Cluster Innovation Center


Cluster Innovation Centre (CIC) faced a severe fund crunch as the year 2019 came to an end due to limited resources which also affected the recruitment of new staff. 

Cluster Innovation Centre (CIC), established in 2011, gave students an opportunity to envision a trans-disciplinary approach. CIC offers three courses:  B.Tech and Mathematical innovation, M.Sc in Mathematical Education and B.A. in Humanities and Social Science. These courses are uniquely designed for students to work on several projects with an aim to offer constructive solutions to problems faced by people in real life.

Professor Yogesh Tyagi was appointed as the new Vice Chancellor of the University of Delhi (DU) in 2016 and according to the students and the Faculty, the functioning of the centre changed completely. With a cap of INR 15000, students were asked to go through a lengthy Government e- marketplace (GEM) procedure. The new regulations imposed within CIC are hampering the projects of students. Many students complained about having to negotiate for items on GEM, and if the items were not available, the students were not left with many alternatives to turn to.


Image Credits: The Times of India

Students mentioned various other problems that they had to face when the new regulations were introduced in CIC after Dinesh Singh’s tenure ended as the Vice Chancellor. Although, there are no serious constraints on funds for humanities projects, the other two courses may require some modifications. CIC projects are solely based in Delhi-NCR which may overlook real issues faced by people outside the targeted area.

Former CIC Director, M. Chaturvedi had previously commented on CIC’s dire need for growth and modification in the curriculum. He had added that the projects formulated by students could help the centre in earning a considerable amount of revenue. With a fund crunch, students and staff in solidarity believe that modifications within the centre must be introduced. However, there has been no official word from the officials of the University regarding this issue.

Feature Image Credits- DU Beat Archives

Suhani Malhotra

[email protected]

Just as the world was gearing up for the 127th birth anniversary of Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, a seminar at Cluster Innovation Centre (CIC), University of Delhi, was allegedly cancelled at the last moment.

The seminar ‘Dalit Empowerment and its Challenges’ was scheduled for 13th April at 1.30 p.m. in the CIC seminar room. The posters for the same were posted across the North Campus and circulated diligently on social media.

The illustrated speakers list included Manoj Jha, a member of Rajya Sabha and the national spokesperson of the Rashtriya Janta Dal, Bal Gangadhar Baghi, a Bahujan poet and Jawaharlal Nehru University research scholar, Harish Gautam, a Dalit activist, and Bhasha Singh a journalist and an author.

According to the Nishant, a final year student of B.A. Honours (Humanities & Social Sciences), the seminar room was booked on 9th of April and the intent of booking was made clear to the director’s office. However, just a day before the event Prof. Harinder P. Singh, Director, CIC, declined the permission after the organisers personally informed him about the event. The Director cited security issues and instead asked the organisers to attend another event which the University is conducting on April 14th and in which Union Social Justice Minister is taking part.

Another student, on the condition of anonymity, told DU Beat that the Director asked the organisers to shift their venue from CIC to Shankar Lal Hall because he “doesn’t want any controversy in the Centre”. “The Director gave us a long speech explaining a complicated procedure that we were suppose to follow. Honestly, these are all excuses. Everyone knew that the seminar is going to happen. As we are working with the Communal Harmony Project, the project mentor, Prof. Ashu Misra, knew about the seminar. While filling the form for booking we explicitly wrote the purpose of booking. The administration is seeking refuge under ignorance. We spent weeks trying to contact the panelist. It broke my heart when I had to cancel all invites. All money that was put into posters is wasted,” he rued.

Speaking to DU Beat, Dr. Saleem Mir,  Coordinator of B.A. Hons. (Humanities and Social Science), said that permission wasn’t sought before the event. “As a Programme Coordinator, I was also not informed about the upcoming seminar. I got the call from the Director about the event and I couldn’t tell him anything about it. The students just sought permission to organise an event without giving the details of who is coming and why it is being organised. Any talk, event, workshop, lecture, activity, be it academic or co-curricular or extra-curricular, can be organised, but prior permission has to be taken from the Coordinator and the Director.”

