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Delhi Univeristy


The viability and details of online classes in Delhi University (DU) after a massive worldwide educational disruption due to COVID-19 pandemic, with insights into the pedagogues employed by professors in India and abroad.

As colleges across the world pivot online on very short notice, there are a host of complications — from laptops and Internet access to mental health and financial needs. According to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) monitoring, over 130 countries have implemented nationwide closures, impacting over 80% of the world’s student population. Several other countries have implemented localized school closures and, should these closures become nationwide, millions of additional learners will experience education disruption.

A combination of methods is being used by teachers of Delhi University to ensure that syllabus completion is done on time. Satviki, a student at Miranda House said that the professors are conducting classes using Zoom, as well as sending voice notes and PDFs on WhatsApp to students. Various readings and test syllabi are being continuously uploaded for the students to access. At Kamala Nehru College, an official notice has been released by the administration instructing teachers to mail e-content to the official college email id, from where it will be retrieved by the College’s computer staff and uploaded to www.knc.edu.in for students every day. Meanwhile, Priya, a History student at Miranda House raised the issue of the internet connection being a hindrance for students to access online classes. Students residing in places devoid of high-speed internet have trouble using apps like Zoom and Skype, an issue especially faced by students of Kashmir. Attendance, however, is accounted for in every online lecture- further raising the question of access.

While the practices described are commonplace for most universities in India and abroad; they do differ in terms of consistency of output, quality of learning and pedagogues being employed. Aarnav Gupta, a student of the City University of Hong Kong talks about the importance and technical achievement of the university in implementing the transition to online classes so well, “Few professors were impressed by the resultant learning outcomes of online classes and felt it was better than offline ones since students paid more attention in the former one. Also, universities across Hong Kong have subscribed to their students and teachers to the Zoom app, which serves as a great unifier when it comes to learning.”

Even though the focus can sometimes be on technology, tools, and logistics, Sean Michael Morris, from the University of Colorado, Denver, says that what is required from professors at this time is compassion. “The real skill required right now is sort of critical compassion, if you will the ability to look at the situation as it is. Figure out what’s going on, how you can operate within that, and how you can be compassionate in that as well.”


Featured Image Credits: LA Johnson for NPR

Paridhi Puri

[email protected]

This petition had been filed against the order, on 11th July, by a single judge dismissing the plea of the professors, challenging inclusion of Supreme Council members in the admission process.

The bench consisting of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar issued a notice to the Delhi University (DU), St Stephen’s College, its Supreme Council, its Principal and the University Grants Commission seeking their stand by 16th October. This comes after three professors filed a complaint against the inclusion of a member of the Supreme Council in the matters of selection of Christian students.

The Supreme Council is much more powerful than the governing body. It comprises of the clergy and members of Church of North India and also includes its nominees.

The petitioners — N P Ashley, Abhishek Singh and Nandita Narain — who are members of the college’s governing body were opposed to the alleged “interference” of the church in the admission process, claiming it was against the norms of the institute.

Including the Supreme Council would make the decisions of the governing body invalid, as it hold greater power and including its member into the selection committee could mean an unfair analysis of students who are selected. Merit would end up becoming secondary and faculty would have very limited say in the admission process.

The college that takes up its students through a rigorous entrance and interview engages in the same to filter out the most deserving candidates for the seat. This would not be possible if a Supreme Council member becomes a part as it would directly affect this process of selection.

According to their petition before the single judge, the Supreme Council, in a meeting held on 12th March, had decided to have an additional Christian member, nominated by it or the governing body, to be part of the interview panel.

(Extracts from Hindustan Times)


Featured Image Credits: Shawn Wilson

By Stephen Mathew

[email protected]

ABVP protests against fraud and nepotism in the admission process of a Ph.D./M.Phil. student and violation of UGC regulations by the Department of Political Science of the University of Delhi (DU).

Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) volunteers gathered at the Faculty of Arts and marched to the Department of Political Science on 18th October, 2019, for the second day of their protest against the administration of Political Science Department for the ongoing corruption, nepotism and violation of University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines in the admission process.

The Department of Political Science has allegedly conducted its Ph.D./ M.Phil. admissions without adherence to UGC regulations and University of Delhi statutes, resulting in favouritism and negligence of merit. ABVP has been protesting since the 17th October, 2019 against the fraud in the admission process in the Ph.D. of this Department, violation of rules and regulations of University Grant Commission, and favouritism in the admission process. According to the Press Release issued by ABVP, a group of Professors, who are ideologically intolerant of liberal ideas, they are denying admission to the meritorious students.

