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Recent heavy rainfall in the capital on June 28 has exposed severe infrastructural issues, particularly at the Arts Faculty, where the reading room experienced significant water leakages and short circuits. Additionally, other esteemed educational institutes like IIT Delhi and AIIMS Delhi are also witnessing an equally miserable fate.

As Delhi University continues its yearly ritual of exorbitant fee hikes—110% in PhD courses and 40% in annual postgraduate courses—it is important to note that the condition in which DU students have to study remains deplorable. These problems clearly reflect the university’s incompetence and disregard for student safety.

The Students’ Federation of India (SFI) DU’s Instagram page, @sfiduspeaks, posted a reel highlighting the miserable state of one of India’s premier institutions. Captioned “Save Public Education! Save Delhi University! Fee Must Fall!”, the post called for immediate action from the university to address these infrastructural issues. SFI Vijay Nagar has also demanded urgent measures to fix these problems and ensure student safety, noting that the lack of basic amenities like air conditioning in classrooms becomes unbearable when temperatures in Delhi soar to 48 degrees Celsius. The third building, made with makeshift materials like tin roofs and asbestos-lined walls, exacerbates the heat issue, creating an uninhabitable learning environment.

Simran, from SFI DU, in a conversation with DU Beat, said, “Since there is no maintenance in these reading rooms at Arts Faculty, due to heavy rain, the ceiling started to leak and then a short circuit happened, and soon fire also occurred out of nowhere. The main problem is that despite increasing fees they are not improving infrastructure and maintenance at all.”

Additionally, a press release by SFI Delhi University, dated June 27, 2024, highlighted student protests against the fee hikes in postgraduate courses. Students criticized the apathetic Delhi University administration and the ABVP-led Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) for their silence on the rising education costs. It showcased how fee hikes place a heavy financial burden on students, undermining the principles of publicly funded education and limiting opportunities. Despite the fee hikes in previous academic years, there has been no corresponding improvement in infrastructure. Students of the well-known Law Faculty often find their campus without even a single functioning water cooler, all while bearing Delhi’s scorching heat.

In addition to Delhi University, other premier institutes in Delhi have also been severely affected by the heavy rainfall. AIIMS Delhi experienced similar issues with severe water leakage on June 28, highlighting the widespread infrastructural problems across top educational institutions in the city.

At IIT Delhi, a viral video showed a pillar collapsing in the placement cell building following the heavy rainfall. This incident led to the disconnection of electricity in some areas for safety reasons. An official email from the Institute Engineer detailed the flooding on campus and stated that maintenance teams are working to restore services. The email requested cooperation from the campus community and apologized for the inconvenience.

These incidents at Delhi University, AIIMS Delhi, and IIT Delhi highlight the urgent need for infrastructural changes and better maintenance protocols, it’s indeed high time that these educational institutes make upgrades to ensure the safety and well-being of their student body, who have come from faraway places in the country to study in “premier institutes” in the capital. Despite significant fee hikes, these institutions have failed to invest adequately in their infrastructure, leading to dangerous and unacceptable learning conditions. As students and stakeholders wonder, “Where is our money going?”, they are now demanding accountability and immediate improvements to their educational environments.

Featured image credits: Devesh for DU Beat

Read Also: TISS Dismisses and Reinstates Staff Following Funding Assurance from TATA Education Trust

Kavya Vashisht

[email protected]

In a swift response, Delhi University takes action against a staff member accused of sexual harassment, reflecting a commitment to student welfare. As students rally for justice at the Central Institute of Education, officials ensure a thorough investigation by the Internal Complaints Committee, prioritizing safety and transparency.

The University of Delhi’s Establishment Branch has terminated the employment of a non-teaching staff member who was allegedly involved in the sexual harassment of a student at the Central Institute of Education (CIE) earlier this month. The incident occurred in the Department of Education’s new building, per the student’s official complaint with the Head and Dean of CIE. The defendant is alleged to have engaged in several inappropriate behaviors, such as unwanted approaches, invasive personal inquiries, and acts that created a great deal of discomfort and fear for the student’s safety.

The student has asked for her peers’ support, expressing how the encounter violated and deeply distressed her. She also expressed fear for her safety because the harasser was walking around the department unhindered. Students came together to plan a demonstration at CIE on Wednesday to support the student’s right to justice.

The Indian Express was notified by Pankaj Arora, Head and Dean of CIE, that the Internal Complaints Committee was notified of the student’s complaint as soon as it was received on Monday. The accused, who worked for the company under a contract, was let go early on Wednesday.

We have engaged in extensive discussions with the students and have assured them that the university’s ICC will handle the matter with care.” Arora said in response to the protest.

While the ICC investigates the case, questions remain about the student’s ongoing safety and the support system available. Did the University offer counselling services or connect her with external support groups specializing in trauma recovery? Transparency regarding the ICC process would also be beneficial. What are the expected timelines for the investigation? Are there resources readily available to explain the process to students involved in such cases?

The case is presently under review by the ICC, and until the process concludes, it would be challenging to disclose specific details of the proceedings.” said DU Proctor Rajni Abbi.

The Students’ Union or other student committees at CIE likely played a crucial role in supporting the student and organizing the protest. Including a statement from a student representative would amplify the students’ voice and highlight the collective stand against harassment. The incident serves as a stark reminder of the prevalence of sexual harassment in educational settings. By creating a culture of support, ensuring a fair and transparent investigation process, and implementing robust prevention programs, universities can foster safe learning environments where every student feels empowered and respected.

Read Also: Where are you ICC: Looking at DU’s History of Sexual Harassment 

Featured Image Credits: India TV News

Divya Malhotra

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JNU VC Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit emphasized that JNU was never anti-national, and the institution is not subjected to saffronization, following the University’s 20th ranking in QS World Rankings for development studies.

