Day one of Genderknowledge – the Academic Congress organized by Lady Shri Ram College for Women – started this morning with the welcome address by the Principal Dr. Meenakshi Gopinath, who set the stage beautifully for the day to progress. She spoke about notions of gender, violence against women, queer politics and ended with a few verses of the beautiful poem titled Silence by LSR alum Anasuya Sengupta.

Kamla Bhasin gives the keynote address.

After this, the audience was floored by Kamla Bhasin, renowned feminist and founding member of Jagori NGO, who touched upon so many issues so beautifully in so little time – she quoted a German feminist saying ‘’Women are the last colony, all others have been liberated.’’ She spoke of the male point of view which is the crux of every institutionalized structure we see today, focusing especially on religion and the idea of a masculine God. She then moved on to talk about the capitalist patriarchies we live in today, and the usefulness of the sex gender distinction in understanding these. She also explained other axis of power along which patriarchy operates – caste, class, religion – all of which could not function without patriarchy and control over women’s sexuality and reproduction. The solutions she gave to these problems were inspiring and overwhelming all the same – her spirit itself gave the entire auditorium the will to fight the system, and the song she sang and the slogans she recited (“hum abla se sable banenge saathi’’ and ‘’sun lo ab sab baat humari, ab din humara, raat humari, bus humari, train humari’’) were on everyone’s lips.


The next address was by Kirin Mehra-Kerpelman, LSR alum and the Director of the UN Information Centre for India and Bhutan, who read out the special message sent by UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon on account of the upcoming Women’s Day. The General’s Secretary’s address raised issues of productivity and its inherent links with women’s empowerment.


This was followed by a performance by Dr. Maya Krishna Rao – an eminent theatre personality, teacher and performer, who performed her piece created post December 16th called The Walk. The standing ovation she got after did more justice to her performance than words could ever be capable of. Later in the day Dr. Nivedita Menon said that Dr. Rao’s performance expressed beautifully how we need not to lead, but to walk together in this fight against patriarchy.

The release of a survey done by the LSR Statistics Department took place next by Kamla Bhasin and Rebecca Reichmann Tavares. The survey, which was on gender perceptions among college students again, gave some interesting perspectives on how most of us see, live and breathe gender in our everyday lives.


The morning session then concluded with an enlightening panel discussion called ‘Yeh gender vender kya hai’ with Shivani Kapoor, LSR professor, moderating the panel of Dr. Nivedita Menon (renowned feminist and professor at JNU), Dr. Rebecca Reichmann Tavares (UN Women’s Representative for India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka) and Sunita Dhar (Chairperson, Jagori). Each speaker approached the question in different ways – speaking of how urban governance and policy planning is effecting women and creating gendered spaces to problematizing notions of gender, social constructions, masculinity and femininity. (Check our liveblog for more details)

Image Credit: Sahiba Chawdhury

The afternoon session started with a panel discussion with Vrinda Grover (human rights lawyer and women’s rights advocate) and Jagmati Sanghwan (AIDWA) moderated by LSR Professor Megha Dhillon. They ‘Unpacked’ the Bill of Rights given by the Justice Verma committee and spoke of their own experiences of working with the gendered and obviously patriarchal Indian state.


The day ended with a multi media experience in the form of a musical reading of Jorasanko – a book by Aruna Chakravarty on influential women in the Tagore Household. The reading focused specifically on the lives of Jnanandini and Kadambari Debi, and ended with the tragic suicide of the latter, who was also the first person to recognize Rabindranath Tagore’s flare for poetry.

Lady Shri Ram College For Women is set to begin their Academic Congress titled “Genderknowledge: Understanding Gender: Questions of Justice and Freedom” on 5th, 6th and 7th of March 2014.

The academic congress started its buzz with “Pre-Academic Congress” events and workshops conducted by various departments of the college.

Body Image Workshop at LSR

Mirror on the Wall: Am I the Loveliest of them All?
Dr. Kanika K Ahuja, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Lady Shri Ram College for Women conducted a body image workshop, ‘Mirror on the Wall: Am I the Loveliest of Them All?’on 28th February as a pre-event to the academic congress.  It was an experiential workshop that challenged popular notions of beauty and the ideal body. A striking feature of the workshop was the Mirror Assignment, which required the participants to stand in front of a mirror, observe themselves and write down at least 6 positive qualities about themselves. In the words of Neha Yadav, a second year student, “It made me appreciate those qualities that I normally don’t care enough to notice.”