He further stressed, “When even teachers take permission from the authorities prior to inviting the people or planning the event then shouldn’t students also do the same? Sometimes you can take permission a little later, but not just one day before the event. How is the University going to make security arrangements especially when a politician is coming to speak?”

When DU Beat contacted the Director’s office, Mr. Prem Bhagat, Assistant, told us that due to upcoming National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) visit and other engagements the Director missed the details of the event. He also told us the event was merely asked to be postponed.

The press release issued by the organisers claims that the permit was revoked “under pressure of some groups and individuals who are against the idea of Babasaheb”. “The abruptness with which the permission for the programme was cancelled shows the deep-seated Brahaminical attitude of some groups and individuals in Cluster Innovation Center,” the statement further asserts. The press release also accused Prof. Pankaj Tyagi, Coordinator, M.Sc. (Mathematics Education), of vandalising the posters. DU Beat’s attempts to reach Prof. Tyagi were unsuccessful.

Refuting these allegations Dr. Saleem Mir, Coordinator, B.A. Hons. (Humanities and Social Science) said, “Is our Director a Brahmin? He is a Sikh. Is the Coordinator a Brahmin?  I am a Muslim. I don’t understand where from did this Brahaminical pressure thing is coming from. As responsible citizens, we must not level such allegations so casually. As students of CIC, the organisers must feel ashamed before leveling these allegations in an environment like CIC where the faculty is always talking about the nation building with minorities, Dalits, tribals and the marginalised as the main engines of the progress of a nation. Our curriculum is designed in such a way that we undertake our semester-long projects majorly focusing on problems of the poor and downtrodden.”


Feature Image Credits: Nishant Kabir

Niharika Dabral

[email protected]

Stories and tales of ‘how hard work will change one’s future and fate’ seemed not be working for the members of a deaf and mute community in Delhi. Their dedication and willingness to fight the society by earning their own bread was all visible in their beautiful handicrafts, paintings, gift items and other items but the filled cupboards told another story of lost hope. Their hard work and products which were supposed to change their lives couldn’t reach the market.

“It was just another appalling sight of the plight that any college student who takes up a project on social welfare will surely encounter”, says Saurabh Patel one of the co-founders of Lithics.in. “The condition was such that even one of the heads of the NGO, which worked for these communities had to cut down on staff and take up a part time job to generate money for the organisations”, he says as he recalls the past times.

Taking lessons from one of their college projects at Cluster Innovation Centre and doing some further research, these students realised that the situation was not much different for other NGOs in the country. After days of pondering over the problem of market access to these communities, they came up with an idea of a creating a social enterprise that could help these marginalised communities sell their products at a full price to its customers. Aiming to end this plight, three students Desh Deepak Dwivedi, Saurabh Patel and Kirti Krishan started Lithics.in in order to provide an online marketplace for helping various NGOs and Co-Operative of weaker sections of the society like organisations of differently abled people, jail inmates, marginalised women from rural areas, local artisans, and war widows among many. Currently being housed in the Technology Business Incubator of Cluster Innovation Centre of the University of Delhi (DU).

Today more than thirty small and big organisations sell their products through their web portal. Ms.Sujata Kumari, the founder of Agrima Foundation who earlier had to cut down on the staff as she was unable to sell her products now has recruited several new of them. “Now I am busy packing products for the orders that I receive from as far as Darbhanga in Bihar to Tiruchirappalli in Tamil Nadu. Now I know that I am receiving my due recognition”, says Sujata.

Within six months Lithics has gone forward to win several accolades. From winning the Pollination Project Grant, receiving special appreciation at DBS-NUS Social Venture Challenge Asia 2016 and was selected for entrepreneurship training at DO School Brazil. One of the co-founders got selected for Younus and Youth Fellowship program.

