Online Petitions are all-pervasive. From Climate Change to opposing bills and amendments, nowadays, every movement begins on social media. Every day thousands of people sign hundreds of petitions to stand for varied causes. But, do these petitions ever accomplish anything?

The world today is undergoing various catastrophes daily which affect millions of people across the globe. Mostly, citizens watch the authorities remaining silent and wait for them to act on such disasters, expecting them to retaliate. In these cases, online petitions have become a simple solution which provides a platform that allows the people to contribute towards the betterment of the society, rather than just sitting around and waiting. Online Petitions give a wider meaning to the concept of Democracy. It is an appropriate way that gets the point across many, to reach the authority, and gain support from people all over the world. Many even believe that it has become an internet version of street rallies minus the commitment and efforts.

It is a matter of concern that in the 21st Century, people have to rely on this strategy to have their voices heard, and make the administration recognize the needs of the people which are quite obvious. The fact that the number of online petitions is rising at a rapid rate is an accurate representation of how authorities, elected by us, don’t listen to our needs, leaving us helpless to the extent that we feel the need to engage in this rebellious method of harmless protest. Our constituency leaders are hardly put up for questions, they are closest to our concerns, and they hardly care.

But the question remains, do these petitions contribute to change? I would say- Rarely.

It depends on the majority of people who sign these petitions. When we take steps to bring about a change, there are only a few people who genuinely care about the cause, while the majority of people participate for the sake of participation and not emancipation. People sign these “petitions” to reduce their guilt of actions. They aim at achieving a slight sense of contribution, by investing barely two minutes of their time and consider it making a change. On the other hand, one might argue that such movements are instrumental in raising awareness. But, these petitions, arguably, also allow people to feel as though they have taken action when, in reality, they haven’t, and potentially have prevented individuals from pursuing more hands-on activism.

The answer, regardless, isn’t to stop yourself from supporting and signing the next viral campaign that you come across. One has absolutely nothing to lose from signing something they agree with, and nobody knows which appeal might defeat the odds, and provoke a real change. Instead, the answer is to rebel vigorously, as well as ensure that our effortless contribution online meets subsequent real development offline.

Feature Image Credits: BBC

Avni Dhawan
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The first-semester syllabi of four subjects have been accepted by the panel of the University of Delhi (DU).

The University of Delhi has approved the syllabus of English, History, Political Science, and Sociology for first-semester. The syllabi of other subjects have been sent back for revision, and for a final overlook, to their respective Departments, who have been provided with the time of a month to do the same..

The long-drawn-out controversy over University of Delhi’s syllabus of certain subjects has come to a step closer to its conclusion with this action. However, many academic and ethical debates over this dispute are still taking place. 

This controversy began with right-wing organisations objecting to the inclusion of certain course materials, like the role of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in the 2002 Gujarat riots, and the depiction of Hindu deities in Queer literature in the English syllabus. The situation soon escalated with the ABVP protesting against the course material of certain subjects, which according to them were anti-national and non-Indian in aesthetics. Dr. Rasal Singh of the Academic Council said, “The syllabi have to be cleansed and Indianised, it should be free from Colonial and Communist clutches.”

Counter-protests for academic freedom by organizations like the Delhi University Teacher’s Association (DUTA), Students’ Federation of India (SFI), All India Students’ Association (AISA), Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS), Pinjra Tod soon followed, leading to a University-wide altercation. 

Feature Image Credits: Collegedunia 

Juhi Bhargava 

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Change is an unsettling idea. It means a certain shift from the comforts. Not everyone can adjust to this shift as easily.
It is almost confusing- how change is an arbitrary event and yet so time-consuming. We await change, seeing it as an upheaval of sorts; and when it does not come, we are dismayed. Change cannot be awaited, because it is highly arbitrary. You can change your ways and behaviors, but even in that, the upheaval you seek will take time to ripe, and then happen all at once. The play of the arbitrary has always been an object of amusement for us all. It is this ambiguity that poses problems when the time is ripe to deal with the change.
A lot of situations will put your patience and tolerance to a brutal test. Anticipation of change to sail you through this turbulence is only natural. But more importantly, change cannot be seen as an escape. It is an act that is triggered by the process of learning. Living through the bad times, and then living through the phase of change is informative as well as satisfying, after a fashion. From a position of privilege, change can also be to a position of troubles. Unsurprisingly it works both ways- the good and the bad. But it is the nature of change to always teach us important
things. And it is this process of learning that matters.
The arbitrary nature of change is highly problematic. The change can be anything- your feelings towards someone, or the other way around, your career choices, your ideas. But it helps to remember that in this transitional phase, it is most important to maintain your calm. Transition is scary, and uplifting in equal parts. But even when it turns sour, you have to participate. It takes a lot more than just courage to hold your head high in a challenging time. Give it some time.
When you mix water and sand  thoroughly, the sand will always settle at the bottom. It may sound cliched, but in some instances of extreme frictional changes that happen in our lives, (and at that, arbitrarily happening changes) the most helpful thing to do is to wait.Acceptance is never arbitrary or random or easy. We always need our time to wrap our headspace around the change. That is exactly what we lack these days, which makes adjusting to change difficult for us. It would only help to recall every once in a while, that acceptance is a naturally challenging process that takes time. The arbitrary change follows a well-thought acceptance. Taking your time with the change is all that is essential.
Feature Image Credits:Duluth News Tribune
Kartik Chauhan
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They say change is the only constant, but ever wondered why change is so integral in our lives? Let us figure out how 2019 brings in the change for us!


