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Delhi University’s (DU’s) St. Stephen’s is set to provide short-term courses on Public Policy and International Relations, and other disciplines.

On 12th January, Saturday, St. Stephen’s  College of the Delhi University launched a special centre, namely St. Stephen’s Centre for Advanced Learning (SCAL), for conducting certificate and advanced level courses across a variety of new disciplines. This includes a short-term certificate course on Public Policy and International Relations (PPIR).

An official statement said provided that the SCAL’s PPIR course is to be held over a period of six weekends at the College. It is designed so as to allow young graduates to gain a better understanding of the field, vis-a-vis, “how it is framed, theorized, formulated and implemented”.

The first batch of students for the same is highly diverse and comprises of entry-to-mid-senior level professionals from the fields of banking, development, consultancy, NGOs, politics, and healthcare. The course deals with a variety of topics including policy formation, development, and implementation, policy economics, international relations, international security and diplomacy, and more.

The official statement also suggested that SCAL will involve its intellectual alumni with vast experience and expertise in the said field, across Government Ministries, Departments, and Corporate boardrooms. This includes current and former ambassadors, bureaucrats, and leaders from various fields.

Shashi Tharoor, Congress Minister of Parliament (MP), Mani Shanker Aiyer, diplomat and MP,  and Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, are some of the listed resource persons for this course. An inaugural programme was hosted in the College for the same on Saturday during which an inaugural lecture was delivered by Tharoor.

Other discipline-specific courses have also been planned and announcements regarding this will be made soon on the College website, provided the official statement.

Feature Image Credits: Surbhit Rastogi for DU Beat

Aditi Gutgutia

[email protected]

Upon the directions of the Honourable Delhi High Court, DU’s SOL has formed a subject-wise committee to review the study material distributed to students. 

Since the beginning of this year’s odd-semester, the University of Delhi (DU) affiliated School of Open Learning (SOL) has faced many issues pertaining to admissions, curriculum and academics related fronts. 

In the most recent turn of events, the administration of the School has appointed a subject-wise committee to review the study material distributed to students as a part of their curricula. This move comes into the picture after the college administration had been addressed with complaints by the students that the material provided to them by the School, for their classes, was of poor quality and not reliable in terms of its content. 

Hence, upon the directions of the Honourable High Court of Delhi, a committee has been appointed by the institution to look into the matter. The court’s judgment had called for a review of the material. Earlier the court had also put a stay on the December exam to be held for over one lakh students currently enrolled at SOL. This year, the University converted SOL from the annual mode to the semester system and the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS). The administration has even formed a committee to address the grievances of the students enrolled under the CBCS. The committee will suggest remedies that need to be implemented. 

Students alleged that the study material was full of errors and most of it had been prepared by simply bifurcating the material that had been prescribed in the previous system of annual mode. The Krantikari Yuva Sangathan, which had led these protests against the study material has also affirmed the presence of errors in the same. 

Saurabh, a first year student of B.Com. at SOL says, “It is great that the SOL is finally taking steps to bring our studies back on track…things are still uncertain though.”

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Bhavya Pandey

[email protected] 

 

 

From 2021, University of Delhi (DU) is said to offer Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Environmental Science as per the approval received by the University Grant Commission (UGC). The course is set to create 144 undergraduate seats. 

The recent wave of environmental consciousness and the appreciation of environmental sciences worldwide has hit the University of Delhi as well. 

University Grants Commission (UGC) had given green lights earlier to the course, and now has decided to implement the same in colleges from the next year onwards.

Professor Radhey Shyam Sharma from the Department of Environmental Science, University of Delhi (DU) said, “Six colleges under the varsity have given the nod to implement the course while many others have shown interest.”

With soaring cut-offs, the dream of many to be part of University of Delhi is often broken, however, this course is said to generate over 140 seats. 

As the mathematics of it goes, each college out of the six, where the course has been passed to be implemented, is expected to offer at least 24 to a maximum of 32 seats for the course, which means that at least 144 new undergraduate seats will be created from the next admission cycle. The course further will be implemented to more colleges and will be the biggest addition in undergraduate seats since the past many years. 

Currently the Department of Environmental Science offers these course: 

  1. AECC-1 EVS, compulsory course in undergraduate courses which is a one semester, or six-months course. 
  2. M.A./M.Sc. Environmental Science 
  3. PhD in Environmental Science 

As per the UGC guidelines, structure of the undergraduate course will be: 

 The three-year course will have 140 credits spread over 26 papers. Students will have to pass eight electives and four ability-enhancement courses. Of the latter, two will be skill enhancement papers in the entire six-semester duration, as per UGC guidelines.