This protest has come after discrepancies in the 2019 admissions. Apparently, on 7th October, the list of the selected candidates was published. However, after two hours, it was removed and a new list was published. The only difference, it no longer had the name of a girl belonging to the Scheduled Castes category. The administration of the Department has not given the reasons for the removal of the name yet. Moreover, only 13 seats out of the 18 available seats were opened for admission.

Ashutosh Singh, State Media In-charge for ABVP, said to DU Beat, “We came to know through the students that the professors tend to give preference to their favourite students in the viva for the entrance exam, neglecting the ones who are also deserving. Last year it came to our notice that even the top ranking students of the entrance exam were not able to get admission after the viva. How is it possible for the top rankers to completely fail in viva?”

ABVP has asked the administration of Political Science Department seven questions regarding the inconsistencies in the admission process and has given the administration an ultimatum to answer their queries by Monday. ABVP claims to also have written letters to the Dean of Political Science Department, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Delhi and Vice President of India for this purpose. Apart from this, the ABVP volunteers have also placed the following demands:

  1. Make admission process to M.Phil./Ph.D. fair and transparent.
  2. The admission process must be centralized and time-bound.
  3. Admission must be conducted in adherence to UGC regulations and the University of Delhi statutes.
  4. All the seats offered by DU prospectus for Ph.D. intake should be fulfilled at the earliest by all the Departments.
  5. The number of seats for the research must be increased.
  6. Social Justice must be implemented in all its constitutional and legal dimensions.
  7. The UGC prescribed 70:30 ratio of written exam to viva-voce must be implemented with all its transparency.
  8. The examination process must be student-friendly and the bureaucratic red-tapism must be curbed.
  9. Steps must be taken to curtail the influence of Teachers’ politics on the admission process.
  10. Address the grievances of those students who have been denied admission on fraudulent grounds.

Siddharth Yadav, State Secretary, ABVP Delhi, said in the Press Release, “Administration of Political Science Department should not think that yesterday we were here only for a symbolic protest, we will continue our protest till the student interests are not secured. Our protest will turn into a revolution if the administration will not listen to our demands.”


Featured Image Credits: University of Delhi 

Satviki Sanjay

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The status of Eminence raises apprehensions towards the future and functioning of Delhi University (DU) under the threats of disintegration, privatization and excessive surveillance.

Just a month after the University of Delhi (DU) along with four other institutes, IIT Madras, IIT Kharagpur, Banaras Hindi University and Hyderabad University, was granted the status of Institute of Eminence (IoE) with the objective of achieving the stature of world class institute. The next step in ensuring this initiative was the signing of the trilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the University of Delhi, the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the Ministry of Human Resource & Development (MHRD), which was duly completed the previous day.

But this further aggravates the skepticism regarding the University getting under the purview of an irrevocable authorization which substantially raises concerns of disintegration, excessive surveillance and privatization of the University, in the name of ‘Autonomy’, ‘Eminence’ and ‘Increased Government Amenities’ in this status provided.

Further the implementation of the Draft New Education Policy (DNEP) timeline of 2020 in October 2019 itself by the University is concerning in itself, the timeline which has to do with the abolition of statutory bodies like Executive Council, Academic Council and Departmental Council / College Staff Council by the constitution of all powerful Board of Governors (BOGs).

This BOGs will also be unaccountable to the Academic Council or Executive Council and hence, will come directly under the Rashtriya Shiksha Aayog (RSA). To add on to this, the elected component will be terminated and will be replaced by nominated members from stakeholders, abroad the University with the provision of weeding out inconvenient element periodically.

The One Thousand Crore Rupees grant, which is to be sanctioned over a  period of ten years from the Central government comes at an expense of new jurisdictions under the BOGs and their matters which will also  be devoid of any critical scrutiny of Executive Council (EC), Academic Council (AC) and Finance Committee (FC). Interestingly, the IITs which are receiving grants under this scheme have till now received only Rs 48 crores in the last two years out of the total Rs 1000 crores sanctioned.

The crisis does not ends here, the creation of such a system under the status of Eminence, has severe repercussions for academia and academics as well. Apart from the BOG and RSA surveillance which will be left on its own terms of grants and maintenance very soon, this status will confine the parallel structure for DU when it is ought to receive the entire limelight and government patronage and expected reverse adulation.

The system will even make the institution appear as a worthless vestigial organ from which the government can turn its face anytime for its inevitable signing up MoUs with backed up private institutions to sustain itself. This autonomous parallel structure of Eminence will also legitimize the infiltration of faculties from outside the DU, by relegating the existing academics and professoriate to back benches or a second and third class citizenship in terms of employment and salary structure, as this all falls under the power of BOGs.