In a recent meeting with the editors of the Press Trust of India (PTI), Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit, the first female Vice-Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), addressed various aspects concerning the university’s current state and its past challenges. Ms. Pandit emphasized that despite speculations, JNU is not subjected to saffronisation or undue pressure from the Central Government in its daily operations. She asserted, “As a university, we should be above all this. JNU is for the nation, not for any particular identity.”

Acknowledging the presence of divisions on campus during her tenure, Ms. Pandit termed that period “unfortunate”. She attributed errors to both the administration and the students, acknowledging the mishandling of the situation by the leadership. 

I think that phase was bad, and there were mistakes on both sides, and because of polarization and the leadership not understanding… You have to understand that people will differ and argue. The university was never anti-national. When I studied (at JNU) it was the height of the Left’s dominance, even then nobody was anti-national.” – Ms. Pandit remarked.

Furthermore, she openly declared her affiliation with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), stating that she neither conceals nor regrets it. 

Ms. Pandit reaffirmed JNU’s commitment to fostering dissent, discussion, and democracy, asserting that the university has never been “anti-national” or associated with the “tukde-tukde” gang. She stressed the university’s dedication to inclusivity and development, encapsulated in the seven principles of Development, Democracy, Dissent, Diversity, Debate and Discussion, Difference, and Deliberation.

Reflecting on her journey, Ms. Pandit shared details from her birth in St. Petersburg, Russia, to her upbringing in a middle-class South Indian family in Chennai. When she assumed the position of Vice-Chancellor in 2022, the University was grappling with student unrest, compounded by the aftermath of the 2016 incident involving purportedly anti-national slogans being raised on campus. 

I believe there was a phase of unfortunate ignorance on the part of the administration regarding JNU.”- she commented. 

Regarding this tumultuous phase, Ms. Pandit acknowledged mistakes on both sides and criticized the leadership’s attempt to control the situation, emphasizing the inevitability of disagreements and the importance of handling extreme viewpoints with understanding.

You have to accept that disagreements and arguments will arise. The college never held anti-national views. Even at the height of Left dominance, when I studied (at JNU), nobody was anti-national.” – Ms. Pandit reflected. 

The meeting concluded with Ms. Pandit’s reaffirmation of JNU’s commitment to its core principles and her dedication to steering the university towards inclusive growth and academic excellence.

Read Also: ABVP and Left Front Clash Ahead of JNUSU 2024 Elections

Featured Image Credits: Hindustan Times 

Divya Malhotra

[email protected]

 

Naima Khatoon Gulrez, recently appointed as Aligarh Muslim University’s first female Vice Chancellor, faces controversy over her appointment amid allegations of nepotism. 

Naima Khatoon Gulrez, the principal of Aligarh Muslim University’s Women’s College since 2014, has been designated as the University’s inaugural female vice chancellor. She reportedly assumed office as the new VC on the evening of April 22. However, her appointment has been accompanied by complexities, controversies, and overarching implications, including the nuanced interplay of institutional governance and familial ties.

Naima Khatoon’s elevation to the esteemed position of Aligarh Muslim University’s (AMU) first woman Vice-Chancellor marks a pivotal moment in the institution’s storied history as she becomes the first woman to hold the position in the University’s 123-year history. Emerging from a modest family background in Jajpur district, Odisha, she is the only other woman to have held a top post at AMU since Begum Sultan Jahan, who was appointed as the Chancellor of AMU in 1920. Her professional journey includes serving as Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Psychology before assuming the role of Principal at Women’s College in July 2014. She has a diverse background, having taught at the National University of Rwanda, Central Africa, and fulfilling various administrative roles at AMU. She has authored, co-authored, or edited six books and published numerous papers in national and international journals. Additionally, she has supervised fifteen Ph.D. theses and a considerable number of dissertations, specializing in clinical, health, applied social, and spiritual psychology.

However, her journey to this ground-breaking appointment unfolds against a backdrop of intricate institutional dynamics and heightened scrutiny. 

Central to the discourse is the prominent role played by Professor Mohammad Gulrez, the outgoing acting AMU VC and Khatoon’s husband, as he chaired the meeting that included her on the list. The involvement of Gulrez in the selection process sparked contentious debates regarding potential conflicts of interest and allegations of nepotism, casting a shadow over the transparency and fairness of the proceedings. These challenges were mounted in the Allahabad High Court, alleging procedural irregularities, with petitioners questioning the integrity of the process. However, the petition was ultimately dismissed, allowing Khatoon’s appointment to proceed.

The AMU Court shortlisted three candidates for the position and forwarded their names to President Droupadi Murmu for final selection in November last year. Professor Muzaffar Uruj Rabbani, former Dean, Faculty of Medicine, AMU, and Professor Faizan Mustafa, V-C, Chanakya National Law University, Patna, were the other contenders for the position.

This intersection of academia and politics lends an additional layer of complexity to Khatoon’s inauguration. Against the backdrop of the looming Lok Sabha election, the timing of Khatoon’s appointment assumes added significance, with observers interpreting it within the broader context of political maneuvering and outreach efforts to Muslim women by the BJP government. The significance of her role extends beyond the University campus, resonating with the broader Muslim community in India and abroad. In this light, Gulrez’s appointment was reportedly ratified by the Election Commission (EC) with the stipulation that it would not be publicised, and no political advantage would be derived from it. The EC’s approval was conveyed to the Education Ministry on April 9. Khatoon’s appointment is for a period of five years or until she reaches the age of 75, whichever comes first, according to an official notification from AMU. 