However, one big aspect of the implementation isn’t decided yet, which is the selection process. 

Admission to most courses is done on merit basis, as per the ‘Best of Four’ achieved by the students in their class 12th. It is necessary to include that subject which is sought for an honours programme, in the Best of Four.

For example, for admission in B.A. (Honours) Political Science, it’s imperative to have Political Science in your ‘Best of Four’, otherwise the candidate may suffer reduction in cut-off, as the 2.5% reduction penalty is imposed. 

However, this might not be possible in the case of B. Sc. (Honours) Environmental Studies since most schools do not offer the subject at class 12 level. The similar problem is faced by many students with Philosophy Honours, as philosophy isn’t tutored in many schools of Delhi, and CBSE in general.

Schools under the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) do not have Environmental Studies (EVS) even as an elective in their class 12 curriculum. And generally, most students in DU come from CBSE, than state boards. In DU Admissions 2019 as well, a total of 2.70 lakh students applied for admissions at undergraduate courses in DU, of which 2 lakh were from CBSE-affiliated schools.

Other that the best of four aspect, EVS is taught in many schools up to 8th class. This already troubles the students to reconnect with the AECC EVS Exam as being away from the subject for too long hampers their technical connect. Hence, it is important that in today’s age and time EVS should be recognised as a subject in CBSE first. 

Answers to many questions like whether there will be merit-based selection or entrance based, will EVS be needed in best of four? Will new professors for the course be appointed? remain yet unanswered. A formal notification is awaited. 

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Chhavi Bahmba 

[email protected]

 

With some serious facts staring at us in the face, how are our educational structures evolving to cater to the deteriorating mental health?

In a study conducted by World Health Organisation (WHO) late last year, we were made aware of some devastating facts. India is one of the most depressed countries in the world, over five crore people suffer from mental health disorders and we recorded one of the highest numbers of work-place stress cases. From the 21st century, problems faced by teenagers have changed from excess alcohol consumption and teenage pregnancy to bullying, stress, depression, and body image and self-esteem issues. Distorted ideas of productivity, social media platforms, social stigma attached to mental health have all contributed to this, but our textbooks give the idea that these problems simply do not exist. The content in books in school, colleges and Universities remains largely outdated.

Societies can prove to be a good medium in college to initiate change. They can go beyond being performing and competitive, to providing guidance and support to students who need it. The biggest risk attached to mental health issues is that they are not visible, and so, regularly meeting people, developing friendships, finding a confidante can help in reducing stress.

Nithya, the President of Friends’ Corner of Hindu College, explained the impact of the society and peer counselling, “One can be an effective, empathetic listener, and a great shoulder to cry on among their own peers. We strive to make the college more empathetic, by making them realise every person is fighting their own battles, and if you are struggling, you are not alone. Conversations and sharing can really help in making individuals realise how similar their thoughts, anxieties and worries are.”

The Friends’ Corner also has a Good Vibes tree in the campus for freshers, who expressed on different coloured sheets representative of different emotions, how they felt on their first day,  which was then put up on the tree. Beyond having discussions, group sessions, and a flagship event: ‘Mental Health Summit’, they also have a page called “Humans of Hindu” for people to share their life stories.

A cell or society working towards mental health can prove to be very beneficial for the whole college. It can begin with a small step of approaching your administration. Discussions and talks can take place on individual problems, mental health issues and the society, stigmas, therapy and support groups. In order to create a safe space, confidentiality becomes a key factor, so certain measures can be taken to ensure that members can have a medium to vent in privacy as well. The society needs to be run by dedicated and proactive students to prevent it from become an inactive society.

In no way does this cell or society take the place of a counsellor or therapist. The dire need for college counsellors still remains and needs to be stressed on. Most colleges either lack a counsellor or have a temporary one, often close to no student approach this largely unavailable counsellor, and the whole process goes in vain. But this (society) can become a facilitator in that journey of betterment. Furthermore, creating these spaces can also set a chain reaction in other colleges. With around 90 colleges in DU, the reach can be tremendous. One can also reach out to other colleges, like Hindu College, to know more about a mental health and counselling cell.

Recently what gained traction was the introduction of a six-month certificate course on Happiness in Ramanujan College. It is a free of cost course, for which forty-five students have already been enrolled. It will judge students based on their attendance, project and course work. This step sets precedence for other institutes to also follow its lead.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal introduced Happiness Curriculum till class eighth in all government schools. This pioneering step will tackle mental health problems from a young age, yet for now it stands the test of time.

