would be compartmentalizing knowledge and discouraging in depth study of any course, the upside is that undergraduate students would be imbibed with relevant knowledge outside the boundaries of their primary subject..

The supporters of this system also insist that by introducing the concept of credits, students can avail the use of short term study abroad programmes that would give them the opportunity to gain greater inter university exposure, both at the national and international level.

Introducing the semester system at an undergraduate level in Delhi University would automatically synchronise it with the prevailing system of examination at the post graduate level as well as that with the few courses already following it such as bbs and journalism.

This is not to say the system doesn’t have its detractors. At a dharna held outside the VC’s office this June, the All India Democratic Students’ Organisation had expressed concern over the excessive academic demands of the system , saying that it could take away from the students’ social and extra curricular activities.

Those against the implementation of the system also point out that it would be detrimental to the interests of teachers because the short period of a semester would hinder them from getting leave both for medical reasons and for research work. In such a situation a compromise either with the research work or the students’ syllabus would be inevitable. Conducting and evaluating two examinations a year would increase their workload immensely.

Many members of the Delhi University Teachers’ Association feel that maybe the varsity is not logistically enabled for such a transition and needs to do a lot of research before implementing it. As a teacher from Hans Raj puts it, “In principle, I think it’s a great idea. It’s a worldwide system and it would make the course more rigorous. I just hope that in our university, with so many colleges included, the authorities find the right way to implement it”. What teachers are adamant on is that the results should be declared sooner and the class hours should not be reduced.

The AIDSO had earlier insinuated that the semester system was an inseparable part of those recommendations of the Knowledge Commission, which were conducive to globalisation and liberalisation policies as it made education a salable commodity while simultaneously adapting the system to suit the market economy. They feel that in the name of imparting quality education the character building aspect of the process would be destroyed merely making education a saleable product.

Students are keen on this change but confused about its implications. A student from Hindu college says “This would leave me with no time for ECA and I can’t promise so much regularity.” On the other hand, a student from SRCC approves of it saying ‘It would make our study pattern more flexible, making it parallel to other universities in and around India and allowing movement across universities.”

The students already in colleges with the semester system have something else to say. According to a student pursuing B.Tech (IT) from Kurukshetra University, “The system is good but there’s the pressure of exams coming up every 6 months after which new subjects are introduced. At the end of the day, you don’t feel satisfied with the amount of time you are able to give to each subject”. Another student from IP college feels that “it gives us two chances in a year to improve on our own marks and we don’t have to study as many units as other colleges in one go”.

Did you know the reality behind these DU misconceptions?

1. Fashion: Dressing sense, no bars. Wardrobe revamping for the new session? Hear, hear. Before fashionastas jump to conclusions and come up with the next session campus couture, let us make it clear for all. DU does not believe in following so and so trend predicted by so and so designers. With all due respect to national dailies, Delhi University refuses to abide by their “must-haves” and “campus fundas”, and remains the quintessential free spirited campus, where fashion is (not)concerned! Yeah, college is all about wearing what you like, whichever way you like.

2. Love-shove, et al.: Ah, Bollywood fillums, you know. I could never fathom this one, why did they (read directors, producers) always think college was this place for puppy love, candlyfloss and bubblegum chewing yuppies? I mean yes, we love love and all the other things associated, but then, there is a lot more to us than boy-meets-girl stories, for Christ’s sake.

3. Academics and DU: Do not, ever, fall into the dark with this one. You will pay, and heavily too. College is fun, frolic and fantastic, but not all the time. We study. Whoever said college is all play and no work? No, it was not always about bunking classes, like our dear celebrities so happily announce!

4. Nonsense abbreviations: K’nags (Kamla Nagar) and BTMs (read behenji-turned-mods) is understandable, but GJs? Seriously now, when did Gulab Jamuns become shortened to that? And, “fucchas”. For my life, I never heard any sadistic senior address any hapless fresher with this word.

5. Rivalry, eh? : Okay, we may have grudges against so and so college; however, it definitely isn’t as pronounced as the world around us projects it to be. Some of the best friendships are forged across the common wall, and some of the best activity/society partners are made yonder.

6. Girls’ Colleges: Guys on motorbikes circling girls-only colleges, did you actually ever see that happen? No. We are not talking about the shady Delhi-ite here, but still, this is one sight I am yet to come across in campus. Nah, college was not that romantic ever.

