Delhi University


12 DU colleges are to face an inquiry after alleged misuse of government-allocated funds and may face severe repercussions.

The Education Minister of the Delhi Government, Atishi, asked for an official inquiry into the alleged misuse of government funds in 12 colleges affiliated with Delhi University (DU) on January 20, 2024. This comes after the 1,897 appointments made by the colleges in teaching and non-teaching positions without prior approval of the Delhi Government in the past few years.

Earlier, a letter had been sent by Atishi to Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, the Education Minister of India, regarding the governance of these 12 DU colleges on December 1, 2023. The letter raised the issue of “several serious irregularities and procedural lapses” by the colleges involving hundreds of crores granted by the public exchequer to the colleges. The letter claimed that these colleges, fully funded by the Government of NCT Delhi (GNCTD), had illegitimately created posts employing teaching (939) and non-teaching (958) staff, accumulating salaries to be paid worth crores. Procedures required them to seek the approval of the Administrative Department and the Finance Department of the Government of NCT Delhi, which they failed to do. Severe actions could be taken against the principals and officials involved in the illegal appointments, including recovering the salaries of the illegally appointed staff since 2015.

Other problems regarding the utilisation of funds were pointed out too. She said,

Contracts worth crores for security and sanitation work were executed without adhering to General Financial and violated accounting norms and the approved “Pattern of Assistance” by the Delhi government.

Atishi addressed the lack of accountability of the colleges to the government as well as the University of Delhi. Due to this, proper oversight couldn’t be kept on these colleges by both the varsity and the Government of NCT Delhi (GNCTD). She proposed two solutions: either the colleges de-affiliate themselves with the University of Delhi and come under the complete control of GNCTD or, if they choose to stay affiliated with the University of Delhi, they must forgo all funding by the Delhi Government.

In response to this, Delhi University Vice Chancellor Yogesh Singh affirmed that the colleges will continue to be affiliated with the varsity. He requested that she withdraw the letter written by her to the Union Education Minister and continue the funding of the 12 colleges in the best interest of the students.

Read also: Atishi Points to “Irregularities” in 12 DU Colleges in Letter to Centre

Featured Image Credits: English Jagran

Shatadru Sen
[email protected]

The University of Delhi is planning to provide up to 40 per cent of its courses through online medium. DU will place a proposal with this as an agenda item before the University’s Academic Council during its meeting scheduled for November 30, 2023. This will include discussions on the inclusion of Swayam, to supplement the current teaching-learning process in the institute.

The proposal is made in alignment with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020; which intends to achieve 50 per cent Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education by the year 2035 with the help of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) provided by the Swayam portal; an online learning platform by University Grants Commission.

Before this, under the UGC Regulations, 2016 (Credit Framework for Online Learning Courses through SWAYAM), the institution could allow only up to 20% of the total courses being offered in a particular programme in a semester through the online learning courses provided on the platform.

These regulations were then considered and approved by the Academic Council in 2019, followed by recommending their approval to DU’s Executive Council which also approved and accepted them.

However the UGC, in its notification, later in the year 2021, revised the regulations; stating that institutions may allow up to 40% of the classes online.

The higher educational institutions may allow only up to 40% of the total courses being offered in a particular programme in a semester through the online credit course through the SWAYAM platform.” -UGC (Credit Framework for Online Learning Courses through SWAYAM) Regulations, 2021

UGC also asked the higher educational institutions to devise a framework for credit transfer and integration of these online courses with existing programmes.

All universities to adopt the courses offered through SWAYAM platform so that the students’ community is able to reap maximum benefits.”

While more deductions and detailed analysis of the notification can only be made once the Academic Council meeting takes place, DU allowing online courses as part of the semester curriculum will have wide ranging implications for the University as well as the students.