Founded in 1875, Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College was renamed AMU in 1920, becoming one of the oldest universities in India. Despite its long history, AMU has never had a woman vice-chancellor until Naima Khatoon’s appointment. As she embarks on her tenure, Khatoon’s appointment holds profound implications for the future trajectory of AMU, with the AMU community eagerly anticipating her vision. In navigating the complexities of her new role, Khatoon faces the challenge of upholding fairness, transparency, and impartiality, as acknowledged by the Aligarh Muslim Teachers’ Association (AMUTA).

Despite the controversy surrounding the selection process, including challenges raised in the Allahabad High Court, Khatoon’s appointment reflects a step forward in breaking traditional barriers within AMU’s leadership structure. 

Read Also: Kerala’s SIO Protests Against PM Modi’s Anti-Muslim Comments 

Featured Image credits: Indian Express

Kavya Vashisht

[email protected]

I know we were taught to “never look back” or to just “keep moving forward.”  I believe that sometimes it’s healthy to look back. Look back at those who stood still when you went out to be your own person—those people you left so far behind because life moved too fast.

“Well, here at last, dear friends, on the shores of the sea comes the end of our fellowship in Middle-earth. Go in peace! I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

Do you remember the day you learned how to ride a bike? Or when you were dropped off for your first day of school? It was confusing, and more than that, it was daunting beyond comparison. But after we finally let go and had our first taste of independence, it felt awfully good, so much so that we forgot to look back—back at the person who held onto us until we were ready to be on our own. The moment they took their hands off the back of our bikes or handed us our school bags, we left filled with excitement and fear of what came next while they stood still, watching us move ahead in life. That parent, sibling, friend, or whoever else who guided us through those initial steps is the reason behind our great adventures. And at the end of the day, when we look back at them, we thank our lucky stars for having the guts to leave when, in fact, the real strength came from those who were left behind.

For every young adult leaving for college, for every soldier leaving to defend their country, and for every death in the world, there is a parent, a spouse, and a loved one who had to let go. And while letting go is something that goes both ways, being left behind is often harder than leaving.

The worst part of it all is usually the memories you’re forced to live with while you go about your regular life. My boyfriend encountered this great work opportunity that prompted his move to London. It’s easy to feel jealous or neglected, while the other person enjoys the thrill of their new life. And then you start to hate yourself for feeling the way you do. There are too many mixed emotions, and it’s hard to deal with that, but at the end of the day, you keep trying to make it work anyway.”  – said Sara, a 24-year-old, while discussing her long-distance relationship.

A separation like this usually leaves a person feeling helpless and stuck.

For surrogates, the separation from the children they give birth to can be emotionally challenging. While they may understand the arrangement intellectually, the emotional bond formed during pregnancy and childbirth can still be strong. And after providing the ultimate gift of making someone a parent, they go home alone, feeling like a mother but not actually being one. Similarly, when a soldier leaves, the spouse left behind must carry the burden of managing the household and family responsibilities alone while also dealing with the constant worry and uncertainty about their partner’s safety. This is often overlooked in discussions about military life.

Death is perhaps the most permanent form of separation, leaving loved ones grappling with grief and loss. The pain of losing someone dear can be overwhelming, and those left behind may struggle to find meaning and purpose in their lives without their loved one. For foster children, watching their friends get adopted and leaving them behind can be heartbreaking. They may struggle with feelings of rejection and abandonment, wondering why they weren’t chosen, or feeling like they are not worthy of love. These are a few of the experiences that are often neglected in real life, in literature, or in advice. As one person aptly put it, “Sometimes the hardest part isn’t letting go but learning to start over.”

“Jealous, sad and stuck” said Aryan, are some of the feelings he feels when asked about his friends leaving the city after college while he remained here struggling to find a job. He talked about how, even though he felt happy for his friends, he hated the idea of being left alone which is something that great authors like Hemingway and Didion explored in their works too.

I know we were taught to “never look back” or to just “keep moving forward.”  I believe that sometimes it’s healthy to look back. Look back at those who stood still when you went out to be your own person—those people you left so far behind because life moved too fast. Those are your people because they’ll remind you just how far you’ve come in life, and that’s a good reminder to have.

Featured image credits: SoJourners

Read Also: Is it Even a Goodbye Without Looking Back

Lakshita Arora 

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Bidding farewell to college is like bidding farewell to a sense of stillness amidst the chaos in your life. What’s even more difficult is sometimes bidding farewell to the societies within these spaces, which is perhaps way more difficult for the juniors left behind.

Disclaimer: Readers might be left with a bittersweet feeling in their heart and might shed a tear or two, so proceed with caution.

Dear Reader,

As we close a chapter on the batch of 2024, turning the page on perhaps the most personal part of our college lives – our societies – might be even more painful. As an anxious, scared, and confused college student, the author found comfort and solace in one such society, and as a second-year student, she finds it even harder to say goodbye to the senior who made college feel like home. Friends’ Corner, the Mental Health and Counselling Cell of Hindu College, became a warm cup of chai during the rain for this author, and its president, Suangouding Guite, became the rainbow after the rain. Some might say his infectious smile, quirky one-liners, and him saying “period” after every sentence just helped them feel comfortable and safe in an otherwise overwhelming college space.

You know when you’re anticipating that your drink might be too hot or too cold, but when you take a sip, it’s the perfect temperature. This happiness, satiety, and comfort were what I got when I first interacted with Gouding. He, along with our seniors Soham and Varnika, made an amateur at society work like me, feel appreciated, and feel at home, and this society soon became my comfort space.” – says Vidita Verma, a second-year English Literature student at Hindu College.

In conversation with DU Beat, Gouding, a third-year sociology student and the president of Friends’ Corner, shared his experience at FC and how bidding farewell to this space feels personal.