“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”- Socrates.

Every day and every hour, every moment in our lives we come across situations which stay embedded in our minds forever. How to grow from it, how to incorporate lessons learnt and how to develop a more positive attitude towards life, that remains the real challenge. Change is subjective. To each their own journey. But what is important to learn is that each year demands a new you. By that being said, it means every year will have in store their own share of experiences for you to unravel and accustom to. Each year is a beautiful journey of three hundred and sixty five days waiting for you and testing you at every minute.

In The Greatest Salesman on Earth, OG Mandino said, “I will live this day as if it is my last. …I will waste not a moment mourning yesterday’s misfortunes, Yesterday’s defeats, yesterday’s aches of the heart, for why should I throw good after bad?’’. There is always a hesitancy to adapt to something new. Think of it like a small child meeting a stranger and feeling somewhat scared. We are so accustomed to depend upon and live in the past that it entrusts us into a sense of complacency.

The beauty of change lies in the parallel beauty of unpredictability. We cannot always be assured of what the future holds in for us. We ‘invest’ in our future through the actions of the present and the past. So, what or how exactly can we bring change? The answer is simple, but requires determination. The answer is introspection. Reflect on the actions; see how this year went by. You will feel gushes of love, hatred, regrets, and all a stew of different but normal emotions. How to amalgamate and take the best actions forward to the next year, while promising to improve the mistakes of the past year is how you really experience change. Change is a constant learning. Change does not always have to be associated with something grand. Exhibit change in small actions. For example, you smile more, you cry more, you laugh more, you hurt less, you listen more, you stress less and the train of list goes on.

Let change be the vocabulary of the soul. Let it garner what you wish to be. And so, as humans, in our mortal life, every year, in fact every day presents us a new chance. It lets us make mistakes but only at the chance of learning from them. You know what you need to do once the clock strikes twelve and your phone is buzzing with New Year messages. You sit back, close your eyes and rewind 2018. The good and the bad. Be vulnerable, as that is how you can be intimate to your feelings. Be very honest to yourself. Keep it as personal as you wish, because it is your journey and you are the sculptor, design it, break it, mold it and reconstruct as long as you reach the finale or the end.

Hence, here’s to wishing you a new year and with a high hope the year presents beautiful opportunities for personal growth!


Feature image credits: livemint


Avnika Chhikara

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Here is a much need reality check on how college life needs more effort, gives more competition and how we need to shed our high school persona to face all this.

NBC once used to air a sitcom called Community. Let me tell you a little something about one of its lead characters, Troy Barnes. Troy who was a high school jock but at Greendale College, hardly anyone raises a brow seeing him. It’s initially disappointing but eventually Troy finds his weird bunch of friends and enjoys his life of leading the “not so popular” student life in college.

High school is a pretty interesting phase for the students. Apart from normal humble introverts and extroverts, the highlights of every school are its star students, the trophy kissing champions, the high-ranking class toppers, the big mouthed debaters, artists, writers, quizzers and so on.

However, if the competition gets less and it hardly puts sweat on one’s brow, then one might succumb to pride and arrogance. It is quite natural. That’s what makes us human after all. Luckily after high school, if you get enrolled in an educational institution like the University of Delhi, it becomes an enlightening destination for a much-needed reality check. Be it Ramjas College or Delhi College of Arts and Commerce , Gargi College or Shri Ram College of Commerce, the colleges of the University of Delhi recruit fine students from all over the country, students who have shown mastery in academics, sports or co-curricular activities. But it takes time for freshers to understand that this mastery helped them gain entry in heir desired college but this would not help them survive in the next three  years of their undergraduate course. For that, we will need to be persistent with our areas of expertise.