Delhi University’s Commerce Department is likely to be the first to implement MOOCs and develop its course content based on the curriculum of the university. In a Departmental Council meeting in February this year, the various details including intricacies like the title of the MOOC to be offered, its course coordinator, and credits to be assigned for the same have been decided and approved.

Read Also: Recruitment Process On the Go for DU Faculty

Featured Image Credits: The Wire

Kavya Vashisht

[email protected]

On 4 November 2023, Ramjas College students gathered to protest against the ad-hoc crisis in the college’s English department, expressing concern over the displacement of 8 out of 10 ad hoc professors. Their collective demand echoes a call for transparency, academic stability, and integrity within the educational framework.

In a resolute display of solidarity, students from Ramjas College’s English Department organised a gathering to protest against the displacement of 8/10 ad hoc professors of the department on Monday, 4 November, 2023. Gathering in the Eco Lawns of the college, the rally circled the campus, culminating in a demonstration at the Principal’s Office. The college administration responded by summoning police forces to contain the protest. The protest garnered support from students from various departments of Ramjas College and was endorsed by student organisations such as the Student Federation of India (SFI) and the All India Students Association (AISA).

In a post shared by the Instagram handle Ramjas Reading Room, the protest called upon immediate action to address the following:

  1. Halt Unjust Displacements
  2. Preserve Academic Integrity
  3. Prioritize Faculty Well-Being

Vociferous slogans and heartfelt messages were raised during the protest as student were overcome with anger and anguish amid the state of things.  A student from Ramjas’ English Department, who wishes to stay anonymous, shared,

The English Department has been one of the most active departments in Ramjas. For most of these professors, teaching, while being a passion, is also a source of sustenance. They are still processing the grief of what has happened.

The protest is being held against the backdrop of the displacement of ad hoc professors from departments across colleges at Delhi University. In Ramjas College, the first department affected by this issue was the Zoology Department last year. Many have alleged that the process of interviewing, retention, and displacement of ad hoc professors is opaque, leading to highly qualified and experienced professors losing their jobs.

Utilising platforms like WhatsApp and Instagram, students of Ramjas College effectively mobilised support by urging their peers and even past alumni who are working across the globe to join the cause. The protest featured images of these iconic figures, such as Tagore and Gandhi, and included books taught by the displaced teachers. The student political groups that had joined submitted a memorandum seeking transparency in the interview process and the retention of ad hoc professors.

According to our sources, the college has made no response to the students’ demands as of yet. Expressing their state of despair and hopelessness at the system, a final year student from the English Department, commented, 

We have lost that last sense of connection with the department. It has become a foreign space for us; the college is a necropolis. How will we ever go back to Room No. 12, the department room? The displaced professors have shared our paintings and poems on their Instagram posts and stories. But we only know what we have lost.

Read also: Faculty Displacement at IPCW: Impact on Students and Academic Integrity

Featured Image Credits:  Aaryan Marcha, student at Ramjas College

Injeella Himani
[email protected]

Delhi Education Minister, Atishi, has pointed out certain excesses undertaken in 12 DU colleges in a letter to the Union Education Minister.

 Delhi Education Minister, Atishi, on Friday, wrote to the Union Education Minister, Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan, underlining “irregularities” in the administration of 12 DU Colleges funded by the Delhi government.

She expanded upon these irregularities citing instances of procedural lapses in appointments, creation of unauthorised posts, and salaries in crores being paid to staff who were never appointed through established procedures.

Other such instances listed include the misappropriation of funds from the Grant-in-aid (GIA) which also involves the salary to the GIA-General. Atishi alleged that these oversights occurred despite crores of funds lying in the corpus of these colleges. Further instances of arbitrary and irregular payments towards sanitation and security services as well as allotment of Canteen and other contractual services were flagged.

She expressed that since these colleges are directly affiliated with DU, they are not answerable to the Delhi government for “judicious” utilisation of funds. She thus proposed two possible courses of action. The 12 colleges could either be merged under the purview of the Delhi government or the centre could assume full control and responsibility of these institutions in which case the Delhi government would no longer allocate funds to these institutions.