One Directional Woman and the Feminization of Labour
Dr Nandini Chandra, Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Delhi University, in her session titled, ‘One Directional Woman and the Feminization of Labour’, succeeded in giving a new perspective to feminism. Quoting from important Hindi texts like ‘Naukar ki Kammez’, she expressed the power dynamics that earlier worked, and still prevail in the bourgeois Indian families. In a society that exploits both men and women, she discussed how men are counted as ‘living labours’, with specified working hours and holidays while the women are treated no more than ‘dead labours’, machines that have to work endlessly. This was followed by an interactive question and answer session where Dr. Chandra engaged with the students and faculty.

Workshop on Sexuality
The Political Science Department hosted a workshop on “Sexuality” on 1st March. The workshop was conducted by CREA (Creating Resources for Empowerment in Action), which is a feminist-human rights organisation based in New Delhi. It is one of the few international women’s rights organisations based in the global South, led by Southern feminists, which works at the grassroots, national, regional, and international levels. The workshop focused on the sexual and reproductive rights of women and investigated the links between sexuality, rights, gender and health and their interface with socio-cultural and legal issues.

self defense
Image Credit: Meenakshi Pahuja

Other academic congress pre-events include a “Self Defence Workshop” a five day workshop facilitated by the Delhi Police and Ms. Meenakshi Pahuja from 3rd-7th March. On the workshop, Ms. Pahuja says, “The purpose of this workshop is to empower young women especially those who travel alone in Delhi. Our aim is to emancipate women to at least help protect themselves if they are unable to help others.”

On 3rd March, the Journalism and Mass Communication Department organized an interactive session with women journalists of “Khabar Lahariya”, an Indian newspaper published in certain rural dialects of Hindi, including Bundeli and Awadhi. This session was facilitated by Nirantar, which trains and provides ongoing support to rural women journalists publishing the Khabar Lahariya newspaper in local languages.

Khabar Lahariya
The Journalism department hosts a session with women journalists of Khabar Lahariya.

The pre-congress event schedule also boasts of a creative touch to the conference with “Occupy Wall Street” where we will display graffiti art work of the students on the theme of the congress.

With that the pre-events came to end on 4th March with parallel sessions of a special lecture by Professor Jayanti Ghosh on ‘Gender and Globalization’, screening of Jai Bhim Comrade’ followed by discussion with Anand Patwardhan and ‘Paper Presentation on Gender and Sports’ by Meenakshi Pahuja.

Jayanti Ghosh concluded her talk stating, “I always enjoy coming to Lady Shri Ram College. It is always nice to interact with an intelligent bunch of girls who make me feel positive about the future.”

Patwardhan’s analysis of caste on the other hand helped reflect the gendered caste nature setting a theme for the “GenderKnowledge” with special mentions like the brutal Khairlanji Rape Case.

Bilingual knowledge was also witnessed with a Special Lecture by Dr. Kanchana Natrajan on “The Question of Gender in Hindi Literature” giving a perfect prelude to the academic congress.

The pre-events ended with the declaration that the United Nations Secretary- General Ban Ki-Moon will be sending his message of solidarity through Ms. Kiran Mehra-Kerpelman, Director of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) tomorrow for the Gender Congress on the occasion of International Women’s Day!

Abhyas, the Internship Cell Of Hindu College organised the Hindu Youth Summit’s conference on February 7, 2014 in the Delhi University conference hall as the final event of the three day summit which also comprised a marathon the day before.

With some of the most powerful and inspirational speakers from all fields, the conference saw a huge participation from colleges all over Delhi.

The guests at the event were, Times Now’s Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, retired major General GD Bakshi, spiritual leader Salim Phulekar, journalist turned social activist Alok Dixit and Olympic shooter Rajyawardhan Singh.

The summit started with Arnab Goswami’s speech on ‘Who has created the present day India?’ in which he talked about his own story of finding his voice as a journalist, the real journalism and he addressed the crowd as the generation which will bring the change in the country. His speech was followed by General Bakshi, who gave the young participants an insight to the Indian army, including the wars and the current situation of the same. The intense atmosphere was lightened by the next speaker, Salim Phulekar. He focused his discussion on the inner empowerment of the mind and body. “Empowerment is focus and relaxation at the same time.” He said continuing to talk about how one can balance the inner peace and outer dynamism.