Many ex-head boys and head girls, school toppers, the ones that might have worn the ‘Mr’ and ‘Miss Popular’ sash in their farewell, would feel disillusioned because the world of college needs starting over. Nobody would care that much about your past achievements either because they themselves might have had better feathers on their cap or simply because they don’t care. You see, there are hardly any heroes in the college, hardly any people around whom the whole world revolves. Every student makes up the world called the University of Delhi. It is like this film set and we are all members of the supporting cast.

The school debating champion might make a face on hearing better intellectual arguments made by members of various Debating Societies. The conventional poet from secondary school might now explore more spoken word genres and different writing methods in the college literary circuit. School quizzes used to be to the point, with straight direct answers. However, in college the quizzes are more like puzzle solving questions with large paras of questions containing cryptic clues that need to be figured out to give the correct answer. Such changes apply in all fields of college life.

Therefore, it is up to us whether to continue fussing that we have lost our high school glory or whether to pick up the pieces and work on building a new glory all over again. Accepting change is a part and parcel of growing up and that is exactly what we do in a competitive artistic world like the University of Delhi. The quicker we face this reality, the better it gets. In the end, Andy Samberg’s lines from the 2016 film Popstar would best sum it up – “Sometimes, you’re up. Sometimes, you’re down. But the trick is not to lose yourself along the way.”

Feature Image Credits- FanPOP

Shaurya Singh Thapa 

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The conception of the ‘firsts’ is raised to a pedestal and glorified by any young adult who is about to join college. There is a great deal of anticipation associated with your first day at college, but it’s your first class with the new people and the new mentors that get your heart racing. Do you relate to it? If yes, read on.

As you walk towards your first class, the hot rains of July would most likely be enveloping the lush, green gardens surrounding the campus. However, with the sweat-beads materialising out of your body, you almost overlook the beauty of the rains and rush to find your way in the big, daunting world you stepped into. The clock strikes 8:30 a.m. You realize that you’re 15 minutes early to class, but so is everybody else. A succession of thoughts engulfs your mind. You think, “Are all these people always this punctual?”, “Am I not serious enough?”, and “I’ll never get to sit on the good benches, will I?” A hundred more questions like these exasperate your awkwardly-smiling self, and dance to the tune of your misery.

As the lecturer enters the class, you ascend to greet in unison, almost hoping for her to miraculously know everything about you just by the way you wish her a good morning. As the introductory class begins, your notebooks are out. Your heart thuds in desperate anticipation of a mind-blowing revelation in the first 10 minutes of your college life. Nothing like that happens. Instead, you use your pen unnecessarily to scribble down the words being uttered by the authoritative figure before you who is moderating a gradually opening discussion.

The experience of your first class generates a wave of profuse sentiments. All around you, hands are raised, beliefs questioned and stereotypes defied. All the new phrases, all the new names, and all the newness in general makes you feel awfully overwhelmed. For a good while, you’re in awe. You’re nervous. Your feet are tapping. Your eyes are twinkling. You feel privileged.  But on the other hand, there is also a giant cloud of formidable emotions making you feel alone, scared and home-sick.

Everybody tells you that it’s going to take some time to adjust to the bout of change, to take it easy and that it will be more than okay in just a little while. However, you know in your heart that surviving this is going to challenge your mental health and strength. With time, the heavy-seeming assemblage of incomprehensible emotions will hit you in the face stronger than the heat of July ever could. But before that happens, you won’t have the opening to narrate survival stories and say, “Hey, I survived change. I changed for growth.” Your first day might be the epitome of pleasantries or a dooming quiet. Nevertheless, you must remind yourself that nothing is fixed yet. The other person is not your best friend in the whole wide world and this day would not determine the rest of your life in college. Before you comprehend it, you will be a part of it all. Don’t forget, you’re not the only one.

Feature Image Credits: brilio.net

Anushree Joshi

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Writer: Have you watched the American T.V. series named Breaking Bad?

Readers: No, we haven’t!

Writer: Okay, but can you please try to remember the scene from season 2 episode 9? Pinkman and Walter had been cooking for 4 days, somewhere near the Indian desert, and suddenly the truck’s engine exploded because of Pinkman’s antics. But the fun part was Pinkman’s hilarious arguments. He refused to take the blame himself!

Readers: But dude, we have not watched that serial!

Writer: Oh, now you remember, right? Wasn’t it funny?

I know this whole conversation is not funny but annoying. If a person hasn’t watched a particular series, how can I expect him to remember a particular scene? But isn’t life the same as an American T.V series, and aren’t your experiences like those scenes?