This comes in light of the release of Rs 100 crore by the Delhi government earlier in June this year out of the sanctioned Rs 400 crore allocated by the government in 2023-24 to these institutions.

The education minister thus took this opportunity to highlight the issue as being symptomatic of a larger pattern of financial malpractices and oversight.

There was no immediate reaction from the University.


Featured Image Credits : PTI


Deevya Deo

 [email protected]

In anticipation of the upcoming college fest season, an advisory for the conduct of fests, events, and programmes was disseminated to all Delhi University (DU) colleges, with a particular focus on the security of women attendees.

Delhi University (DU) has issued a 17-point advisory, explicitly stating the dos and don’ts for holding events and fests across all colleges and departments. The advisory was issued by the University Proctor, Prof. Rajni Abbi earlier in April 2023. In light of numerous colleges in the varsity gearing up for their respective annual college fests, the University renotified the guidelines for the same.

The guidelines entail essential measures, including acquiring No Objection Certificates (NOC) from the local police stations, implementing pre-registration for outsiders with mandatory college identity card verification, installing low concertina wires to prevent unauthorised access, ensuring illumination of all surrounding areas near the venue, and conducting mandatory security drills, among other specifications.

The DU advisory also suggested that there should be multiple gates in the college, and all gates must have working CCTVs. The advisory mentioned,

All gates should have a PA (public announcement) system for any announcements. Keeping in mind the number of their students, teachers, and staff members present at the event, the number of outside registrations should be kept below the venue’s capacity.

The advisory was issued in response to the spate of incidents that have transpired in women’s colleges in recent years.

One such horrific incident was reported in March this year from DU’s oldest women’s college, the Indraprastha College for Women (IPCW), where unidentified individuals allegedly harassed students after entering the premises by scaling the walls during the annual college festival. Subsequently, a wave of extensive protests emerged among the student body, advocating for the resignation of the college principal in response to the aforementioned incident.

In October of the previous year, Miranda House experienced a similarly disturbing event during their Diwali Fest, where individuals reportedly scaled walls, vociferously shouted slogans, and subjected students to harassment, prompting heightened concerns for student safety.

In light of the same, the advisory was prepared after a host of meetings with several university and college officials and the Delhi Police. It thus read,

It is absolutely essential to give students the confidence that if any untoward they could, they should immediately approach their staff advisors, teachers, the Internal Complaints Committee, the Women’s Developmental Cell, the Proctorial Committee, and the Principal so that they can take speedy action.

Read also: The Invasion of IPCW – A Student’s Account

Featured Image Credits: DU Beat

Injeella Himani
[email protected]

The High Court (HC) ruled in favour of the petitioner and stated that the University could not unfairly reject admissions of deserving students because of the inconsistency in its own information bulletin.

In a recent ruling, the Delhi High Court called out the University of Delhi for arbitrarily cancelling a student’s enrollment. The case goes back to the previous term, 2022–23, when a student was denied admission to Kirori Mal College (KMC) in the B.A. Hons Geography programme offered by Delhi University (DU) on the grounds of “non-fulfilment of subject mapping criteria.”

Since last year, admissions to many central universities, including Delhi University (DU), have taken place through the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) (UG)-2022. The eligibility criteria require passing class XII from a recognised board and adhering to programme-specific requirements. In this case, the petitioner opted for English, Hindi, Geography/Geology, History, and Political Science, deviating from specific subject requirements for B.A. (Hons.) Geography.

However, the CUET allowed for flexibility if an individual Central University permitted it and The petitioner argued that, in the absence of ‘English Literature’ as a CUET subject, he opted for ‘History,’ which he considered the closest match to his prior studies. According to Clause 4 of the University’s information bulletin, the student was offered this flexibility.

