Last year was my first year in college and as the elections approached, I started to root for that holiday that all my friends were getting. The election day holiday. But my bubble burst when I realized that my college is not a part of Delhi University Student Union (DUSU). I study in Indraprastha College for Women, yet another all-girls college which is not a part of Delhi University Student Union (DUSU). So election time for us is just like any other time, dull and drab with no new excitement. It’s the same old life of everyday. In spite of being located in North Campus, all we get to do is hear about how alive other colleges are- campaigning, rallies and demonstrations- and not get to see it. Nobody is shouting slogans or bribing us to vote for them, no graffitis and no agenda fliers littered all over, nothing.  We completely miss the election hullabaloo that happens in most other colleges. We’re never a part of any election scandal! No candidate barges into to our college and (to our major disappointment) disrupt our classes or create a commotion! And the worst part, we do not get a holiday on the election date. We have regular classes throughout the day since we don’t have to go and vote. We miss being a part of one of those DU cults that define it.

What we don’t miss is well the hooliganism that is rampant during this time, mobs, fights, eve teasing and the likes of these. We all saw the extremities it could go to when a girl was molested during a rally. I guess this is why all girl colleges abstain from being a part of DUSU. Better safe than sorry, but safe is sure boring! We feel rather left out and it’s not like people spend that holiday voting, they have fun, we don’t even get to do that. So it’s just really sad! There are too many disadvantages and not enough advantages to balance it out. But let me make one thing clear, it is not about who wins to represent us; it’s the whole experience that is worth having which we are deprived of.

So, where is the democracy which everyone claims to live in and how come we don’t get our adult suffrage rights?

Migration, the process by which a student can change his/her college within the University while not having to repeat a year of education, is a boon for meritorious students who might have not made it to their college of choice initially. Before 2011, migration was a clearly stated policy in most college brochures/handbooks and the practice was fairly common.

Come 2011 and enter the semester system. The migration policies suddenly go off the records; it does not find a mention in any college prospectus. The reasons offered in hushed tones is that colleges doesn’t want to complicate an already complex scenario by working out how a student would migrate through semesters, and how marks would be carried forward and how the conflicting optional-papers system would be worked out.

This however, does not imply that migrations are disallowed. There exists a file in the DU website, a file record of an amendment to Ordinance IV, relating to migrations. It clearly states that migrations are still allowed, and can now even occur across universities (as per new rules)! The rules more or less remain the same as before.

The policy change has puts questions before us : why is migrations being down-played by the University? Why is it so that our correspondent, who visited the SOL for migration, is told “There are no migrations allowed as of date, we shall let you know if there is a change in policies.” Why is so that staff members in various North Campus colleges where we reached out either refuse to comment or state that migrations are disallowed?

The dean’s office at the University says that the website needs to be updated and that colleges do allow migrations. This statement comes amidst reports that the last date to apply for migrations (as found out from college sources directly) at Hindu College and GGS College are already past. For the immediate attention of interested students, Khalsa College, among a possibly larger list, is still accepting applications!

Being a government-funded university, it is of paramount importance that transparency is followed at all levels. Delhi University should take steps to make information available at all levels. Migrations are an across-the-University issue and require immediate attention as far as updating the website is concerned. Colleges also need to work keeping student’s welfare in mind. Difficulty faced by colleges in admitting migration students indicates a flaw in the system for which a meritorious student should not be penalized.


Arnav Das
[email protected]

Photo credits: Additi Seth 

Graphic Credits :- Sahil Jain

Every passing year, securing admission in good colleges is getting tougher and tougher. Not for everyone though. If you happen to belong to any of the numerous communities deemed to be underprivileged (SC, OBC etc), all the skill that you’ll require is that of correctly filing a form.

The reservation system has received fervent criticism from all corners but can a country which has historically discriminated against certain minority groups afford not to provide them with opportunities for bettering their status? Or is it that reservations are the wrong way to go about uplifting minorities.

This week, Juxtapose sets the jury out on whether the reservation system is good for the country as a whole. So what are you waiting for? Scroll down and voice your opinions.