The conference then moved forward to the issue of acid attacks and censorship of internet, by Alok Dixit. He talked about his Stop Acid Attacks and Spot of Shame campaigns where they actively work to make people aware about the acid attack survivors. “The society prepares the crime, the criminal commits it.” he said, while interacting with the participants.

The last speaker of the event, Rajyavardhan Singh, shared his journey of being a successful sportsperson from an army officer. While taking the questions from the audience, he advised the students to just believe in their dreams and have a purpose in their lives.

“I think this summit made me realise different aspects of everything that the speakers talked about,” said Navroz, a Miranda House student.

TED talks are famous all over the world for their inspirational and innovative messages. What makes the concept even better is that videos of these talks are available for anyone on the internet to see, for free!

A TEDx, or an independently organised TED event, is a localised version of TED talks. TEDxKiroriMalCollege was organised on Sunday, 2nd February 2014 at Patel Chest Institute. Despite a slight delay in the proceedings, the speaker sessions interspersed with TED videos kept the audience engaged. The host for the day, Kunal Arora did a splendid job of keeping the participants entertained with his questions and timely jokes. The list of speakers included quite a few DU graduates like Lokesh Madan, Ankur Warikoo and Shifu Kanishka Sharma.

The first speaker to take the stage was Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, a highly acclaimed social reformer, accredited with the success of sanitation projects like the Sulabh International. During his talk titled ‘Restoration of Human Rights and Dignity of Untouchables’, he elaborated on the various endeavours and projects he has undertaken to make ‘untouchables’ a part of mainstream society.

After that, Lokesh Madan, a corporate executive turned musician told the audience his story; how he started singing at the age of four, formed a band right out of school, gave all that up for a corporate career, and finally found his way back to music! His love for singing and the guitar was clear from his expression while he played a short tune from one of the songs his band Eka, had composed. His last bit of advice was to combine a dream with an idea on how to market it and how to manage it financially. A perfect blend of idealism and rationality!

The next speaker, internet entrepreneur and CEO of Groupon India, Ankur Warikoo took the audience through a story from his personal life aptly titled ‘From Crutches to 21 kms’. His talk traced his journey from being bed ridden after getting a ‘freak disease’ in 2011 and then having to use crutches, to his decision of running in the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon in 2013. The message that he left the audience with was, that fear is self imposed-if we can create it, we can conquer it, too.


Next to take the stage was Manit Rastogi an architect and School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) alumnus. His talk was centred on the concept of ‘The Architecture of Sustainability’, primarily talking about how, if buildings and structures are built correctly, they can be completely sustainable in terms of energy, water and electricity usage. He also talked about his proposed solution to many of Delhi’s problems (sewage treatment, pedestrian safety and pollution), all through design and architecture.

The session was followed by the screening of Harsh Bhogle’s TED talk on cricket in India. The video led to a discussion among the audience members regarding the effects of the IPL on the sport as a whole. Post the discussion, the group broke for lunch. Before the next set of speakers took the stage, Digvijay Singh from the KMC music society sang a Nusrat Fateh Ali song that was highly appreciated by the audience.

Next up, Dr. Sunil Mittal, a psychiatrist by profession, delved into the latest frontiers of neuroscience and shared concepts such as ‘shaping one’s mind and brain’ and Neuroplasticity, which proves that the brain develops all throughout the adult life.
Following him, Vaibhav Singh, a private equity professional delivered his talk on ‘How not to lose the ticket after winning the lottery’. It was an engaging presentation on the possibilities that India’s economy holds and how equity and capital can be channeled in a way that encourages growth.

Vinita Singh, the founder of We The People, talked about citizenship being a 24×7 job for all the citizens of a democracy like India. She equated the relation between citizens and politicians to one that is shared between employers and employees. In her words, ‘If they are doing a bad job, the main reason is that we are sleeping on ours!’


The next speaker, Timothy Wildgoose, a photographer who’s come to India for a crowd funded photography and videography project, spoke about the power of connections, presence, yoga and meditation. He also made the audience laugh with his rather accurate guide on ‘How to thrive in India’.

The final speaker for the day, and in my opinion the most awaited one, Shifu Kanishka Sharma, took the stage.  A martial arts trainer, he is the only Indian to have trained at the Shaolin Temple. His talk was very interesting (and slightly scary too!) as he demonstrated some quick moves and attacks on stage. He touched upon a few key lessons of martial arts and spoke of his mission to teach women’s self defence in a practical and effective way in India.