7. “Happening crowd”: Agreed, college is cool and hip and all that, but honestly, it’s overrated. University is a mixed bunch almost always, so we do have a fair share of wannabe Rakhi Sawants and Rannvijays. Isn’t that what going to college is all about? Meeting your (in)famous celebrities right there!

gay

The t-shirt slogan splashed across the media waves certainly did not fail to catch the attention of the masses, the only major difference perhaps this time being that it did not have the right to be questioned. And with these words has finally risen the once oppressed society of the homosexuals, which has taken the first step to move away from physical, mental and societal seclusion to a real, more equal world; anonymous letters of complaint and blog posts having given way to pride parades and revealed identities, and shame to confidence.

Besides, the calling should have come to us much earlier, as Britain despite leaving a section of India under 160 years of hostility and subjugation legalized homosexuality in England and Wales way back in 1967. But all’s well that ends well… or does it?

A lot of people clearly haven’t taken the High Court’s decision to decriminalize homosexuality down too well, the factors ranging from religious to personal, some even claiming it to be an irrelevant issue altogether. To this, Aditi Jain, a second year student of Gargi College says, “Tell that to the many sexuality minorities who as victims of a hypocritical, half- baked law get beaten up, harassed and/ or humiliated by the society and authorities alike.” Also, the various historical texts in India seem to defy the cause of protests staged on religious and cultural fronts. As found in Same Sex Love in India: Readings from Literature and History by Ruth Vanita and Saleem Kidwai, formerly lecturers in Delhi University, evidences of homosexuality have been found in literature going back two thousand years into history, and traces of increasing homophobia were only seen after the nineteenth century as a result of the rising influence of colonial legacy and infliction of Victorian morality with the passing of anti-sodomy laws, one example being that of heterosexualisation of qawali poetry which till before colonisation also celebrated homoerotic love.

Times have certainly changed since then. However, fact remains that acceptance of the law and the community will still be limited to the metropolitans where the luxury of approval and retreat lies directly proportional to one’s resources, slowly evaporating as it permeates to still minor places where ignorance eclipses needs. Thus; the least we can do as conscious citizens is give everyone achance to lead a normal life, the normal way. As for the people who’re still finding it hard to swallow, the fact that the act is both legal and consensual leaves nothing to be disputed about.

Besides, jab miya miya raazi, toh kya karega qazi.

The Global Climate Campaign is a collective name given to all organizations, groups and individuals across the world who are contributing towards saving the environment and taking progressive measures to combat the threat of global warming. This year the group organized its ‘Global Day of Action on Climate’ on 6th December at the ‘Faculty of Arts’ (Delhi University), midway through the UNFGCC’s Climate Talks taking place in Poznan, Poland. The prime motive of organizing this campaign in the university premises (unlike at Jantar Mantar last year) was to engage a large number of youth and educate them regarding the perilous climatic variations arising from their own daily activities. The focus was on ‘bringing about a social change rather than a climate change.’
The affair started off with Navin Mishra, the National Coordinator of ‘Global Climate Campaign’, addressing the 700 odd audience and enlightening them with some of the basic facts about Global climate changes and stressing on the urgent need to confront the global crisis. “Two things are infinite in this world, one is the universe and the other is life. The paradox is that very soon both of them would struggle to maintain their infinity, courtesy climate changes,” said Navin Mishra. This was followed by a release of a booklet, ‘Climate Changes in South Asia’, by Professor S.K. Vij (Dean, Student Welfare) and Professor Sanjay Bhatt (HOD, Department of Social Work) There was a discernible enthusiasm amongst the young participants who voiced their solidarity to find solutions for global warming, through a peaceful demonstration across the University Campus. Providing strength to the cause were various street plays performed by the students of Daulat Ram College, School of Environmental Studies and the theatre group ‘Antraal.’ All these plays propagated the necessity to save natural resources and popularize the use of public transport in developed metropolitan cities. The proceedings ended with the dignitaries offering possible solutions to the predicament and measures that can possibly be taken by the current generation in order to safeguard the future of their world.