“We are planning to expand our reach of NGOs outside Delhi. Currently, we are eyeing towards Mumbai and Bangalore”, says Kirti Krishan who is one of the co-founders.

On being asked about what motivates them to work day in and day out, Desh Deepak says “Many people come across pain of marginalised people and go back by just showing sympathy. We wanted to do something more than that, so we empowered them. Their happiness is our sole currency.”


*Special Note

The start-up has made it to the final rounds the International Entrepreneurship for Good Program 2017, Brazil. You can make them win this competition by voting for them by clicking on the link given below.


(You would need to enter your email and confirm the same on the mail that you receive in your mailbox)

*You can buy any of their products here to support weaker communities to earn a living.


Feature Image credits: Lithics.in fb page


Srivedant Kar

[email protected]


As the year 2016-17 comes to an end we bring to you the list of achievements, laurels and good happenings around the university of this year.

1. 59th Annual Flower Show of University of Delhi

The 59th Annual Flower Show of the University of Delhi took place on On 23rd February,  in Mughal Garden, North Campus. Special Holiday was announced for the Delhi University colleges on account of this event. As a result, the premises were abuzz with students, teachers and flower enthusiasts appreciating the vibrant and varied blossoms.
The event was inaugurated by Vice Chancellor Mr. Yogesh Tyagi and the Chief Guest of the event was Dr. Harsh Vardhan, the Science and Technology Minister.

Read the full report here.


  1. Canadian High commission and Miranda House host THE SOUTH ASIAN YOUNG WOMEN LEADERSHIP CONCLAVE

The High Commission of Canada in India, in association with the Women’s Development Cell of Miranda House, National Commission for Women and Women’s Feature Service, organised a dialogue on Women leadership and empowerment, from 8-10 February at the India Habitat Centre.

Over the 3 days, the South Asian Young Women Leadership Conclave saw participation of people from different walks of life- with only one aim in mind, to discuss women’s issues and development.

Read the full report here.

  1. DU students make world record by making Largest plastic cup pyramid by using 57,000 plastic cups at Thyagraj Sports complex

An enterprising group of Delhi University students in September 2016 created a new world record, of making the Largest plastic cup pyramid by using 57,000 plastic cups at Thyagraj Sports complex today. The contingent of 22 students who were led by Kushagra Tayal, an Economics student from HansRaj college took 3 days to accomplish this feat. The students were cheered by an audience of about 1500 people who consisted of friends, family and other well wishers.

Read the full report here.


  1. Miranda House students devised environment friendly, sustainable and economical. way to control mosquitos

While Delhi was facing an increase in the number of cases of Dengue, some young researchers of Miranda House College have come up with unique and more effective research study on controlling mosquitoes. The research was a part of the undergraduate research project that was taken up by these students who were keen to learn more about research and at the same time contribute to the society.

Read the full report here.


  1. H.P Singh appointed as Director of Cluster Innovation Center

Prof. Harinder P. Singh was appointed the new director of Cluster Innovation Centre (CIC). A professor at department of Physics and Astrophysics, Prof. Singh is also the dean of International Relations of the university. An eminent researcher in the field of astronomy, he has been the vice president of Astronomical society of India. He is also a member of the International Astronomical Union as well as a fellow at Royal Astronomical society, London.

Read the full report here.


  1. DU students compete at the Olympics

The Olympics that took place in August, 2016, at Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, included three Delhi University (DU) students competing in different events with DU is the only university to send three participants to the Olympic Games in the same year.

Read the full report here.


  1. Miranda House bags number one spot in list of Top Indian Colleges

Delhi’s Miranda House is the best college in India, according to government rankings of educational institutions released on 4th April 2017. The rankings were made under five heads — overall, university, engineering, management and pharmacy. Launched in 2015, NIRF is a methodology adopted by the HRD Ministry to rank all institutions of higher education in India. The rankings are important as government funding for institutions are dependent on them. Over 3,300 institutes participated in the second edition of the India Rankings.

Find the full report here.

Picture Credits: DU Beat Archives

Aditya Narang