After the results were announced, the petitioner was allotted a seat in the B.A. Hons Geography programme at Kirori Mal College on October 19, 2022. The seat was accepted by the student, but the University later cancelled his admission, citing “non-fulfilment of subject mapping criteria.”. This lead to a legal dispute.

The University of Delhi challenged the petitioner’s eligibility based on the subjects chosen in CUET. This case was previously presented to a single judge bench presided over by Justice Vikas Mahajan, who held that the University of Delhi had arbitrarily and incorrectly cancelled the petitioner’s seat without any of the petitioner’s fault and violated the terms and conditions outlined in the Bulletin of Information. He also noted that the petitioner was a deserving and meritorious student who had made it to the merit list in the first round of admissions.

The University of Delhi was ordered to admit the petitioner into the B.A. (Hons.) Geography programme at the same institution in the academic year 2023-2024 due to the conclusion of the admission procedure for the previous year.

The single judge’s decision ordering the University to accept the student into the B.A. (Hons.) Geography programme for the academic year 2023–2024 was challenged by DU in a Letters Patent Appeal (LPA) and hence presented to the High Court.

Delhi University was represented by attorneys Mohinder J.S. Rupal, Hardik Rupal, and Sachpreet Kaur, while the respondent student was represented by advocates A. Velan, Navpreet Kaur, Nishant Bishnoi, and Mritunjay Pathak.

The appeal was to reverse the previous judgement because, as per the guidelines, the student was required to give the admission test again to get enrolled for the academic year 2023-2024. The appellant also argued that the ‘DU Exception’ did not apply in this case, and hence the judge cannot link ‘English Literature’ and ‘History’ as similar.

The key concerns of the court were to explore and understand the university guidelines and check whether ‘History’ could be replaced with ‘English literature’ or not. Secondly, the bench considered whether the student could actually be admitted to the term 2023–24 based on the previous judgement.

The court observed that although CUET required students to align with subjects that they took in class XIIth Examination, Clause 4 of the information bulletin permits the students to choose a subject that mirrors their preference in XIIth Board and resembles the programme they wish to pursue further, hence offering a deviation. In this situation, the student had rightly used ‘DU Exception’ with no fault of his own since the university had not released clearer instructions regarding the same. The whole injustice was caused by the ‘narrow interpretation’ of the guidelines.

The University’s denial of admission was hence unreasonable, according to the court, which also determined that the student had properly used the DU Exception. It brought to light the ambiguous criteria for using the DU Exception and the University’s constrained interpretation of its own guidelines.

Delhi University has failed to provide a cogent rationale regarding the perceived dissimilarity between ‘English Literature’ and ‘History’ and overlooked the very essence of the DU Exception. Notably, the University has neither delineated guidelines nor disseminated instructions that clarify the parameters of the DU Exception, such as defining the extent of “similarity” or “closeness” between subjects.

– Read the observations by the bench.

Regarding the second matter of reviewing the single judge’s decision to provide relief to the petitioner, the court referred to the judgement of the Hon‘ble Supreme Court of India in the case of S. Krishna Sradha v. State of Andhra Pradesh, (2020) 17 SCC 465. According to the guidelines of this landmark ruling, if a ‘meritorious’ student has been denied admission on arbitrary grounds or the breach of rules, affecting his or her rights, and has approached the court on time without any delay, he or she should be granted justice to not limit their academic journey. If he or she cannot be provided relief of admission in the present year, the court can direct such admission to the next academic year.

The bench thus favoured the student and mentioned,

The student cannot be held accountable for any delay or negligence. Being an exemplary candidate, he has been unfairly deprived of his admission due to the capricious and unwarranted decisions of the Appellant University.

The Court emphasised the importance of upholding the ideals of fairness, inclusion, and clarity in educational institutions, particularly those with the status of Delhi University. It criticised the absence of clear guidelines for applying the DU Exception, stating that this ambiguity not only leaves students in a state of uncertainty but also makes it difficult to foster clarity in rules and their uniform implementation.