For me, bidding farewell to Friends’ Corner is more like closing a chapter on my life, to the important and beautiful people and memories that make FC, as it became a part of me in these past three years, which I don’t want to let go of. I want FC to be known for its safe space, open conversations, and belongingness, which allow others to be vulnerable, and I hope I was able to create that legacy. This space became synonymous with Hindu for me, and this goodbye just feels personal. It was a society I joined for its safe space and open conversations about mental health, as it won’t really fetch you any CV points, and I stayed because it allowed me to be whatever I wanted to be and to feel whatever I wanted to feel, as it exists for others to grow and for them to learn from.” – Suangouding, president of Friends’ Corner, reflected. 

We’ve all had our fair share of uplifting and disappointing moments, intertwined with promises that sometimes fall short but are cloaked in sweetness. College societies have brought us together in unexpected ways, fostering beautiful connections for some and challenging experiences for others. The author did find herself in a pickle while writing this piece as she has been a part of the healthier and less emotionally daunting side of college societies, or rather has been quite lucky with the people, particularly the seniors she met, but a student from South Campus College who wished to remain anonymous remarked about its dramatics society.

I happened to have worked with seniors who would rather throw you under the bus for the sake of asserting their dominance. Favouritism, selective targeting, and insensitive manipulative behaviour, are some of the qualities they’d be passing onto their juniors. My seniors honestly sucked, and I’m more than happy to be bidding them farewell.” – they reflected. 

Performing Arts societies in DU might be known for their (valuable) experience, hectic schedules, overwhelming work, and hierarchies, but despite their generalised perception, they do end up becoming free and homely spaces for students, and we might meet seniors who make it just that.

In conversation with DU Beat, Manya Mallika, a third-year Physics student from Hindu College, opened up about her fruitful tenure at Masque, the English Theatre Society, not just as its co-director but as a first-year student who joined the society through online inductions during the lockdown.

After coming to Delhi after an online semester, the only people aware of my presence were in Masque, which initially seemed like just another college club. Despite finding other ways to engage in theatre, Masque somehow provided me with an identity in college, where I could be myself, through its lack of hierarchy and uniting people through their love for theatre rather than fear. I stayed because I felt a sense of belonging, and some friendships just stayed. My biggest realisation here is that human beings are prone to making mistakes; we are all flawed in some way. College should be a time of exploration, learning, and growth, and being patient and kind to others and ourselves. Remind ourselves to take a deep breath, as we’re all going to die anyway.” – Manya discussed. 

An anonymous first-year student from Hindu College, in conversation with DU Beat, bid a heartwarming farewell to their senior at Aria, the Western Music Society.

Priyansha (Yuhu) is a special person, not just for me but for the entire Acapella team of Aria. While being a great leader with her management and communication skills, she is a softie who cracks quirky jokes with her nasal voice, lighting up the mood of the entire team whenever we lose a competition (and that’s every time, lol). She built a family within a society, and while I wish her well for her dazzling future, bidding her farewell feels bittersweet as it’ll be very difficult to fill the void left behind by our very own Yuhu.” – they remarked. 

Anvesha Tripathi, a second-year Economics student at IPCW, shares how La Cadenza, the Western Music Society, ended up being the biggest and most exciting part of her college life, mostly owing to the seniors that she found there.

My seniors at Cadenza were nothing short of supportive, understanding, kind, and so unabashedly funny that every doubt vanished the second I walked into the practice room and helped us navigate this crazy circuit. One senior in particular stands out though: Ashna Dongre, who is a vision to look at and an absolute honour to be around. Every second I spend with her is enriching and leaves me either smiling or laughing my guts out. She is an absolute breath of fresh air on dreary days. I have sought in her love, support, and a simple shoulder to share my burdens with, and practice without her will feel incomplete, and so will the rest of my time at college.” – Anvesha said. 

It is said that first-year students enter DU with dreams in their eyes and passion in their hearts. Amidst the pool of batchmates, unspoken bonds, and sometimes fragile friendships, a lot of us struggle to strike a bond with any of our seniors in our respective departments. But lucky are the ones who end up discovering that friendship, solace, and guidance in that one senior in a society. An anonymous first-year student found such comfort in a senior at Vivre, the Film and Photography Society of Hindu College.

I learned a lot from them, and it’s definitely hitting me now that I have to bid farewell to them. It’s going to get hard for me because I don’t have a lot of friends or people I hold close to my heart in the second year. There’s one senior in particular, who I’m perhaps the closest to in the entire college. This is my person, and I hold them very close to my heart. Saying goodbye to them is going to break my heart, and I don’t want to think about it. What makes it sadder is that they are also leaving Delhi, so I might not see them ever.” – the student commented. 

S. Bangshing Panja, a third-year philosophy student at Hindu College, shares how bidding farewell to his college and his society might be hard, but it’s time for him to make space for others.

Although societies haven’t become synonymous with Hindu, there’s definitely a bittersweet feeling in my heart while waving goodbye to the safe spaces I found in the North East Cell and Aria, as they have been a huge part of me. The kind of legacy I’d like to leave my juniors, especially in the North East Cell, is that we should not be ashamed or scared to take up space. We are here in such a competitive institution, and we are here for a reason, and that makes us equal to everyone else. We just have to prove ourselves visible to the world, the people around us, and back at home. It’s sad that I have to say goodbye to them, but it’s about time. I’ve been here for three years, and I feel I have to leave in order to make space for others to come and feel the same things I felt and share the same friendships I’ve shared.” – they shared. 

Dear reader, while navigating the whirlpool of emotions college life at DU sometimes (certainly) pushes you in, some of us manage to find that one society and that one senior who just becomes your lifeboat. Bidding farewell to these small spaces within college that have become synonymous with home is difficult, to say the least, for the third years and the juniors left behind with a void in their hearts. How does one even journal such complex emotions and bittersweet memories in mere words? But I sincerely hope our words did justice to those feelings. Here’s a toast to the batch of 2024. We are forever grateful for your warmth, resilience, and comfort.