The BOGs will also have the power to decide differential salaries and individual compensation for its faculty within the same rank and scale, thereby cultivating an atmosphere of hegemony and prejudice. The variable pay structure and the non-accountability of the Board of Governors to Academic Council and Executive Council will turn this institution into a tyranny, with the Centre laden with the power.

Undoubtedly, the status of eminence can act as an instrument of decadence for the country’s prime public university, erasing the gap between the corporate funded educational institutions and government institutions that bear the charge of promotion of the marginalized communities.

It is even more disheartening to see that after hundred years of hard work, efforts and the ever growing prominence round the world, the status of Eminence rather than a helping tool of promotion & growth, is used to hinder the University’s growth, when the upliftment of young minds should be the government’s priority. It becomes really essential for the present authorities to stress on this matter and look for the most judicious alternative that suits the university, its students and faculty and administration themselves.


Featured Image Credits: DU Beat

Faizan Salik

[email protected]

At least 500 ad-hoc teachers of the Delhi University plan go on an indefinite hunger strike from Friday, January 4, to demand permanent jobs.

The long struggle of the Delhi University’s ad-hoc teachers continues as the protesters come to another boil to claim their righteous place in the system. Delhi University teachers protest to demand implementation of UGC regulations, revised allowances and pension, maternity leave, etc., outside VC office in New Delhi, India, on Tuesday, 1 January.

As reported by the Hindustan Times, Himanshu Singh, an ad-hoc teacher in the department of Economics at Satyawati College, said, “Most of us have been teaching for over 10 to 15 years. We think it’s reasonable to demand a one-time ordinance to absorb all 5,000 ad-hoc teachers into the university since we fulfil the requisite criteria prescribed by the University Grants Commission (UGC) and were appointed by a duly constituted selection committee.”

The announcement for the infinite hunger strike came after the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) observed a strike on Wednesday to protest against the university administration’s delay in resolving several issues, including implementing UGC Regulations 2018, the regularisation and absorption of ad-hoc teachers, and releasing monthly pension, among others.

Thinking about the present situation, according to existing provisions, the university has to adopt the 2018 UGC regulations by January 18 as well as frame ordinances for them. “To make the ordinances, an empowered committee was formed to give a report, which would have acted as a draft for the Academic Council (AC) to deliberate on. After working on it for three months over the course of 10 meetings, it is yet to be brought to the table,” DUTA president Rajib Ray said, adding that the AC meeting took place after 16 months on Wednesday, January 3.

DUTA vice-president Sudhanshu Kumar claimed that the staff promotions were dependent on the acceptance of the statute. “There are around 3,000 teachers who have been waiting for a promotion for a decade,” he claimed. If the subcommittee report is not implemented by January 18, the in toto implementation of the guidelines would mean that the recommendations by the committee would be ignored, he added. Some suggested amendments by the group of ad-hoc teachers protesting to claim their position as respected and actualised members of the varsity include modifications of screening points for ad-hoc teachers and whether study leaves could be counted for promotions.

Kumar said close to 2,000 staff members gathered near vice-chancellor Yogesh Tyagi’s office and demanded action on the issues of appointment and absorption of staff members, clearance of pending promotions and implementation of pension schemes for retired teaching and non-teaching staff. The teachers’ body also demanded the implementation of maternity and paternity leaves for ad-hoc teachers. The last condition demands a question of fairness on the functionality of the system as a whole. Maternity and paternity leaves for the ad-hoc teachers has been a bone of contention. Denying these rights to the teachers is extremely problematic.

“Despite the Delhi High Court order, the university has not been releasing funds for retired employees. Several former employees, who worked in the varsity for over four or five decades, are suffering because they do not have money to treat their illnesses,” Kumar said.

The conclusion to these protests seems highly unlikely in the near future. As the ad-hoc teachers gear up for a two-day strike on January 8 and 9, the fate of the students hangs in the balance. It is high time the authorities rise to action for a righteous cause.


With inputs from Hindustan Times.

Feature Image Credits: Hindustan Times

Kartik Chauhan

[email protected]


A few months back, when stones rained from across roads and protesting students had to face the violence that was unleashed afterwards, the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU), found itself on the opposite side of the students. Rather than speaking for the victims, it was accused of siding with the perpetrators of the violence. This was in stark contrast to the history of the student body, when the Union which was dominated by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) stood against the hooliganism of Youth Congress workers during the Emergency era of  the 1970s. The Union which once stood to protect the freedom of expression has been accused of suppressing it after four decades.