While the reason behind mental health deterioration are many, it has been romanticised by shows and memes, further aggravated by our economy and job pressures, and absence of acceptance. When the recent budget came out, I anticipated whether our country would also take a step like New Zealand. In a revolutionary step, Prime Minister Jacinda Arden’s Well Being budget prioritised poverty and mental health. What cannot be ignored is that this issue creeps in through some crevices. Different steps are being taken, but more comprehensive and structural changes need to be brought by all bodies, including our University.

Feature Image Credits: The Central Digest

Shivani Dadhwal

[email protected]

The administration of the University of Delhi (DU) has announced that the course paper on Environmental Studies (EVS) will no longer be compulsory in the syllabi for undergraduate courses.

Due to continual protests, and with the subject recording least attendance out of any class for undergraduate courses, Professor Yogesh Tyagi, Vice Chancellor of the University of Delhi, in accordance with the Academic Council, has declared that EVS will no longer be a compulsory paper for undergraduate courses.

The changes in syllabi will be imposed from the 16th of August, 2019. A press release stated that the decision is being undertaken for the welfare of the students, in an attempt to mitigate the stress of the remaining core papers. The release also states that the administration understands the plight that the faculty of Environmental Studies may face due to this decision. However, the decision was taken by keeping in the mind the welfare of the students of the university’s undergraduate programs.

Though the varsity’s action is aimed towards making the syllabi more interesting and engaging for the students, the faculty of Environmental Studies is less than happy with the decision. Professor Vinod Thakur, from the department of EVS at Hindu College, says, “This is an absolute slap in the face. Not only is the administration using it as an excuse to lessen the number of faculty in our department as a ploy to battle budget cuts, it is also ridding the syllabi of an integral paper in a course.” Another professor from Miranda College said that it is thinly veiled propaganda by climate change deniers in the current Academic Council.

Students everywhere are celebrating the decision. Maitryee Ayyer, a B.A. (Hons.) Economics student from Daulat Ram College stated: “This decision is honestly godsend. EVS was my least favourite lecture to attend, and I struggled to meet my minimum attendance criteria each semester. I’m so happy that we’re finally rid of it.” However, not all students are behind the decision. A student from Lady Sri Ram College says, “I’m glad that the decision was introduced as a way to lessen the burden on students during exam season, but the university’s decision of taking such a drastic step to remove a paper that had been a part of the syllabus for years, and to use it as an excuse to introduce budget cuts in faculty is something I just can’t get behind.”

So far, the decision has been unanimously accepted by the student unions’ of various colleges like Hansraj, Kirori Mal, Hindu, Miranda, Ramjas etc. A union member at Kirori Mal said, ”Students have always complained about the compulsory attendance for EVS classes; now that it has been removed for good, the student union can all finally move on to more important issues.”

DU Beat tried contacting Assistant Professors Dr Chirashri Ghosh and Dr Abduul Jamil Urfy of the Department of Environmental Studies, but they were unavailable to comment.

Despite criticism, this decision shows that the University is taking measures to make its syllabi more engaging and acceptable to students.

Disclaimer: Bazinga is our weekly column of almost believable fake news. It is only to be appreciated and not accepted.

Feature Image Credits: Facebook

Shreya Juyal

[email protected]

Ramanujan College offers a six-month course in ‘happiness’ free of cost for undergraduate students, aimed at tackling rising stress.

The University of Delhi’s (DU) Ramanujan College is offering a free six-month certificate course for students in happiness. The course is being offered by the college’s School of Happiness which was inaugurated last year. Turned into a full-fledged morning college from Deshbandhu College, Evening in 2013, Ramanujan College, located in the heart of South Delhi is well-known for its promising infrastructure and top rankings.

The proposed certificate course has six components to its curriculum – community service, yoga and meditation, life skills, communication skills, personality development, and glimpses into our Vedas and spirituality which comprise to a total of a hundred points.

Under a memorandum of understanding with the Management Centre in Innsbruck, Austria, four meritorious students participating in this course will also be offered an opportunity to pursue higher education there, and two students will be selected for a student exchange program with them as well. Other incentives of pursuing this add-on course include Indian heritage-cum-educational tours, special certificates and a letter of recommendation for the students. Students would also be given relaxation in the attendance of regular classes in case they decide to take up this course.

In an interview with the Hindustan Times, the Convenor of the School of Happiness of Ramanujan College which is run under the College’s Centre for Ethics and Values said, “After workshops and seminars on the subject, we realised that students would benefit from a certificate course on the subject of happiness. Psychologists and members of our Applied Psychology department will interact with students and we have also partnered with NGOs to bring in instructors for the course.”