‘Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high…into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.” Almost a century after, Tagore’s prayer still seems to fall on deaf ears. After all, how long does a nation have to suffer, how long do we as a people have to suffer before we are finally free? Not a stranger to terrorism, this one of a kind, unprecedented barbaric terror strike on Mumbai on 26th night left the nation reeling. Touted as India’s 9/11, a tragedy of this scale seems to have integrated the diverse elements of the country as the nation stands by Mumbai . For two continuous days, the country awoke to this ongoing siege.  As one people, as Indians and foremost as fellow humans the country shares the city’s overwhelming grief, and outrage. Even as the rest of the nation comes together, the sentiment seems to be completely lost on politicians still caught in their disgusting banal political competitiveness.  As polling takes place today in Delhi and Rajasthan, they are back at playing the politics of division even as the need for united political action reverberates throughout India.  Tired of the clichéd  “spirit of Mumbai”, and its famed resilience, many feel maybe the answer lies in not bouncing back. As an eerie silence encompasses the once bustling roads of Mumbai, it becomes obvious that people feel the onus of getting back on their feet should not always solely rest on them. Sometimes it is in the light of such circumstances, that the real heroes emerge. The unimaginable courage and dynamism exhibited by our defense forces: the Indian Army, the National security guard and the Maharashtra police cannot be put in words. As students of DU, as witnesses to this horror and as citizens of India we salute the supreme sacrifices they make daily so that ordinary people like you and me are even in a position to read, write, publish express and live our lives with a semblance of normality.  Sometimes situations like these also make heroes out of ordinary civilians .We also acknowledge the valor of these unsung maccabis, many who do not live to tell their tale .The unceasing and painstaking efforts of journalists, hotel staff, doctors, fire fighters amongst others who rose to the occasion are in no way insignificant. The human aspect of the tragedy leaves many shattered. Not only is this barbaric act a physical one but it also deals a blow to the psyche of the common man.  It makes people think twice before going to cinema calls, shopping complexes or any other public place. Indians, irrespective of caste, class, religion and region cannot remain unaffected by such unmitigated violence. It is our duty to not let this terror perpetuate our lives. However, it should not be confused with passivity. On the other hand it does not necessitate uncalled for accusations or extremism.                                                                                   Every once in a while an event comes along, which shapes the nation. The question remains, is this the one for us? Is this the event that unites us or will we not cease to be caught up in our own stultifying divisions and limitations.

To place a finger on the pulse of prevailing mood, DU Beat brings you responses of various people from different walks of life:

“ This is a terrible tragedy and a calamity, it points to a complete internal security failure. Its not even been one month since the blasts in Delhi; many innocent people have suffered at the hands of the terrorist. This was a planned organized move and stringent action needs to be taken against the offender”

-Ashok Randhawa, (man who provides relief to victims of terror attacks in Delhi)

“ I feel that Indians operate best in such situations and are able to transcend caste, class and religious differences.  Sadly, it takes tragedies like these for the nation to unite and respond as one individual identity. A question to Mr Raj Thackeray: our men, north and south Indians alike, are out there risking their lives for the city of Mumbai. They lead rescue operations side by side with the Mahrashtra police.! Where now, Mr Thackeray are your “Maharashtra Manavs”?            So stop trying to fragment our country on petty regionalism. We as Indians should learn to rise above these senseless differences”

-Colonel Virmani ( The Indian Army)

Ex NSG Training Personnel

 

“I think its extremely sad and traumatic not only for the people stuck in there but also seeing how much damage is caused to your loving city. When i go there, I can sense the pain they feel right now. its like a part of you is being destroyed for no reason whatsoever. Heroic efforts from the police and army are seen though the entire city, and as Bombay, has, is and shall always stand united”

-Apeksha Harahar

 2nd year Student of Bombay University

“There was a lot of crowd on the highway near the new bridge built next to sahara star hotel (previously known as centaur hotel) The police had gathered in an effort to disperse the crowd.  The scene was utterly horrifying, with blood spots near the victims. I saw remnants of the rear part of a taxi, in which a bomb had gone off. The driver’s body was charred completely, with visible holes in his abdomen. Rumors were rife that a foreigner was one of the occupants. Remains of burnt money lay strewn on the road. The police were very prompt and immediately sprang into action, checking all nearby vehicles. It leaves me with a memory that may haunt me forever, even though I was allowed to stand there for less than ten minutes or so.”