Can you feel the same emotions when I tell you that for the last four days, I have been sleeping inside a brothel, and working for the rights of prostitutes and their children? Will you understand when I tell you that for the last 7 months I have been working as a photo journalist for one of the best media houses? Will you understand how it felt when I covered Farhan Akhtar’s concert as my first assignment? Will you be able to feel the same way when I tell you how it felt, sitting in the park, with a cigarette in my hand, at 3:00 AM, discussing how to change the scenario? No, you won’t. You won’t understand a bit of it, because a year ago, I didn’t understand it myself. I had no idea how it would change the way I look at society, because I hadn’t experienced it before, because, maybe I was busy sleeping, like you are now. Your small town might brighten your life with simplicity, but it will keep you in a closed cocoon—your family will guard you at every point.

When I took my first puff of those crystals, I saw the power of freedom that this new city gave me, far from my native town. Then, I took my second puff and I saw my freedom juxtaposed with fear and anxiety for all the things I had left behind, and of the future that was all alone. And then, the dawn of realisation knocked on my door. Only then was I ready to take responsibility for my actions. I was robbed and badly beaten, because I took a decision to go on a solo trip without telling anyone. I slept for 3 consecutive days, only to realise that now, no one will wake me up. But didn’t these experiences make me the person I’m today? Didn’t these experiences ‘make’ every person who tried to come out of their shell, and out of the luxurious life that their parents provided them with? It has been a year and I have achieved a lot and learnt a lot from my mistakes. Like any other waterbug who didn’t want to be a ‘Junior Sharma’ or ‘Junior Bajaj,’ now I have my individuality.

Now, let’s discuss the problems. I know you have a hundred reasons to remain in your native town. We also had those reasons—maybe your family is too conservative, maybe your family’s financial condition isn’t that good. My grandma told me, “You have got your family business. I’ll die in the next two years. Why do you need to go out and explore the world of art? Don’t you see my face, it’s full of paintings?”

But isn’t that the true essence of life? To survive amidst all the difficulties? Tell your parents that it’s time for you to fly like a dragonfly and inspire other waterbugs to come out of their shell. It’s your time to face the reality and create your own scenes so that one day you can watch your own TV series.

That’s what Walter White did. No matter what, he survived. Oh I forgot! You haven’t watched Breaking Bad.

Image credits: www.nawa.org

Vegh Daswani

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College changes a lot of things and it also understandably changes the way you take exams. Come November end, an entire batch of first years will be taking University exams for the first time. Despite having given exams (a lot of them) all throughout school life, they are bound to feel a little unprepared for it. They should too. The preparation and pattern of a University exam is pretty different than that of a most school exams. From the perspective of an erstwhile under-CBSE Science student and current Economics student, here are 5 reasons how University Exams are different than school exams:

  1. Pace of the Semester and Syllabus Completion:

    Remember how in school the syllabus was finished weeks before the exams actually began? Yeah, that’s not usually true for college exams. You’ll often find teachers scrambling to finish their syllabus and asking for extra classes. You can’t blame them either, with all the activities and mass-bunks, the teachers find themselves with a lot less classes than actually allotted to them. For first years especially, the pace of the first semester will be tremendous. Expected to adjust to a lot of changes- new subjects and what not- you might find yourself face to face with them a lot more abruptly than comfortable, unlike the much more paced out school years.


  1. There’s no one book:

    For CBSE students, NCERT in Class XI and XII (and pretty much always) was The Holy Bible, The Bhagvad Gita, and every other important book you can think of. The cons (and sort of a pro) of college is that you’ll be referring to several books, all of which will be big and expensive, thus making it difficult for you to buy all of them, let alone one. Unless you’re a misinformed pseudo-intellectual like I was, you’d have embraced the photocopied relevant portions of all books (called ‘readings’). The issue with readings is that it never achieves the flow or uniformity of a book. Each author uses different symbols for different variables and asks you to refer to previous chapters for concepts which portion isn’t there from that same book, leading to a little bit of confusion. The advantage is that the same concept is explained in a number of ways and since you know the relevant books, you can look them up in the library and refer to the one which works for you the best. College exams, or any exam, at the end of the day, are about your concepts.


  1. The amount you’ll care about them:

    I don’t know about you but I took exams way more seriously in school than I do in college. Whether it’s about a change in perspective, priorities or having found things more important than academics (internships, societies, social work and others), your college life won’t revolve around your studies unless you very consciously want it to. You’ll study for exams as you should, but you will feel a difference in the motivation you have for studying. The reason for this could be anything from lack of interaction with your teachers (which served as a motivating factor for me during school) to lack of time.


With the semester exams not that far away, it’s imperative to dust off those books and sharpen pencils for a few weeks of toil, no matter how well or little you studied throughout the semester. To first years: you got this. It’s not that tough. Spend your time studying rather than freaking out about it. To us seasoned not-first years: another semester, another exam season. You’ve got this figured out now. Stick to what works, change what doesn’t. See you on the other side!

Featured Image: vox.com


Shubham Kaushik

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