Even in those laid back days when the University of Delhi wasn’t that big a deal, St. Stephen’s College was always a dreamland. A centre of revolutionary beliefs and of idealism, it was a place where many thinking minds pondered over and hoped to find answers to pressing issues of the day. Over the years, though that gleam appears to be slightly faded, the college has still not lost its charm. It continues to be an institution where some of the best minds in the country find expressions to their aspirations, a platform to chart the success story of their lives. No wonder then that the college remains among the best- rated colleges of the country.
St. Stephen’s College is located on the Sudhir Bose Marg, named after its glorious alumnus Sudhir K. Bose who not only studied in the college but also taught Philosophy for a long period of time. Right across the road lies the Hindu College with whom St. Stephen’s is known to share an old friendly-rivalry. The nearest metro station is Vishwavidyalaya on the yellow line, approximately one and a half kilometers from the college. Students can also opt for buses plying to and within North Campus including the famous University Special.
Everything seems to be popular here, with limited seats and unlimited aspirations. Though the courses offered are fewer in number, they are fairly diverse, mainly focusing on arts and science subjects. In the wake of the Four Year Undergraduate Programme, the college recently did away with B.A. (Programme) and B.Sc. (Programme) and appropriated the seats to Economics, English, Physics and Chemistry.
Like it is across the university, admission into St. Stephen’s is contingent upon the class 12th board exam result. However, the process here is slightly different for it also has an interview round for those who manage to clear the cut-offs. In the interview, the panelists, comprising the principal and faculty members, gauge a student’s aptitude for the chosen course and how befitting he or she will be for the college and vice-versa.
Being a minority institution, the college reserves a certain number of seats for Christian candidates apart from the usual Schedules Castes, Schedules Tribes and Sports quota.
It must be noted that the admission process for St. Stephen’s College is distinct from the University. It gives its own separate forms and even the dates for the declaration of cut-offs are different.
As a part of tradition that St. Stephen’s strongly upholds, the hostel in the college is fondly referred to as the Resident. In fact, on a lighter note, a saying goes that a day scholar is but a half-baked Stephanian. Being a resident student in college is both a matter of privilege and responsibility. To avail this facility, a student needs to fill a separate form and clear an interview.
Even the conditions to continue with residence after a semester are quite stern.
It has six resident blocks, four for men and two for ladies, named after the former principals. As a policy, outstation candidates are preferred over students from Delhi and NCR.
St. Stephen’s offers a number of language courses, such as French, German, Chinese, Persian, Sanskrit and Russian et cetera. Students from outside are allowed admissions in these. As a matter of fact, a majority of the classes comprise of non-Stephanians. The admission procedure for these courses is distinct from the admission to the degree courses.
The societies in the college are open to all the junior members and there are no trials of any kind. The range is also quite diverse. From the usual societies like dramatics, called the Shakespeare Society and Shakespeare Sabha, debating society, Campus Placement Cell, Photography Society to the unusual ones like the Hiking Club and Gandhi Study Circle, the college makes sure there is something for everyone. In fact, the P.G. Wodehouse society of the college was one the first of its kind in the world. Sadly, the society is now biding its time.
Hang Out Spots
The most popular hangout spots in college include the college Café (mind you, it is NOT a canteen!), the café tree, the legendry kiosk of the Rohtas and the science Dhaba. Apart from these, there is the Junior Common Room, the Ladies Common Room and the sprawling green lawns which make for a gorgeous hang out spot especially in the winter season. At the centre of the college premises, there is a chapel which makes for a peaceful place to spend some time in solitude. Then, of course, there are places like DSE canteen and Kamla Nagar market.
St. Stephen’s has air conditioned classrooms, most of them equipped with projectors, a decent seminar room and the college hall which has been recently renovated. The campus is Wifi enabled and there are cameras to monitor activities of the students. The library is well stalked and is known to possess some of the Persian manuscripts.