Read also: Shockingly Low Admissions for New B.Tech. Courses at DU

Featured Image Credits: Google Images

Priya Agrawal
[email protected]

TW// Harassment

You must have heard lately about serious cases of harassment in a few DU societies. College officials took action by banning members and even societies. While DU takes pride in providing a ragging-free campus or in taking swift, decisive measures to stop ragging, what often goes unnoticed is the casual harassment perpetrated in the name of “fun” that has turned into a “trend” among college societies.

The dancing society at Sri Aurobindo College was recently banned after some juniors complained about alleged physical and verbal harassment by the society’s president and ex-president. A similar incident occurred at the FilmSoc of Sri Venkateswara College. The college administration implemented rigorous measures in response; these incidents called the campus’s safety into doubt. While the Vice-Chancellor proudly assured the newly admitted batch of a ragging-free campus, what frequently goes unnoticed is the casual harassment that occurs under the pretence of “fun,” especially during society recruitments. 

DU takes pride in providing a ragging-free campus and strict disciplinary action against perpetrators. However, one of the most significant gaps in this “ragging-free campus” is how individuals perceive or understand “ragging.” Most people consider ragging to be a serious form of harassment, but what people need to recognise is the major problem of casual harassment, which is frequently carried out under the guise of “fun” and is becoming a trend in DU societies, particularly corporate societies.

One of the worst examples of this may be found during recruiting interviews for college societies. Most of these societies hire new members following a series of stages of selection and sorting that include form completion, tasks, and interviews. All of these things are largely carried out by core members of these societies. Interviews are an important phase in the recruitment process. These interviews serve as a breeding ground for such harassment.

I was asked to propose a flower vase during the interview.

-A first-year student at Kirori Mal College

Freshers are asked to dance, sing, propose to one another, to a senior, or to any random object during interviews by seniors. Freshers are required to perform this while being secretly recorded. The majority of these “tasks” have little to do with the skills necessary to be part of such societies. This is a recent trend that has emerged in college societies, particularly in corporate societies, where seniors engage in such behaviours intentionally or unintentionally. The majority of those involved in these activities believe it’s “mazak” (joke) and should not be taken seriously. They advise that juniors see this as a joke because it is “a way of bonding.”

 My friend, who is a core member of a society, showed me videos of them asking juniors to dance or propose to each other. She was laughing and pointing out how they made juniors do these tasks for interviews while they were being recorded. I asked her if they asked the juniors’ permission before recording. She replied,- ‘arre mazak mai kiya ye sab’. When I explained to her that this was wrong, she understood the mistake she had made.

– A third-year student

What they fail to understand is that this isn’t something that everyone is comfortable with. For juniors, mocking them, filming them, and circulating these videos without their permission can be traumatising. This type of ignorance comes with a certain level of privilege. Many DU students come from small towns and villages. It is not an easy road to DU, especially for female students. Most of these students lack the precise skill set that college societies want, but they join to learn and gain experience. Mocking and filming them could drive out these students from such settings, causing serious problems, particularly for female students. 

Because of safety concerns, most parents from smaller towns and villages do not send their daughters to DU, and discovering videos of their daughter being posted on random groups might result in them being refused access to offline campuses. For these reasons, these students are compelled to remain silent and tolerate the humiliation.

Not only that, but in certain college societies, especially film societies, “romantic or sexual relationships” are used as a deciding factor for position. Since the old core members determine the new core members in most societies, a member’s romantic or sexual contact with old core members determines whether or not they will be elevated to core positions.

All of these events or incidents are hidden from administration since most individuals do not consider them to be problematic. As a result of the seniors’ lack of understanding and awareness, college societies are becoming increasingly toxic and unsafe. These aspects also contribute to the segregation of students, with only “privileged” students dominating the majority of these areas. While awareness is crucial among seniors, it is also the responsibility of administration to look into safety issues in societies and educate juniors about these issues during orientation.