Read Also- Natural Selection: Unpacking Diversity in DU Societies 

Featured Image Credits: Sukriti for DU Beat 

Gauri Garg

[email protected]

On March 8, 2024, the ABVP – led DUSU (Delhi University Students Union) announced an initiative where 10 women would assume the role of DUSU President for one day each, commencing from the first day of Navratri, April 9.

Having begun on the first day of Navratri i.e. April 9, 2024, the ABVP-led Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) announced a commendable initiative where 10 women students will be chosen for the role of DUSU President for a day each.

The names of the 10 students were selected from a competition wherein the participants were asked to write an article on “The Role of Women in Making Viksit Bharat”. Tushar Dedha, DUSU President, took to his Instagram on April 5, sharing the official list of names of the 10 selected students which included Isha Awana (Department of Hindi), Akshita Johar (Ramjas College), Sophiya (Swami Shraddhanand College), Anshita Chauhan (Daulat Ram College), Deeksha Lingayath (Sri Venkateswara College), Ankita Anand (Centre for Hindu Studies), Zainab Nigar (Hansraj College), Shyama Arunbhai Trivedi (SPM College), Preeti Singh Nain (Kirori Mal College), and Sakshi Patel (Satyawati College), who served as the first DUSU President on April 9, as a part of the campaign. She is a third year B.A. Programme student hailing from Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, and aims to help financially weak students through her position.

Preeti Singh Nair, the second DUSU President under the campaign, spoke to DU Beat about her selection and how it aims to empower women while increasing their participation in politics to bring about a change not just at the University level but even at the national level in the future.

We have the incredible opportunity to learn about DUSU’s functioning and receive valuable insights into student politics. This campaign in itself sends an important message as it aims to empower women students to hold political offices at the national level, as it gave every selected student the space to put forth major problems in our colleges before the union. Personally, I felt incredibly happy, although surprised, to have received this opportunity out of more than 5000 students who had participated in the competition. Having witnessed the lack of inclusive and accessible spaces for PWD (persons with disabilities) students in most DU colleges, including mine, I wish to use this opportunity to bring about major changes and take a stand to make our campuses inclusive and accessible for all. – Preeti Singh Nair, the second DUSU President 

In conversation with the media, Tushar Dedha, added that these one-day DUSU presidents will have all the powers of the chair to take decisions and issue any notice concerning students during their term.

On each day of the Navratri, a woman will head the DUSU as its President, exhibiting Nari Shakti. We have taken this initiative to promote women’s representation in student politics. 

Read Also: After WRB, Gender-Based Representation in DU’s Student Unions Too?

Featured Image Credits: Arush for DU Beat

Gauri Garg

[email protected]

From time to time, we come across talented and awe-inspiring individuals who deserve their stories to be told. So, here is to 21 such amazing individuals who have achieved great feats in their lives before even tasting the 21st year of their life.

Tarun Jindal

Hailing from Chandigarh, Tarun Jindal is a B.Com. Honours student, CA Finalist, and President of 180 Degrees Consulting Club at Hindu College, University of Delhi. Having worked with esteemed organisations such as Dhwani Rural Information Systems, UNDP Malaysia, India Accelerator, and Infolso, Tarun is a high-impact achiever and go-getter, who believes in seeing every hardship as a source of inner fortitude and every failure as a test of perseverance. Their consistent commitment to making a difference in the lives of those around them has resulted in tangible social impact, particularly in the fields of healthcare, gender justice, and education.

Kartik Chauhan

A driven start-up enthusiast, Kartik Chauhan is a student at Hindu College and founding member of Delhi Smart Protein Project (DSPP), a project under the aegis of the Good Food Institute to stimulate open-access research, entrepreneurship and climate action through food technology. Recently, he received a full-coverage scholarship to attend the Good Food Conference in San Francisco, USA in recognition of his achievements and contributions. At Hindu College, he in also the President of the Entrepreneurship Cell, leading a 50 member team, and conceptualising, and spearheading the rebranding of the Cell to encourage a ‘builder-centric’ approach to innovation. His other achievements include being a part of Ripen’s first invite-only Entrepreneur in-Residence program, and having built a ‘feedback marketplace’ that was selected in the W22 Batch of GSF Accelerator. With their passion for technology, he are looking forward to turning his own project into an actual start-up soon.

G Brinda

A third-year History Honours student at Lady Shri Ram College for Women (LSR), G Brinda has a passion for policy-making, social work, consumer behaviour, and research. They serve as the General Secretary of Youth India Foundation (YIF), leading 50+ interns at state level and guiding 250+ college chapter members, having founded the LSR, Gargi, IITM (IPU), and Hindu College Chapters of the social entrepreneurship platform. They are a compassionate and empathetic leader, who imbibes this ethos in every position of responsibility that they diligently pursue, including but not limited to State President at the Kerala Impact Consulting Council under WICCI, Content Head at the Global Youth India-Israel Forum, and Editorial Head at Prakriti LSR.

Anshu Narwal

A research-enthusiast and dedicated social volunteer, Anshu Narwal is a student of economics and mathematics at Lady Shri Ram College for Women (LSR). A district-topper and school-topper since their school years, Anshu has furthered their interest in academia by undertaking two impressive research projects in collaboration with professors from esteemed institutions such as IIM Kashipur and IIT Delhi. Their research interests lie in the critical topic of ICT Adoption and Inclusive Growth, addressing issues that are fundamental to our society’s development. Additionally, they are passionate about the fields of psychology and social work, serving as the Project Director for Project AASHA, facilitating workshops on hygiene, unsafe touch, and mental health.

