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The first week of recruitment at Central Placement Cell is completed with 371 students receiving final offers. A total of 6200 students from Delhi University have appeared for recruitment interviews so far. Genpact has made final recruitment offers to 131 students, Tech Mahindra to 68 students and HDFC Standard Life to 84 students. The highest package offered is Rs. 5.8 LPA by Akash Educational Services; 8 students have been short listed for the same. Other processes of companies like NDPL, Capital IQ, ATS, Wipro Technologies and BPO are in the offing. The placement process will resume from 8 Febuary 2010.
The work profiles offered are mostly of BPO, direct insurance or sales development but there is mass recruitment by these companies. Students, especially of colleges who do not have active placement cells, are benefiting immensely. The CPC is headed by Dr. Seema M Parihar, assisted by DU staff and volunteers from colleges such as KMC, CBS, Khalsa and KMV.

Ila Reddy is a 2nd Year, Political Science student at Hindu College, and is also the Project Coordinator of the Right to Information Branch at The YP Foundation. We caught up with her on the eve of the commencement of workshops on the RTI Act in colleges at DU.

1. Does it bother you sometimes that the youth of this county are completely apathetic towards civil and political issues?
I wouldn’t like to generalize the youth like that. There are some who are apathetic, some who are ignorant, some who just like to complain, while a lot of others who care about such issues but don’t know what they can do about them, or even what they want to do.
2. How does the RTI Branch help in creating awareness about the same?
The Right to Information Branch develops young people’s engagement with legislative research, increased awareness on laws in India and their application to our daily lives. Our most recent initiative, the “What Does Your Vote Want?” campaign is a non political, non partisan project both initiated and run by young people in 2008 that aimed at sensitizing young voters and helping them register for voter ID cards. Last year, the project successfully helped register more than 4000 people in Delhi and Raipur. Post elections 2009, the project launched a platform for young people to explore governance accountability and for direct dialogue between the youth and the public sector to discuss their key issues and concerns and clarify their questions regarding governance mechanisms and accountability. We have picked the RTI Act as our focus for the year. The first open forum in this series was held in July in the form of an interactive discussion, where we were joined by Mr. Wajahat Habibullah, Mr. Salman Khurshid, Mr. Shekhar Singh, Ms. Maja Daruwala and other eminent people from the RTI world. Through this discussion, we aimed at generating awareness around how young people can utilize the act, as well as how it can be made more accessible to young people through incorporating the inputs of key stakeholders, experts, and the youth, aiming to promote the concept of active citizenship and accountability amongst young people and the government.
We now plan to do workshops in colleges to further raise awareness amongst students about the Act, while equipping them with the tools to utilize it as a medium of accountability from public authorities. Our workshop series start from the 11th of December at Hindu College, Delhi University, followed by one at Hansraj College on the 14th of December. Four more workshops are lined up at other colleges in January end.
3. Why did you choose the RTI Act as an area to work on?
The Right to Information Act was passed in 2005 and grants citizens the right to ask for and be provided with information about the work of government-run and supported bodies. The essence of the Act was to provide citizens with a tool to combat corruption and ensure transparency in matters of governance.
However, a recent study by Mr. Shekhar Singh, champion of the RTI and part of the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information, revealed that only 33% of the urban population is aware of the RTI Act, out of which only 2% are students.
The Act is a provision made by the government to encourage transparency as well as people’s participation, but the key to the Act’s success lies in the hands of the people for whom it has been enacted.
We all keep criticizing public authorities for being corrupt and not transparent in their functioning, but seldom use a provision like the RTI to actually find out about the work being done/not done.
It’s a tool provided by the government itself, so why not utilize it to keep check on public authorities, instead of just sitting at home and complaining about them, without really knowing the exact details?
4. Can you throw some light on how a student of DU can use the act to his/her benefit?
Whether you want information about the status of the roads outside your house or the criteria of your internal assessment in college. Whether it’s the allocation of money towards different departments by your local MP/MLA that you want to know about, or merely the status of your passport. You have a right to ask the concerned public authority for necessary information.
Information can be in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law and is required to reply expeditiously or within thirty days.
5. You are holding workshops in DU colleges, what are these workshops about? What can one expect in them?
Our workshops would be about the basic provisions under the RTI Act, what issues RTI applications can be filed on, real-life stories of both successes and failures, provision for appeals and complaints, loopholes in its implementation and finally, how to draft an application. This would be done through innovative mediums like facilitative group discussions involving different activities like ‘myths and realities’ and mock-filing of applications.
6. You are a college student. How do you manage with college and The YP, which must take a lot of your time?
It does get taxing at times. Juggling between classes, pending assignments and projects, team trainings, staff meetings, on-ground events and the like. But somewhere down the line I feel its all worth it. I always wanted to DO something but didn’t know what it was. Now that I know what it is, I’m trying to figure out different ways of doing it. There’s so much work involved in running a project like this. Right from training a team of volunteers to failed attempts at fundraising to writing scary partnership proposals. It’s the process that makes it fun and the way you do it. We all work our asses off to make our events work, but we also make sure we’re enjoying whatever it is that we’re doing.