Read Also: Unveiling the Culture of Toxicity in SVC’s FilmSoc

Featured Image Credits: Nopany Institute of Management Studies

Dhruv Bhati
[email protected]

A ceiling collapse disrupted a music concert at St. Stephen’s College, calling for greater accountability to address the failing state of infrastructure and misallocation of funds.

On the evening of 29 September 2023, St. Stephen’s College Music Society organized a Launch concert in the college hall. However, the event took an unexpected turn when the ceiling collapsed, abruptly interrupting the performance and causing injuries to a first-year student.

This incident is part of a concerning pattern, as several ceiling collapses have been reported at various University of Delhi (DU) colleges. In April, Lady Shri Ram College (LSR) experienced a similar occurrence when the roof of a residence hall’s bathroom stall collapsed. Then, in May, at Kamala Nehru College (KNC), a portion of the ceiling collapsed, which narrowly avoided injuring  a student. In June, a ceiling fan crashed down on a student at Hansraj College.

Several concerns have been raised regarding the deteriorating state of infrastructure within DU. At St. Stephen’s College, the fee amounts to ₹23,000, with the substantial portion of ₹14,000 allocated to the college development fund. However, when students have sought transparency concerning the specific categorisation of funds within the college development fund, they have encountered unclear responses.

A student from St. Stephen’s College commented on the matter, noting,

The foyer has been closed off for four months due to safety concerns, and no repairs have been undertaken. They simply cite it as a ‘heritage building,’ using it as an excuse, while the guesthouses are in a constant state of renovation.

Furthermore, the student also pointed out that the first-floor corridor’s construction remains incomplete. 

Serious concerns exist regarding fund misallocation at DU. In 2020, the St. Stephen’s library ceiling collapsed, restricting library access and operating hours for students. Despite these challenges, library fees remained unchanged. Campus Wi-Fi problems persist, forcing students to rely on limited cellular data while paying full IT/IRC fees. Team Veritas discovered a 33.3% increase in the establishment fee from ₹14,000 in 2017-18 to approximately ₹19,000 in 2019-20.

Many students were disheartened over the incident as preparations for the concert took place regularly for over a month. A student who requested to be referred to as Bob said,

We had a total of 12 performances and while the 8th performance was going on, suddenly I saw that the roof had collapsed. This isn’t the first time something like this happened. In the past, we’ve had roofs falling in classrooms and resident blocks. However, this is the first time it has happened on such a large scale with everyone present.

Following the incident, the music society immediately took charge and evacuated everyone from the college hall. However, St. Stephen’s College has not provided a satisfactory response to the situation.

Read also: Roof Collapse at Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College: Infrastructure Mishap Plagues DU Again!

At DU’s centenary celebration, the PM brought up the fact that there are more girls enrolled at DU than boys. However, the classrooms paint a rather different picture.

The University of Delhi recently celebrated its 100th anniversary. Large-scale events were organised, the Prime Minister and Education Minister were invited as chief guests. In his speech, the Prime Minister congratulated DU on its 100th anniversary and highlighted the fact that more girls than boys are enrolled in DU classes. But do our classrooms deliver an identical picture?

According to The Indian Express, DU’s enrolment has dropped to a five-year low, slipping from 73,374 students in 2018-2019 to 64,915 in 2022-2023. Girls’ enrolment in UG courses plunged by 37.75 percent this year, from 54,818 in 2021 to 34,120 in 2022-2023, whereas male enrollment fell by just 1,585, from 32,380 in 2021 to 30,795 this year. Overall, girls made up 52.5 percent of the entire undergraduate student body at DU this year, compared to 62.87 percent in 2021-22. 