Kunal Sanghvi

Student Bombay University (eyewitness )

 

” To quote John Gregorry – Violence is the way stupid people try to level playing fields: these attacks on Mumbai are also such a dastardly act”

          Pragya Mukherjee ,  1st year student ,LSR college

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. What are the key issues for the next academic year?

We have decided that all PG courses will follow the semester system from 2009, while the same will apply to UG courses from 2010. This will ensure systematic and consistent work by students throughout the year. In addition, this year 3 new M. Tech courses will be introduced: Business & Technology, Materialism & Non-materialism and Organics. These courses are important in an energy-starved country like ours.

2. So, was the internal assessment the 1st step towards such a system?

Internal assessment is necessary because teachers know their students better than someone who checks an anonymous answer script. I think we should include the grade system-1 and 2 marks don’t matter- what matters is what you’ve learnt and what activities you’re a part of. Evaluations should be regular.
We’re also thinking of introducing e-learning for students as a back-up for their classes. In addition, we plan to move towards a revised, credit system for PG and UG courses. Trying to introduce an Institution of Lifelong Learning (ILLL) will help in the direction of answering students’ want for quizzes or tests or self-evaluation processes.

3. How can students get a grasp of key issues outside the classroom?

The University Lecture Series, I believe, is a good way to start looking beyond the classroom. There is also a need to introduce more than adequate channels to connect all the colleges. The main challenge here is to make education stimulating and simultaneously to encourage extracurricular activities. Some ideas are to make the best 5 assignments, online tutorials etc. available for students to read.

4. What is your opinion on the quota controversy and politics in Delhi University?

When the Parliament passes something, the debate becomes dated. I don’t want to waste time discussing it. We should make the most of the situation.

5. What is your opinion on reservations at the teachers’ level?

When people are nervous about their positions, they try to carve places for themselves to feel protected. Courses that are important for national development should see an increase in seats. Quotas are here to stay: that’s the reality of the situation. We need to find other creative ways to help students of merit around the country.

6. How can we ensure that merit prevails in the quota system?

The only thing to do would be to ensure that the best students come through even in the general category. We increase the seats of those courses where employment opportunities and students’ enthusiasm is present.

7. Recently there was a huge uproar about girls’ hostel closing early. What is your opinion about street security?

I don’t think there should be time limits in hostel, and we should rather focus on improving street security.

8. But who takes care of that, why is it such a huge concern?

Headlines in newspapers scare people. Improving street lighting and continuing to talk to the police might help. The youth of today is very- if I can say- vigilant. Students should ensure that women’s security is functional on a large scale and there should be more student solidarity. We should work on reporting more complaints. For example, we have taken up many cases of sexual harassment, and many staff members have been dismissed from their jobs. Possibly, we could increase hostel accommodation instead of people living in private hostels.

9. What is your stand on the smoking ban in campus?

I have mixed feelings about this. I agree that if someone wants to take a risk on his/her life, they should be given the freedom. But young people are not taking care of their health. I don’t want to talk about smoking and drinking in particular, I feel the youth should emphasize more on physical exercise.

10. One of our readers wrote to us saying that the only difference this ban has made to him is now he walks all the way till outside the college gate. That is a form of exercise!

But then, how many times will he do that. It’s a good thing, because eventually he will get tired of walking out, and his intake will decrease.

11. Sir, but that becomes an issue of personal freedom…

Yes, I agree it is about personal freedom, but we need to discourage it.

12. While we are talking about personal freedom, when CCTVs were introduced on campus, a lot of people were a little uncomfortable with it.

All these things need to be avoided- because it gets introduced only when a case comes up. I think privacy needs to be maintained. At least, college canteens should not have them.

13. How has the character of the DU student changed over the years?

Options are more widely available, students are perpetually connected to the Internet. The exposure is huge but personally my concern is how much value are they adding to themselves while in college. Education is far more important than merely going in for a job. Also, I feel they’re not taking too many initiatives and their reading habits have decreased. Not many show a keen enthusiasm in knowledge. But I do realize the challenges today’s youth face.

15. Lastly, our readers would be interested in knowing what your favorite books are or the most recent one you’ve read?

Sudhir Kakkar’s ‘The Indian Psyche’.

Interview by Kriti Gupta and Aniruddh Ghosal
Compiled by Swetha Ramakrishnan