Nirmanyu Chouhan

A Hindu College alum from the Batch of 2023, Nirmanyu Chouhan is a Programme Coordinator at Lokniti, Centre for Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), and former research intern at Newslaundry. Fascinated by the intricate interplay between politics and society, they are a honed researcher and journalist striving towards a more informed citizenry through their work. Beginning their journey within the staff writing rooms of the Hindu College Gazette, Nirmanyu’s experience with media houses such as DU Beat and Newslaundry have allowed them to engage with topics across politics, economy, society, and pop-culture. Their present work at Lokniti-CSDS centres the field of psephology, the study of elections and voting behaviour, which allows them to analyzing voter patterns and understand the pulse of the electorate.

Pulkit Sehgal

A 2023 Management Studies graduate from Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies (SSCBS), Pulkit Sehgal is a driven consulting and finance enthusiast, who has been recognised as an ‘Emerging Leader’ by FinOak, India’s largest student-run finance community. They are the co-founder of Makes Sense, a mental health non-profit aimed at providing social and psychological support to university students. The initiative has impacted 450+  students through free therapy, and catapulted fruitful collaborations with Mindpeers, a Shark Tank-funded and Asia’s fastest growing mental-health platform. Furthermore, they are an Incoming Associate at Boston Consulting Group, and served as the President of 180 Degrees Consulting SSCBS during their college tenure.

Molina Singh

An english literature and history afficionado, Molina Singh is a 2023 alum of Gargi College and founder of Delhi Reads, a 1500+ member citywide book club that has secured successful partnerships with popular coffee chains, bookstores, and publication companies. During their college tenure, they held the position of President of the English Creative Writing Society and spearheaded the organisation of 4 varsity-level fests at Gargi College, a feat of uncprcedented calibre and visionary execution. Their staunch commitment to social-political principles and impact-led community service have made them one who is not afraid to voice their opinions, whether it be in expressing solidarity with the IPCW Fest victims or in their capacity as a student-journalist at DU Beat.

Pranjal Jain

In 2023, Pranjal Jain graduated and immediately embarked on a journey to catalyze positive change. This drive motivated them to pioneer the establishment of India’s inaugural Bridges for Enterprise (BfE) chapter at SSCBS, a milestone aimed at fostering entrepreneurial endeavors with a societal impact. Alongside, they engaged in two consulting and financial advisory projects with socially conscious startups in Nigeria and the Philippines, demonstrating the tangible real-world impact achievable through collaborative initiatives. Moreover, recognizing the pressing need for mental health support among college students, they co-founded Makes Sense, a nurturing and inclusive platform dedicated to destigmatizing mental health discussions and providing essential assistance to those in need.

Manvi Bhatt

Having graduated in 2023, Manvi Bhatt was honored to receive the distinguished Sultan Chand Memorial Scholarship Award, recognizing their exceptional academic achievements. Fueled by their entrepreneurial spirit, they actively participated in the development of Mark & Tonic, a digital marketing startup venture, where they served as a founding member. In this role, they led the integration of live projects to address strategic consulting and digital marketing needs. One of their accomplishments is winning the BrAINWARS undergraduate case study competition, a prestigious event hosted by Bain and Company.

Jayesh Rungta

A 20-year-old from Kolkata, Jayesh Rungta recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in commerce from Hansraj College, University of Delhi. Securing a position as a Business Analyst at the prestigious management consulting firm Kearney, they stand out as the sole and first undergraduate hire for a front-desk consulting role from their college and one of only three selected across the University of Delhi. Demonstrating their commitment to social impact, they served as the Convener and Founding Member of Project Parivartan from January 2021 to March 2023, overseeing a yearly Financial Literacy Drive that reached over 10,000 individuals across three editions.

Anjana Jose

As a current psychology student at Jesus and Mary College, Anjana Jose wears multiple hats as an entrepreneur and podcast host. Since June 2023, they have served as the Founder and CEO of BooKing, a platform dedicated to promoting sustainability through the use of second-hand books. Simultaneously, they also host the OnlyGeeks Podcast, a show tailored for college students, which has garnered a listenership of over 100 individuals from diverse backgrounds since its inception in June 2023.

Gavish Lohat

Currently enrolled as a political science student at Hindu College, Gavish Lohat stands as the 1st Raj Bhargava Foundation Scholar, an honor bestowed upon them in 2022. This prestigious scholarship provides them with ₹75,000 annually throughout the duration of his undergraduate studies, along with a tablet. In addition to their academic pursuits, they are also the founder and host of ‘The Skeptical Student Show’ Podcast in collaboration with India Film Project, where they engage in thought-provoking discussions.

Punya Malhotra

As a final year Economics student at Hansraj College, Punya Malhotra stands as the lone Indian fellow selected for the fully-funded Young Leader’s Fellowship program in 2023 by MCW Global, USA. Their previous roles include working at the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FICCI). Additionally, they were featured in the Voices of the Young series by Dr. Subodh Mathur, where they shared insights on optimizing the college experience. As part of their research endeavors, they authored a quantitative paper titled ‘Urban Planning and Gender Inclusivity.’

Apoorva Rathore

Having graduated from Lady Shri Ram College with a degree in B.Com, Apoorva achieved remarkable success by emerging as the National Winner of the EY NextGen Women India competition. This accomplishment propelled them to represent both India and their university at the Global EY NextGen Women Competition held in London. Following their academic achievements, they ventured into the professional realm as a Research Analyst at the Indian Institute of Science. Here, they dedicated over a year to working within the Strategy Team, focused on developing a robust business model for an in-house eVTOL (electric air taxi) project.