Juxtapose: Are reservations in colleges justified?
Show of Hands:
Justified: 2
Not Justified: 8
The Arguments:

1. Thangchungnung Mangte, Not Justified
I do have a great respect for the founding fathers of our constitution and their empathy towards the underprivileged sections of our society who were discriminated and exploited for hundreds of years. However, if we want to help those people to be able to grow and improve their condition, the very basis of granting reservation should be on the basis of a person’s economic condition. Giving reservation to a caste, tribe etc. will only help those, who are already doing well. A poor dalit or a tribal hardly gets to use the benefit of reservation granted to his/her tribe or caste and instead it is used more by the sons & daughters of, let’s say for example, an IAS officer.

2. Vikas Jaipuria, Not Justified
The ideal situation should have been: Merit alone triumphs! Having sat on a hunger strike when I was in class 8 in AIIMS when this debate broke out in 2006, I have seen the agitation from close quarters. This is a paralytic policy decision, which is far from the principles of equality espoused by our constitution. Sure the weaker sections and minority should be uplifted, but providing reservation in higher education is not the correct means. The government should have created better infrastructure in primary/higher secondary schools in small towns/backward areas. It should have extended the benefit of its social schemes by bringing more OBC’s/SC’S/ST’s under its net. The true effects of this paralytic decision is more evident in DU – OBC’s/SC’s/ST’s from well of families are sitting in top colleges with less than qualifying marks, while hard working students of General category who slogged their ass in class XII are precluded admission (even if they fall short of cutoff by a small whisker!). And we all know in a country like ours where bribing public officials is a cakewalk, no wonder you can get yourself made a fake SC/ST/OBC certificate.

3. Ankita Mukhopadhyay (LSR), Justified
When Dr. B.R Ambedkar formulated the Constitution, little did he foresee the uproar that his policy of reservation for minorities would create once education and literacy became a prime concern for most households in India. I think reservation for minorities is justified, provided there is an income bracket to justify their need for reservation. Reservation has come into the limelight today because of the UPA government’s policy to give preference to the minorities in order to garner more votes. The issue of reservation shouldn’t be a politically contentious issue; it should be more of a moral issue.
People belonging to the Scheduled castes and tribes are still discriminated against today in the villages, and even if a person belonging to the SC/ST or OBC category manages to break the mould and succeed in the corporate segment or any other sector, he/she is always looked down upon by the general candidates as an academically weaker peer. I agree that there are many general category candidates out there who lose out on a seat because of reservation, and economically backward general candidates face a bleak future due to no government support for them, but we should also look into the historical origins of this caste problem. The government should change its policy, and instead of demarcating lower cut offs or marks for SC/ST and OBC candidates, they should evaluate them on an equal level, barring only the fact that they have a quota for themselves. One should look for a solution to the problem, not ponder over it needlessly. We should learn from our forefathers and not continue repeating the mistakes that they committed hundreds of years back.

4. Riddhi Dayal (Sri Venkatswara College), Justified
I think reservation was a justifiable means to be used in the scenario of the caste-system in India, and many people have actually benefited from the same. Therefore, to completely write-off reservation is unjustified. Many students had a problem with the fact that General Category seats would be reduced in number due to reservation, however, that was taken care of by the court order that stated that the total number of seats would be increased to incorporate reserved seats while keeping General category seats constant. Thus, I don’t think its really a big deal.
However, I’d like to clarify that I don’t believe reservation should be continued indefinitely. As with all policies, it should be in practice till one reaches the stage of emancipation of the downtrodden and then be discontinued.
The Verdict: Reservations are neither justified nor beneficial.


Huge crowds. Incessant singing and slogan raising. Raised voices. Loud invitiations to draw in the audience. A rampant air of festivity.

If you’re in DU and you notice an event with the above characteristics, then make sure you stick around. For what you’ll eventually witness will be a fine piece of street theatre performed by enthusiasts and concluded with a message meant to mobilize the youth.

Street theatre in DU is usually performed by the Hindi Dramatic Societies. However there are also a few groups which function as separate societies dedicated solely to this form of theatre.

Street theatre is largely devoted to addressing social and political concerns. Society today is witnessing widespread internal and external crises. From terrorism to communal riots to a wholesome political paralysis, the country is plagued with numerous evils. Hence it’s commendable that students of the university take it upon themselves to spread necessary awareness through a medium which shall reach the largest audience.