In the days after the Ramjas incident, several programmes across different colleges and departments were cancelled or censored in the fear of instigating  violence. When fests born out of the year-long work of students were cancelled, the Union, rather than coming forward to ensure peace and security of the students, went ahead to side with those who stood for censorship and prohibited certain plays from being performed.

The faculty at University of Delhi (DU) is witness to several student-led initiatives which grew into major forces in the country. The Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), was one of those forces which grew hugely within this University. In recent years, several initiatives like the Pinjra Tod Movement and the hostel accommodation movement have grown within this campus. However, the Union, rather than being a facilitator, has been found on the opposing side of these movements.

All these arguments lead us to ask a simple question: Is the regular ‘student’ of the University represented as a part of the Students’ Union?

Institutionally, yes. Every student who is a part of the University pays a nominal fee every year which goes towards the day-to-day functioning of the Union and its budget.

But numbers speak a different story. Through a small analysis on the voting pattern in the University, it can be seen that the overall voting percentage is falling. An ordinary student of the University, who is excited about fests and worried about examinations, has seen an erosion of her or his interest in the election process. This eroding of trust should be a major concern for both the Union and the University. It indicates a potential lack of representation, which leads to increasing the distance between the students and the administration.

While student unions across the world are challenging conventions by fighting repression and standing for equal rights, the largest student union of our country stands on the path of losing its basic student character. This distancing movement of the Students’ Union from the students should be curtailed at the earliest. A misrepresented Union not only fails to serve its democratic purpose, but also leads to a large-scale failure to address problems which might flare up in the form of tensions among the administration and the very people whom it is meant to serve, the students.

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat 

Srivedant Kar
[email protected]


Setting an example of upholding the rights of disabled students, the Delhi High Court ordered the University of Delhi to conduct another entrance exam in order to aid a visually challenged aspirant.

On 22nd August 2017, the Delhi High Court directed the University of Delhi (DU) to conduct an entrance examination for the visually challenged youth who could not appear for the M.Phil. Sanskrit entrance test. The candidate was unable to take the examination as he could not board the railway coach reserved for disabled persons, owing to the irresponsibility of the Indian Railways.


On 4th July 2017, Vaibhav Shukla booked a ticket for Delhi in the Jharkhand Sampark Kranti. He was going to Delhi to give an entrance exam which was scheduled for 5th July, 2017. When the train was delayed, he decided to catch the Gorakhdham Express which departs from Unnao at 10:45 p.m. on 4th July and reaches Delhi at 5:55 a.m. the next day. However, Gorakhdham Express arrived 13 hours late from its scheduled arrival. When Vaibhav and his driver tried to board the train, they found that the reserved coach was locked from inside. Since the stoppage was only for two minutes, he could not make it to another reserved coach as it was at the other end of the train, thus, ended up missing the train. Once in Delhi, he told the University authorities about his plight, but the officials refused to help him.

Legal Proceedings

After coming to know about Vaibhav’s situation, a bench of Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar initiated a suo moto cognizance on 7th July. Subsequently, they sent notices to the Union of India, North Eastern Railways, and the University of Delhi.

In response to the notice, DU argued that relief cannot be granted to Mr. Vaibhav Shukla. One of the arguments was that since all candidates must be judged through the same test, it is not feasible to conduct another exam. DU also contended that if entrance test is repeated it will set a precedent for future where anyone who turns up late can demand another chance.

All these arguments were contested by amicus curiae Mr. S.K. Runga. He pointed out that for all exams, DU prepares two question papers that are of the same level of difficulty. While one paper is already utilised, the second paper remains with DU and can be used for Vaibhav’s test. Therefore, the inconvenience of having to prepare a fresh question paper is irrelevant. With regards to the concern that the present case will be used as a precedent, it will be made clear that the order has been passed in the special circumstances and this case cannot be cited as a precedent.

After hearing all arguments, the court ruled for another entrance exam and said, “It is directed that within ten days from today, the University of Delhi shall conduct an entrance examination for the respondent no. 4 for admission to the M.Phil. (Sanskrit) 2017-18 session forthwith and declare his result.”

Feature Image Credits- The Hindu

Niharika Dabral

[email protected] 

Yesterday, in an apparent case of misplaced aggression, Deputy Proctor Swasti Alpana abused and snatched a Times of India (TOI) reporter’s phone. The TOI journalist was trying to record the violence created by ABVP members for evidence.