(As told to Rajneil Kamath)

Indira Gandhi25 years after she was assassinated by her security guards on 31st October 1984, DUB brings to you a special fact file of the life of the daughter of India, the Iron Lady- Indira Gandhi.

19 Nov 1917- Born to Kamala and Jawaharlal Nehru

1941-             Returns from Somerville College, Oxford University

1950-             Serves her father unofficially as a personal assistant during his tenure as the first Prime Minister of India.

1966 –          Becomes Prime Minister after Shahstri’s death for 3 consecutive terms

1971-72        Overwhelming electoral victories

1971-             India defeats Pakistan and helps Bangladesh achieve independence.

June, 1975-    Indira Gandhi found guilty of illegal practices during the 1971 campaign. She refuses to resign and declares a state of emergency.

1977 –            Her faction, New Congress loses the parliamentary elections. She loses her seat.

1980 –            Wins the elections, back to power as PM

June 1984 –    Orders Operation Blue Star in the golden Temple in response to Sikh                      separatists

1984-       Wins the Lenin Peace Prize Award

31 Oct 1984-    Assassinated by Sikh security guards; her death followed by massive riots in and around Delhi

AIESEC is a non-political, not-for-profit, independent and entirely youth-run organization. The 60 year old organization takes pride in being regarded as the international platform which enables young people to explore and develop their leadership potential for them to have a positive impact in society.

The 27th of this month saw people of assorted age groups, colleges and organizations stream into the India Habitat Centre, dressed in formals, to attend the Delhi University’s Youth to Business Forum 2009 organized by AISEC. The event acted as a meeting ground for students and professionals to share ideas and perspectives regarding the role of young leaders in India Inc.

The session commenced with the speech of the Key Note speaker Mr.Salman Khurshid, Honorable Minister for Corporate Affairs. He spoke at length about the scour of the business profession, namely corporate greed, and how greed was causing any number of disasters on this planet, be it depleting natural resources, climate change, receding glaciers or the Economic Recession. He reiterated that in spite of measures to raise awareness society keeps repeating its mistakes, and hence as the youth, the progressive generation of 2010, it falls upon us to make a difference. ‘Every time one thinks of change, one thinks of youth, and globally we are ironically becoming the young nation,’ Mr. Khurshid said. He stressed on the importance of the role played by young people in India and stated that he and the government had high hopes of our young and enthusiastic generation.

This rousing speech was followed by a panel discussion on “Young Leaders of India Inc.” moderated by Mr.Suresh Rajpal, CEO of Visnova Solutions. The panel consisted of Mr. Pradeep Gupta, President of TiE; Mr. Ajay Mehta, CEO of Interactive Television; Mr. Pranay Das, Marketing Professional for Ernst and Young; and Mr Anupam Yog, Founder and Managing Director of Mirabilis Advisory. Mr. Gupta spoke about the three things they expect to see in the youth today: Insight, expectations and responsibility. On the subject of insight, Mr Gupta said that corporate India is always on the lookout for fresh new ideas and innovations because there’s a ‘completely new world out there.’ Mr. Ajay Mehta, tackled the three characteristics that the youth should work on developing, namely the desire to remain ambitious, hungry and foolish, to be driven by one’s passion and to refuse to let others order your life. ‘An entrepreneur’s highs are higher and lows are lower than that of most people,’ he said as he explained that entrepreneurs often meet with failure and must not let the fact daunt them.