The day finished on a high note with the Organising Committee taking the stage. ‘TEDxKirorimalCollege started as a dream and each attendee and speaker was a part of it. This has been the best experience of my life’, said Ashutosh Bhardwaj, the Curator and Organiser of the event. Pallavi Jain, a student of Hindu College said, ‘TEDxKMC was the second TED event that I have attended and it was a Sunday well spent. My favourite speaker was Ankur Warikoo who narrated a personal anecdote coupling it so simply with subtle humour and an amazing video!’

Image courtesy: Blessjess Photography

After conferences with various VCs and Directors of numerous Universities in 2013, the Hon’ able President of India, Sh. Pranab Mukherjee interacted with the youth of nation on 7th January, via a video conference. The agenda of the meet was to extend New Year greetings and to highlight the importance of higher education in shaping the future of individuals and the country. The President delivered his message live across numerous centres of NIT Kurukshetra, IIT Bhubaneswar, NIT Rourkela, IIT Ropar, Punjab University and Delhi University to name a few with technical support from National Informatics Centre.

Over 1500 students, teachers and Principals of various DU colleges had gathered in the Convention Hall of Vice Chancellor’s Lodge, North Campus , as the summon began at 12 noon sharp. The conference began with the Dean of NIT Kurukshetra, welcoming the President, VCs, Directors staff and students to the video conference.


While the President opened by extending his best wishes for the New Year, he went on and enumerated the importance of education and its direct relation with development of citizens. He also brought to notice that none of the Indian universities featured any longer on the top 200 universities list of the world. Although in ancient times numerous universities like Nalanda, Vikramshila and Takshila had attracted knowledge seekers from across the world. The downfall was due to lack of research facilities and creative thinking in the country. He emphasized on collaborative efforts to increase research potential, internationalise education, and encourage meritorious students by scholarships. He pointed out that improvement in the physical infrastructure needed to be matched with dedicated teachers, passion to excel and apt human capital. According to him, this modern era, if ushered in, would open new avenues of growth and hence the institutes would move high in rankings which will lead to high morale, enhanced skills and upright citizens.


Addressing the teachers, he advised them to be inspiring, make students appreciate and explore the subject beyond discipline. He shared his definition of a ‘ responsible citizen’ – one with patriotism, compassion, integrity, tolerance and respect for his rights and duties.
“It was a wonderful experience to see what a great visionary like Mr. Mukherjee expected from us. It’s a great way to motivate the youth, for this hasn’t really happened before and is a message to other leaders to come forward too.” said Abhinn Khanna, second year DU student.

Zakir Hussain Delhi College, University of Delhi is organising a two-day national conference on “Challenges of Development: Re- Visit to Inclusiveness”. The conference is scheduled to be held on 4th and 5th of November 2013 in the College campus at Jawaharlal Nehru Marg, New Delhi.

Organised mainly by the Department of Commerce, the conference seeks to adjudge various government policies and its impact at ensuing equality and social justice in the society. The conference also envisages at evolving futuristic policies to forge ahead with a motive to correct the mal-adjustment cropped up in the society. The conference will address the need to foster a bridge between growth and social justice with the effective intervention of the state by providing more emphasis on equality over growth, between pro-capitalist economists and economists with a sociological background.

Corporate, academicians and research scholars can submit their papers for the conference. The deadlines for sending the abstract and the full length papers along with the registration fees are 10th August and 10th September 2013, respectively. The authors will be intimated about the acceptability of their papers by 30th September, 2013. Selected articles along with a souvenir and a proceeding will be published into a book.

Dr. M. A. Beg, the conference convener, tells that there will be a lot of activities like paper presentations and panel discussions during the conference. He added that panel discussions will be attended and moderated by professors and scholars from various universities like Himachal University. Accommodation for outstation participants will also be arranged at University Guest House/ International Students Hostel, University of Delhi besides being paid their to and fro travel fare. Best Paper award will be given for each session on the basis of credits earned in Paper Writing Skills and Paper Presentation Skills.

The Conference will be dealing in sub-themes like Sustainability and growth, FDI and growth, Education and growth and Poverty and growth with a focus on trickle-down effect and Pareto optimality. The Conference aims to yield substantial addition to the existing stock of knowledge through various intellectual deliberations during the conference.