On Friday, some members of the Right-wing students’ association Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) had come to meet the Dean of Students Welfare around 2 pm. When they came out, some of them broke flower pots outside the dean’s office and were soon joined by others. According to Press Trust of India (PTI), DUSU had demanded to resolve issue of 400 final year B.Com. students who had failed in Computer Applications practical examination. 

The TOI reporter alleges that she was recording the vandalism on her cell phone and that’s when Deputy Proctor snatched her phone and threatened to lodge a FIR against her. The Deputy Proctor then asked the other journalists who had been speaking to officials there about the strike to sit in the Media Room.  She was joined by another deputy proctor Ritu Chowdhary in the screaming act. Others in the office kept quiet even as the two women officials kept on abusing the TOI reporter.

When the TOI reporter requested the phone be returned, Alpana refused to budge. Instead, she ordered that all journalists be removed from her office and taken to a “media room”. However, about 20 minutes later, when the reporter went back to the office to ask for the phone she handed it over and quipped that the photograph could have been taken “in a certain way, subtly”.

After the incident was brought to light, Ms Swasti Alpana said in her defense that she mistook the trainee journalist for a Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) member, who was clicking her photographs without her permission. She reasoned, “I remember all regular journalists who visit the campus and this one was not carrying any identity card and I mistook her for DUSU member who was trying to click my photographs without my permission.”

Another journalist who witnessed the entire incident alleged that despite informing them about our identity, the two deputy proctors never stopped misbehaving.

However, a day after the incident took place, Ritu Chowdhary, Deputy Proctor, rendered an apology and a clarification. “I always stand for freedom of expression. I deeply apologise for not helping out the girl and not condemning the criminal act of Swasti Alpana. However, I never abused or shouted at the journalist. I condemn the criminal act of Swasti Alpana that she snatched the girl’s phone and bullied her,” she said.  Talking to DU Beat, Ms. Ritu Chowdhary asserted that in the message she sent to the TOI journalist she offered to depose as a witness if TOI decides to lodge a FIR against the harassment.

(With inputs from Press Trust of India)

Image Credits: du.ac.in

Niharika Dabral
[email protected]

Over 200 ad-hoc faculty members of University of Delhi observed a day-long hunger strike on Friday, April, 28th, 2017. The strike was observed in order to press their demand to be absorbed as permanent faculty by the University.

The hunger-strike was organised at the Delhi University Arts’ Faculty premises where the ad-hoc faculty members from across the University discussed the problems and irregularities they are subject to by the University. According to Himanshu Singh, an Assistant Professor (ad-hoc) at Satyawati College (Evening),  these teachers are not being made permanent for a long time, and are forced to enjoy a sub-par status, which does not allow them to enjoy the privileges/facilities the permanent members get. He also added while in conversation with IANS, “Some of us have been teaching us for more than ten years, some even more. Why are we not good enough for permanent status, when the university can trust us with teaching students, their evaluation, and their careers?”

The Assistant Professor also told that the ad-hoc teachers are hired through the same selection process as permanent teachers.

According to another ad-hoc teacher from Satyawati College, they will also march to the Vice-Chancellor’s office and present him with a charter on their demands. The Delhi University Teachers’ Association extended its complete support to the protesting teachers in their bid to earn a permanent faculty status in the University.


Feature Image Credits: indianexpress.com


Priyal Mahtta

[email protected]

Professor Yogesh Kumar Tyagi, who is currently the Dean of Faculty of Legal Studies at South Asian University (SAU), has been appointed as the new VC of Delhi University, succeeding Dinesh Singh. Last week, four names were given to the President for the high profile post. The names, apart from Tyagi, were JNU professor Rameshwar Nath Kaul Bemezai, former IIT professor and UPSC member Hemchand Gupta and Bidyut Chakraborty, a professor in the Political Science Department. As the Visitor to all central universities, the President went along with the HRD ministry’s choice, which was in this case, Professor Tyagi.

Professor Tyagi

Yogesh Tyagi has a PhD in legal studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University and an LLM in Legal Studies from Columbia University. He said that he was very positive and would invite ideas for making the university better. He is seeking ideas from a wide range of people who are better than him and says that he will try to ensure quality education. He wants to work on a collective platform so that everyone is aware of what is going on and everyone’s opinion can be taken on any issue. He wants to create opportunities for all and deliver the best in education.

After Dinesh Singh’s controversial tenure ended on 28th of October, the office had been under the pro-VC Sudhish Pachauri. Professor Tyagi will take up the prestigious post after he is relieved of his current obligation at the South Asian University.

Image credits: The Indian Express

Arindam Goswami

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