The third speaker, Mr Pranay Das presented a slideshow at the outset of his speech, addressing topics such as the Hindu rate of growth, Domestic consumption and Economic overviews. Mr. Das raised some very important questions, one of them being, ‘How short sighted is corporate India?’ According to him it is rather worrying that corporate India never cares to think more than thirty years into the future. Indeed this lack of futuristic insight makes the Indian Corporate Sector rather short sighted and inefficient.

The session was concluded by Mr. R. Sreenivasan, co-founder of Career Launcher, who ended the discussion on a very inspiring note by saying, ‘Pursue what you are passionate about, and be passionate about what you pursue’

If the fizzled out university elections deflated your spirits, the storm filled intra-college politics ought to give you a new high. Lady Shri Ram College, which made the news the last academic year with their email campaigns organizing corridor blocking dharnas have decided to add a new chapter to DU online politics: Blogging.

A mass email announced the setting up of the LSR political blog: lsrkiawaaz.wordpress.com. The blog is moderated by an anonymous group which calls itself LsrKiAwaaz. The purpose of the blog is apparently to “create a mature ground for political contestations and reasoned discussions on issues that have anything to do with college.” With an invitation extended to students, alumni, professors and principal alike the blog aims at bringling up old allegedly unresolved issues such as inflated café prices, semester system etc. as well as tackling some new ones such as the commercialization and privatization of higher education and the rather politically charged question of whether LSR should join the Delhi University Students Union. The last of the listed issued was one which saw great contention in the form of heated debates and discussions with a number of students demanding an alternate students union or an initiation to DUSU politics. The reason for this demand, according to one comment on the blog, is “not because the university student politics is any better, indeed it is much worse, but because they at least have complete and utter autonomy and can take up student causes without fear, even if they be against college administration”.

With just a single post up the blog has already roused great interest and is sure to see much political action in the near future. In any case it has proved once again how politics is slowly acquiring a whole new quite virtual dimension. The group LsrKiAwaaz quaintly declares as much in its little attempt at self justification:

“We believe that a consolidated effort at re-opening democratic spaces is the need of the hour. And because this space is not easily accessible to us in the real world, LSR KI AWAAZ is an attempt at creating it in the virtual world.”

Some Comments on the Blog:

neha says:

This is amazing. Yes, I do think it’s time that we started debating issues. When was the last time we were allowed to say something without being told that we are being disloyal to college? Sure hope those are not charges made against us this time. Well done guys. Way to go.

TBR says:

We cannot begin to congratulate you for this effort. It
is difficult to start something new. It’s sometimes even tougher to
pick up the pieces left over from a pretty ruthless clamp-down and
start something up again — that requires, often, more courage, more
resilience, for you are working with the knowledge of what
repercussions this might have. As far as TBR was concerned, we knew
things would never be easy or cordial, but we had not anticipated the
extent of the backlash. You witnessed it, experienced it, and have
returned. Hats off to you people.

Ex-Exec says:

[The college authorities] do it because they can, of course. They have the power, and they can therefore, manipulate. However, the fact that they had to resort to such persecution not only exposes the falsity of their outwardly calm, articulate and democratic appearance; it also tells you something about how intensely insecure and hollowed out their control is.

crazyblacklab says:

The problem as I see it is that our own elected union has no power to operate. We apparently have student representatives there to voice our problems and treat us fairly but inevitably they get cowed down by the rather dictatorial college administration.
Take a certain Staff Adviser of the (… …) societies for example who arbitrarily decides on who to send for prestigious inter college competitions without either holding a fair audition or even consulting the society unions. If the student representative in this case who supposedly has complete authority finds herself dictated to by a Staff ‘Adviser’, it shows the small measure of control students are allowed over their own college life.

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.


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”.