The street play societies also have the most amount of fun, aays Samriddhi Kukreja, Vice president of Kahkasha, JMC, “We have these sessions where we aim at making the voice of each member reach its highest frequency. So the whole group repeats “anna” and each time the frequency increases. Also, we want each of us to be comfortable with words that would otherwise make jaws drop. For instance, we have sessions where each member is expected to say “condom” really loudly. So these are some the fun things we do.” Various events last year saw the JMC girls perform on the much controversial theme of “homosexuality” and receive significant appreciation.

Besides JMC, Venky has Anubhuti which has been in existence since the last eight years and has immense popularity to its credit. St. Stephens has Shakesabha, Miranda’s Anukriti is popular for its signature human pyramid and Khalsa’s Ankur have been extremely instrumental in raising awareness.

The most reputed of all is Verve, The Street Play Society of the College of Business Studies. Last year their Annual Theatre Festival, Manthan, got a lot of colleges together to perform street plays in government schools and public places.

The street play culture ensures that even while you’re having fun, you’re getting across important messages to the society. Surely it’s a combination well worth exploring!

With most of the society auditions over this week, we bet you have already been inducted in some or the other society in your college. I’m sure you feel proud when you announce that you got through the Dram Soc or the Chereo Soc or the Western Music Soc or Shakesoc for that matter. Well, here we do not plan to go on about how good and happening all these well-established societies are. However, what we are definitely looking at is the availability of other lesser known sports and activities in most of the DU colleges. So, here goes:

Hansraj College: Has a well equipped electronic shooting range even though not many shooters are there in the college. Also, one can get admission in a premium college like Hansraj by the archery quota. Besides, the Economics Department has a Yearbook committee of which students can be a part of.

Lady Shri Ram College for Women: The LSR NSO boasts of quite a few unusual sports such as Judo, Archery and Shooting. However the most curious one would be Equestrian sports. The catch with it is that for this sport one is expected to get one’s own horse and practice on one’s own premises. The college has one of the few elocution societies in DU. The extraordinarily high number of journals taken out by departments or the college itself is also a unique aspect of LSR.

Jesus and Mary College: Another surprising and rather welcoming change from the conventional Cricket, Basketball and Tennis is the BASEBALL team in JMC. It certainly has a whole lot of participation from the students. Well, all we can say is, Why should boys have all the fun?

St. Stephen’s College: A few of the lesser known societies are Cine Club (members of which critically analyse educational films and documentaries), Bazam-e-Adab (which explores various genres of Urdu Literature and organizes Shayari sessions for students), Wodehouse Society, Gandhi Study Circle, Bengali Literary Society and Kooler Talk which was recently mentioned by Shashi Tharoor in his article.

Hindu College: The fact that DU students lead in new trends and dressing sense is exemplified by the Fashion Society in Hindu. Seems like this society is pretty popular and witnesses good amount of participation from the youngsters.

Miranda House: Talking about unconventional sports and activities, in Miranda we come across unconventional names of various clubs. The Consumer Club of Miranda is called Pula and the Environment Club is called M.H. Vatavaran.

Indraprastha College for Women: Also has archery as a sport.

Looks like Delhi University is no where behind other universities in giving tremendous opportunities to the students who have unconventional and refreshing tastes.

1. Use the loos at Barista/CCD/Whatever Random Coffeehouse Bagged That Prime Real Estate Near Your College. In the event that you start feeling guilty about the fact that you’re using their facilities without buying anything, remember this: they’re charging you 50 bucks for a cup of coffee with cream.

2. In the likely event that the urinals in your college don’t have partitions (or had partitions that were stolen and sold off in the lucrative granite chor bazaar) remember to follow the ancient Code of the Samurai with the Small Bladder: Rule 1: Look straight ahead. Rule 2: Look STRAIGHT ahead. Rule 3: This never happened.

3. Hold it in and distract yourself by fantasizing about Jessica Alba/George Clooney/ Both if you’re into that kind of stuff. Alternatively you can perform certain exercises involving stamping feet and pumping hands if you don’t mind the entire class thinking you have an epileptic fit.

4. You can train yourself using a combination of Zen meditation and Israeli military training to only have to go once between solar eclipses. This may or may not involve a 3 year coma, but it’ll be hard to distinguish from actually sitting through a history class.

5. You can use a number of drugs to trick your body into believing that it has no larger intestine. This may result in a few unpleasant side-effects such as your lungs turning into jelly but that’s just one of the hundreds of the trade offs you have to make in life.