Pratham Changoiwala

Pratham Changoiwala is a third-year student of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, currently pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce. He is interning as an executive assistant at Niamh Ventures, an investment banking firm based out of Gurgaon, Haryana. Alongside that, he is the youngest speaker shareholder of HDFC Bank’s AGM and his experiences were shared as a part of Hindustan Times’ Live Mint as a part of their Gen Z interview series. He has been selected as a delegate for Harvard’s prestigious HPAIR Conference. He was also part of the Sustainable Stories Project, which involved interacting with eco-friendly brand manufacturing units and their business founders. He is also Operations head of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College’s Entrepreneurship Cell.

Bhavika Dabur

Bhavika Dabur is a third-year student at Sri Venkateswara College, pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce. They are currently working as a training manager and social media advisor at Aspirant Learning. Previously, they had experience in educational consultancy and soft skills training.

Falguni Mahajan

Falguni Mahajan was a political science student at Lady Shri Ram College. Currently, they are the founder of Mandonna Research Consultants, which focuses on the promotion of gender equity through academia and research work. Previously, they had interned as a researcher at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Policy, Politics and Government Foundation as well as with the Aam Aadmi Party. They hold C1 level certification in the French language as well.

Bhavya Sood

Bhavya Sood was a student at Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, having completed their BBA in Financial Investment Analysis. They are the co-founder of Project Bridgeway which aims to democratize access to education and guide students, through consulting, which has assisted over 10,000 students across several colleges. They have also served as the first elected deputy chair of IFSA’s Indian wing.

Anjali Batra

Anjali Batra is a political science student at IPCW, Delhi University, who is also pursuing a diploma in Psychology. She is the founder and president of Project Mehviyat, which focuses on empowering victims of abuse in South Asia. She was also recognised as a U21 Global citizen, due to her advocacy for Sustainable Development Goals and is serving as the deputy chairperson of the SDG Council, Global Youth India.

Tanusha Arora

Tanusha Arora is currently in the final year of Bachelor of Management Studies at Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies. Arora has interned at Havells India, in the field of e-commerce as well as a research and market intelligence intern at EXL. She secured a placement in the capacity of an Associate at Samagra | Transforming Governance. She was selected under India Top 14 CEO for One Month Challenge by the Adecco Group. She has recently been felicitated with the coveted Linkedin Top Voice (blue badge) for her insights on marketing, communication and adulting. Moreover, she has been featured in Top 29 Leading Voices of India 2024 by BTalkz. She has a growing community of 7000+ followers and over 6 lakh+ impressions as yet.

Parv Jindal

Parv Jindal is a student of Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, completing their Bachelor of Management Studies. They founded the India chapter of Bridges for Enterprise, an international impact consulting organization. They have also interned with companies like Blinkit, MakemyTrip, Zomato etc. Jindal is acting Vice President of SSCBS’ Student Council.

Read Also: DU Beat 21 Under 21: Of Dreams and Determination (2023)

As DU gears up for the fest season, the supposed fortress of security seems to crumble each year. Are women’s colleges equipped with the required security measures?

For the past few years, Delhi University (DU) has consistently witnessed incidents of unwarranted male trespassers into women’s colleges every time there is a fest or any event for that matter, with students being sexually harassed, catcalled, and their safe spaces violated. In light of such incidents, the University issued an advisory with guidelines to be followed by all colleges during events likely to be attended by outsiders. Between April 2023 and January 2024, the notifications have been updated thrice ahead of the upcoming college fest season.

Surely, such an advisory may appear to be the need of the hour and perhaps even reassuring, but is it the case that the University has finally recognized the persistence of such pressing issues, or is the advisory, just like security in most women’s colleges, merely performative? Isn’t it high time that the University’s administration, instead of issuing such performative guidelines, actually addressed the larger issue of male entitlement, beyond just ensuring their students’ safety? College spaces, be it women’s colleges or co-educational spaces, should certainly not be places where women (or anyone for that matter) live in a sense of fear, apart from obviously the external world beyond college boundaries. 

It is also important to note that some of the security measures, for instance, the installation of CCTVs, pre-registration through Google Forms, and deployment of security personnel, have already been in place in many colleges, and yet there have been repeated violations. Most instances have been when the ones who “lawfully” entered the college premises became perpetrators of assault. So, a No Objection Certificate (NOC) is completely ineffective when it comes to the “male gaze” and entitlement towards women’s spaces in a patriarchal set-up.

“Because our college restricted male entry this year, apart from the participants, it did make the fest safer than last year, where a lot of chaos had ensued with guys passing lewd remarks at female students performing during the dance competition. Although such incidents didn’t take place this year, I believe restricting male entry is just an instinctive response to a much larger problem, that is, patriarchy, which is so deeply rooted in our society. Such measures end up putting the onus on women to protect themselves, as apparently “boys will be boys.” If the administration is unable to restrict students inside the campus, their immediate response is to just stop male entry. We need some long-term solutions to such problems, and sensitization of not just students but even the faculty needs to take place to uproot the actual cause of this problem.”

-said a student from Janki Devi Memorial College.

Students believe that the advisory is just the bare minimum, and the larger problem needs to be taken into account while ensuring security in women’s spaces.

Google Form registrations certainly do not amount to character screenings; thus, the University has no appropriate solution to this issue. At the college’s annual fest last year, the administration, as a security measure, made it mandatory for every male attendee to have a pass with a particular student’s name on it to ensure that they were invited by any of the students. Also, it was ensured that no guys entered the fest in groups. It’d be great if there was security present not just at the gates but inside the college, where a large crowd usually gathers, because that’s where fights usually break out. It would have been great if the University advisory came with a preface condemning the actions that took place not just at IPCW last year but what has been happening in women’s colleges almost every year. They need to realize that such incidents mostly just take place in women’s colleges because patriarchy allows men to feel entitled to women’s spaces and men fear other men, rather than respecting women as equal human beings.”