The College’s Principal, SP Aggarwal added, “The students want to learn new things. They come here from different regions to study and often there is a lot of stress. Even employers said that certain life skills like confidence,etc. were lacking in them,” while highlighting the importance of the course.

To enrol, students are required to fill up an online form and appear before an interview panel. The course will commence from 25th July 2019 in the college premises and the classes are scheduled to be held on Tuesdays, Thursday and Fridays from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM. More details regarding the procedure to apply for the course can be found on the college’s official website or by clicking on the following link – here

 

 

Feature Image Credits: Vaibhav Tekchandani for DU Beat

 

Bhavya Pandey

[email protected]

 

 

 

The University of Delhi is planning to start a new course on entrepreneurship from the next academic session i.e. 2018-19. The course will be a three-year degree program and will be called BBA Entrepreneurship.

The standing committee on academic matters met on Monday, 20th August 2018 and welcomed the proposal to introduce a course on Entrepreneurship. The course is yet to be approved by the academic council. It will be established under the Faculty of Applied Social Sciences and Humanities.

For admission into the course, there will be a three-stage procedure. The first round will be a national level entrance test, followed by a group discussion round as the second stage, while the last stage will include personal interviews. The entrance test will be designed to check the logical and quantitative reasoning of the students. During the course of study, the students will be expected to complete two internships and submit a dissertation by the end of the third year. The course will follow the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) and a total of 158 credits will be awarded to students completing the course.

DU Beat contacted Ms. Poonam Verma, Principal of Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies (SSCBS) who made this proposal. She remarked, “The course will start from next year. The academic council and executive council of the University will pass the proposal in  reasonable time so that the admission process can get started for the next academic session. Once we get the approval, we are going to get started with it.” She informed that the course will be first of its kind in the University. Ms. Verma also spoke about the two most sought-after courses in University of Delhi- Bachelors of Management Studies (BMS) and Bachelor of Business Administration in Financial and Investment Analysis (BBA-FIA)which are available in her college. The course, BBA Entrepreneurship, will start from her college if approved. She hopes that other DU colleges also welcome the course so that maximum students get the benefit. Ms. Verma also mentioned the incubation centre in SSCBS,  which could provide a progressive and comprehensive platform to the budding entrepreneurs.

The course aligns with the Delhi government and Central government’s initiative for skill development and entrepreneurship at academic and undergraduate levels. Currently, very few universities in India offer BBA Entrepreneurship and most of them are private institutions.

 

(With Inputs from TOI)

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Anoushka Sharma
[email protected]

 

 

As your initial classes begin, so does your fear and anxiety regarding your course. While having second thoughts about the chosen course is a common phenomenon amongst students, knowing how to maneuver through these doubts and uncertainties is important in order to extract the most out of the three years’ undergraduate programme in the University of Delhi (DU).

As the alarm clock resounds and a new morning invites you, your drowsy self gets up and gazes into the mirror. While you attend to your routine morning activities, your mind is shrouded by a cloud of perplexing thoughts.  College is the arena which beholds the foundations of your career. Hence, it is natural to feel minor pangs of anxiety about your chosen course and worry about your compatibility with the same.  However, you must not stress about these apprehensions,  since these are mere insecurities which will fade away very soon.

Every course offered by DU has significance, so don’t get jittery or plunge into a confused state of mind based on assumptions that your chosen course is not adequate or not good enough. Exhibit some gratification. Queuing up for admission in the sweltering and oppressive weather of Delhi to secure your seat in DU is an achievement in itself! Then why do these unwholesome thoughts come into your mind and engulf you in a bout of uneasiness? It is because you haven’t received clarity of your course yet.

The best way to acquire greater clarity would be to undertake some research and understand what exactly your subject of choice entails and what it has to offer.  You may also look for opportunities like internships associated with your field of study to get better insight into the same.

Here are a few points to bust the insecurities:

Research Extensively on Your Course

Thanks to the age of the internet, you will be able to gain access to many websites providing you the information required to conduct an extensive research on your course and the career prospects emanating from it.

Coordinate Your Future Plans With Your Course

Since it is your first year in college, don’t be too hard on yourself. While you don’t need to be ascertained about what you want to pursue in life,  you must start structuring basal ideas about how you can connect the offerings of your course to your areas of interest.

Experienced Faculty Across All Courses

If there’s one thing which makes Delhi University so great, it is the amazing and supremely qualified faculty brimful with years of experience and unparalleled expertise. Your teachers will be able to do away with your qualms once the classes begin and you delve into your syllabi.