Over the years, Delhi University hasn’t exactly won accolades when it comes to infrastructure in the colleges. Freshers don’t expect much, and soon, like the old students, acclimatize to the infrastructure, or the lack of it. However, it seems that all this is going to change. Various colleges have begun to plan and implement various new projects to give a boost to the infrastructure in the academic session. From Wi-fi enabled campuses to snazzier sports facilities, improved hygiene conditions to better security around campus, Delhi University certainly seems to be on a revamp drive. While the over all atmosphere in the university is one of satisfaction, the occasional murmur of complaint cannot be ignored. DU Beat did a survey on the emerging face of DU.

The Sri Ram College of Commerce seems to be leading this change as it is the first college in DU to have started computer based learning in the classroom with the teachers using laptops and projectors to conduct classes. Says, Professor S. K. Aggarwal, “This new way of teaching is extremely convenient. It is easier to explain and easier for the students to understand as visual aids leave an impact.” The college has provided the laptops to the teachers at a subsidized rate. They are currently trying to tie up with companies like Dell and HP to extend this facility to the students. The students are very happy and welcome the change. Says Priyanka Bagai, a first year student pursuing Bcom honors in the college, “It’s a nice change and it saves a lot of time because now teachers don’t have to write on the black boards. Moreover, everything is there on the screen in the form of bullet points which makes it easier to understand.” The SRCC campus is also Wi-fi enabled and the classrooms are centrally air-conditioned, providing a comfortable classroom environment. Sri Venkateswara College is also making its Science block air-conditioned which they plan to extend to the Arts Block by next year.

The revamp drive is not just restricted to the classrooms. Some colleges have also renovated facilities like auditoriums and canteens that gives a facelift to the image of the college. The Hans Raj College Auditorium has been transformed from a decrepit building to a beautiful hall, which is fully air-conditioned. The auditorium, which wasn’t much to write home about, is now a source of pride for the students.

Hans Raj College, reputed for its brilliant sports infrastructure can boast of having the only electronic shooting range in DU to help hone the sport that has fetched India medals in the Olympics. Another boost to the sports infrastructure will be given by the construction going on for the commonwealth games. SRCC, along with other colleges like Hindu College and St. Stephen’s college in North Campus, has been the center for construction for the Commonwealth Games projects. Various sites have been dug up in north campus, which are to be the sites for the Aquatics Complex and for Rugby events. The University will be allowed to use the facilities after the Games. This will provide world-class facilities for the budding sportspersons in DU.

With sports facilities being adequately taken care of, the question on many students’ minds is that will basic facilities like toilets be given similar treatment. Now some colleges are beginning to look into this matter. The washrooms have been renovated in Miranda House and Hans Raj, much to the relief of the students there. Says a student of Hans Raj College, “The toilets were in a pathetic state and were generally frequented by the dogs in the college more than us. The stench used to be unbearable and they were used as a last resort. Renovation was long overdue.” Not only have they been made clean and hygienic, they have been given a swanky new look, which the students find very appealing. However, students from Sri Venkateswara College, Hindu College, Shaheed Bhagat Singh College have expressed their displeasure with regard to basic hygiene conditions in their college. On conditions of anonymity, they have that the problem with toilets is particularly bad as they are filthy and stink. Moreover, it is reported that there is a problem with the water taps as well, as some of them are dry, while some do not turn off and thus inundate the surrounding area with water

The death of a class twelfth student in a posh south Delhi school due to the alleged lack of medical facilities should draw attention to the fact that many colleges on campus face a similar problem. Many colleges on campus don’t have any sort of infirmary or a medical room. The few that do don’t have a trained doctor manning it. Take Jesus and Mary College for example, where the nurse nurse also doubles as a storekeeper. Lady Shri ram College is one of the few colleges where there is a medical room with a trained nurse in attendance. Reputed colleges all over the University do not have such facilities. If they do, none of the students are aware of it, which defeats the whole purpose of the room. Students from St. Stephen’s College, Hindu College, Miranda House, Hans Raj College, Sri Venkateswara College and many others were unable to confirm whether their college had such a facility, let alone provide details. Many a time, students requiring medication for some minor ailment have been unable to find it within their colleges

On the whole, the infrastructure situation in the University has ameliorated, drastically. Even as these measures are being perceived as a definite step in the right direction, but some students feel DU still has a long way to go.