-remarked a student from Maitreyi College when asked about safety in women’s colleges ahead of the fest season.

A student from Indraprastha College for Women (IPCW) spoke about how the college’s environment has changed significantly since the unfortunate incident at last year’s fest.

The college administration, just like the administration in almost every DU college, loves to put the entire blame on the student body, despite the Student Council being a mostly performative entity in our college now. Since the college is busy with its centennial celebrations, we are not even sure if the annual fest ‘Shruti’ will even take place this year. The advisory issued by the University just goes on to show that the onus of protection is always going to be put upon women rather than holding the perpetrators accountable. Despite there being extensive measures like Google Form registrations and screening of bags at the gate, they were certainly not enough to prevent overcrowding and its aftermath. Our college did not have enough security to handle such a large crowd, and sadly, it took the University that incident and many more past occurrences in women’s colleges to even issue an advisory, which was also the bare minimum, to say the least.”

Thus, the question is: are women’s colleges even equipped with effective security ahead of the fest season, or is just locking up women and not questioning the root cause of the problem, which is patriarchy, going to be the immediate response from the administration in most colleges? 

Read Also: Who Protects Our ‘Safe’ Spaces?

Featured Image Credits: Hindustan Times

Gauri Garg

[email protected] 

 

In the dynamic and competitive landscape of the professional world, internships stand as the gateway to a transformative and enlightening experience for aspiring professionals. The journey from academia to the workforce is often paved with uncertainties, and internships emerge as a crucial stepping stone that not only bridges the gap between theory and practice but also opens doors to unparalleled learning and growth.

We are about to embark on the mid-year crisis part of college life now. First-year students who have just gotten the jist of college life will now start wondering about hopping onto newer opportunities other than college societies; second-year students will go down a spiral of dread wondering how time flies and that they are so close to graduating; and third-year students will do anything in the world just to add more things to their CV. The answer to all these people’s quests will be internships. Here’s the perfect guide to deciding what might work best for you:

If we lived in a utopian world where we had endless amounts of time and people did things only for the experience and new adventures, I’d ask you to do internships for the sake of it. But let’s be real: nobody has the time to add extra things to their already busy schedule just for fun unless it benefits them in the long run. To put it simply, think about your life goals. If you are someone who will start looking for a job after graduation, an internship will surely help you. College internships don’t give you a lot of exposure, but they do make you familiar with a “work environment” and get you connections with some of the renowned names in the industry. If you wish to pursue a postgraduate degree, then, depending on what discipline you master, you can decide if you should spend time at the graduate level on internships or allocate that time to preparing for competitive exams. Most people who go for CAT consider it necessary for applicants to have internship experience. Many colleges, especially foreign ones, include a stipulated work experience requirement for applicants. It is often hard to pinpoint right now the job that you are sure to love in the future, but I have found it helpful to at least eliminate options that you are not at all inclined towards. It helps to narrow your horizons and helps to get a clear understanding of your interests.

When you are working as a full-time employee, the company needs you as much as you need it. But the paradigm shifts in the case of interns. Interns find themselves needing the company a lot more than it needs them. Interns can be easily replaced by anyone from the hundreds of others seeking that position, willing to work for free. Thus, the demand for a stipend, however meagre, is always silenced in exchange for the value the intern adds to the company. Most internships are unpaid, and while the prospect of them doesn’t seem very attractive, some of them might be worth it. Internships at startups usually offer excellent work environments, but the work may be a little overbearing at times. Since the people at startups are closer to your age, they tend to understand your situation better and offer a curated, personalised work environment for you. An internship at an NGO is one for a great cause, but it has the worst clauses. NGOs require your physical availability, and most of the work there is based on networking and social media content creation. The work undertaken by NGOs is fueled by an unwavering dedication to altruism, a selfless devotion that transcends personal ambition. The most popular unpaid internships are government internships, and the chance of anyone getting in is minute because they are open to students across all colleges for all years. However, they are known to shine the brightest on anyone’s CV. The idea here with both government internships as well as internships at big companies is that they’ll filter you out from a series of rigorous rounds and interviews, and at the end of the day, internships do not matter as much as where you intern does.

After you have figured out which type of internship suits you best based on time constraints, interest, and pay, it’s time to start looking for one! The first place for you to go is your own college’s placement cell page. Here, you are bound to find one that might work for you, plus if this is your first internship, it will be easier for you to navigate through the recruitment process with the help of the people from your college. If you have a particular company or organisation in mind, you’ll have to be on the lookout for their posts on LinkedIn as well as their other social media handles. There are some apps and websites like Internshala and LetsLearn that have a great set of opportunities for students and also assist with CV and resume building. All year long, volunteering opportunities are offered by organisations such as PETA, UNESCO, and others that provide internships in event management and outreach programs. Many YouTubers would also tell you a hack to email your resume and cover letter to any organisation and gaslight them into thinking that they did put out an internship opportunity and you’ve sent in your response. I’m not sure if that has ever worked for anyone, but what’s the harm in trying?

Internships play a pivotal role in shaping the professional journey of college students. Beyond providing a first-hand glimpse into the workings of industries and companies, internships offer invaluable opportunities for skill development, networking, and personal growth. They bridge the gap between academic knowledge and real-world application. What sets apart a “good” internship opportunity from another is how well-suited it is for the individual. The idea of an internship is to give you a chance to experiment with the real world, and if you don’t allow yourself to fail, no internship can ever be worth your time. So, breathe in, breathe through, breathe deep, and breathe out!

You got this!

Read Also: Unpaid Internships: Are they Worth it?

Image Credits: People Matters

Saanvi Manchanda

[email protected]