Time Heals Everything

Last, but surely not the least, give some time to your course and to the other changes that you have encountered. As Leo Tolstoy would say, “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” Give it time as it is an inherent aspect of human nature to invariably take time before  adapting to something unfamiliar. So don’t be under the impression that you’re the only one skeptical about your course.  Once you take a few deep breaths, you will soon be able to comprehend what a privilege it is to get to spend three years in one of India’s most prestigious universities.

 

Feature Image Credits: Eflux Conversions

Avnika Chhikara

[email protected]

Amidst the enormous cut-offs and high degree of competition, the common dilemma that arises in the minds of most aspirants is choosing between the course and college of their choice.

While the brand value of a popular college may lure any student to settle for a less preferred course, the long term results may not prove to be desirable. According to experts, the stress factor, indecisiveness, fear of judgement or family pressure may push a student towards a door that he/she shouldn’t really open. It’s important to know that the curriculum is the same in each college, irrespective of their ranks. Even if the percentage secured isn’t enough to get enrolment in the desired college, there are still high chances of maintaining a good academic record in another one. The reason lies in the obvious fact that we tend to perform better in our areas of interest. College alone can’t help in establishing a successful career. While there is always another chance to go for a preferred college after this degree, the short term decision of choosing a less preferred course may lead to cluelessness and failures after the graduation period.

However, it is also important to note that in case of professional courses like engineering and law, good colleges open doors to better amenities and placement opportunities. Facilities like a well equipped library, labs, quality ambience and Internet access may provide a healthy competitive environment and help in personality development. For those who’re more into co-curricular activities, more opportunities in the form of societies and activities may be provided by some specific colleges. Also, for those who’re unsure about their course preference, taking a better college may prove to be more advantageous.

At the end of the day, it’s up to the student to decide what’s best for him, considering his strengths, weaknesses, interests, passions, dreams and aspirations.

Lovleen Kaur

[email protected]

Most people who take up History in college expect a lot from the subject. One can usually see enthusiastic first years say on the first day of college, “I want to do archaeology, hence I took up history”, “I like history as I love memorising dates”, and then one can also hear the clichéd line, “I want to crack the Civil services, hence I took up history”. Well, all first year history students should brace themselves for something completely different! History is not just about dates and wars, it’s a discipline that transcends all conventional notions of education. I am sure teachers must have already started giving out huge bibliographies to you all, which must have tired your wits out! It’s completely understandable, that after coming from diverse backgrounds and schools, you will find it difficult to initially adjust to the incessant xeroxing and fragmented readings. But like our NCERT and Frank brothers, we also have some base books for History (hons.), which will help you garner a good grounding in your subject. But the million dollar question is:  Which are the books that will help me sail my way through the first year? Don’t assume that I am creating a guide book list for all of you: this is just a preliminary guideline, to help you in your initial days through this indecipherable course called History (hons.) in Delhi University. The first honours paper: Ancient India, seems like a very difficult paper in the beginning, but one book will save everybody’s souls and studying time- ‘A History of Ancient and Medieval India: from the stone age to the 12th century’ by Dr. Upinder Singh (yes, she is Manmohan Singh’s daughter). The name of the book may sound daunting, but trust me; it is your bible in the first year. Not only will this book save you hours of reading through subsidiary readings, it is also an excellent resource for the section on Harappa. But at the same time, it is also quite inadequate for a lot of stuff, so don’t do the mistake of reading this book alone! You can also buy R.S Sharma’s ‘Ancient Past’ if you want (but for those people who are content with buying Upinder Singh: it won’t be much of a loss). But the real joy of Ancient India comes through reading up lots of stuff, so please do not miss out on that. The paper requires a lot of debate, so make sure you read up as much as possible, so that you can substantiate your paper with relevant arguments. The second paper: Social Formations and Cultural patterns of the Ancient and Medieval world (don’t worry about remembering the name, most of us forget it by the time we reach our third year), or popularly called, “Sofo”, can be cracked with the help of Dr. Amar Farooqui’s famous book (every student in DU reading history has read him once in their lifetime), ‘Early Social Formations’. This is undoubtedly the most comprehensive and detailed book on the subject. There is just one problem- in case your college teaches you Shang China, then the only person who can save you is K.C Chang. Otherwise, it’s Amar Farooqui all the way! And as for the qualifying paper: Hindi, life would have been so much easier without this paper wouldn’t it? The only guidance I can suggest is guide books. They will be enough to make you pass with a decent grade. The second semester will hopefully be less hard for you all, as by then you would have learnt to navigate your way through this course and of course your college! And above everything, there are always teachers and seniors to help you all out, so keep them on your reference list too!  ]]>