Even before the significant drop in enrollment, these figures demonstrate that “DU has more girls enrolled than boys”. However, what is crucial to note here is the concentration of female students. The majority of these 52.5% female students are enrolled in SOLs, or women’s colleges. If one focuses on regular courses in co-ed colleges, female students in some colleges account for less than one-third of the overall student population.

According to an All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) report, the gender gap in UG programmes worsened following the pandemic. In Kirori Mal College, there are 28 girls* in BSc. (H). Mathematics, 2021-2024, a batch of 104 students. The same is true for the majority of batches. In an interview, former principal of KMC Vibha Singh Chauhan blamed the absence of a girls’ hostel as a major reason for such a wide gap in the sex ratio. 

However, the case of Hindu College presents a completely different scenario. Hindu College, which has a girl’s hostel, only has 39% female students. The administration fails to provide a valid explanation behind the skewed gender ratio. A number of DU colleges started to relax female student’s cut-offs by 1%. While Sri Aurobindo College saw a 10% rise in female student enrollment following its implementation, other institutions observed no substantial change.

However, with the introduction of CUET, the implementation of this relaxation is hidden. Not only that, but the puzzling cycle of CUET and admission via CSAS (Common Seat Allocation System) also plays a significant role. Most female students from marginalised backgrounds and smaller towns struggle to get a quality education. With new hurdles planted, many end up giving up on their dreams. In an article by Feminism In India (FII), Sharda Dixit, a retired school principal, said:

The problem was especially observed amongst students coming from financially weaker backgrounds, the ones who were not able to avail the pricey coaching and the preparation guidebooks. This led to the exclusion of these students from the race and crushed their dreams underfoot. The CUET is a device to deprive students of their basic right to education.

Another major issue is women’s safety in the city and on campus. Economist Girija Broker estimated in her paper that, “for a 3% annual decrease in the probability of being raped, women attending Delhi University are willing to go to a college in the bottom 50% rather than one in the top 20%”. Broker conducted a survey of 2,700 DU students and observed that most women prefer travelling by car or the metro, even if it costs more or takes more time. On the other hand, bus is the primary form of transportation for men.

All of these studies, articles, and interviews have one thing in common: the university’s acceptance of the existence of a gender gap for the sake of it. Instead of concentrating on the reasons for such a large gender gap, even after 100 years of existence, DU is preoccupied with crafting its own hazy gender equality image. With the gender gap widening as a result of CUET, the question grows, “Are we progressing forward or backward?”

Read also: The Unrepresented- Women and Student Politics In India

Featured Image Credits: TOI

Dhruv Bhati
[email protected]

The Delhi University Students Union election inch closer, after a three-year long hiatus, amidst bouts of violence, forced entry in colleges and aggressive campaigning, certain issues like the lack of women’s representation seem to have lasted the stop-gap. There still only seems to be two women’s colleges even part of the election process, one being Miranda College. Moreover, even after elections, women do not seem to occupy high roles, and are known for being “dummies” for other male candidates. This article aims to look at the larger narrative behind women and student politics, how it has evolved and what it means for national politics.

 The evolution of student politics can be traced to the pre-independence, wherein most mass student mobilizations were to protest against the introduction of the English language as a medium of instruction in universities across India. Eventually, student unions merged with the larger independence movement. However, the use of violence in campus politics has been a pervasive issue since its inception as it was often the only way to express their grievances, in what was a political system which frequently ignored the needs of the youth.

For the illiterate and the literate without any contacts, a quick of venting anger and grievances was to resort to violence (Arnon & Altbach 1973: 164)”

Due to the nationalization of campus politics and the flow of funding from national parties, the two stages – the campus and the nation have become reflective of one another, wherein the factionalism on the lines of caste, class and gender in national politics can be seen in student politics as well, due to the monetary links formed between the two. This too often leads to violent outbursts.

It is no surprise that the transference of women’s underrepresentation can also be seen in campus politics, given the lack of female representatives on the national level as well. In the coming elections, most women’s colleges won’t be represented as they’re not a part of the student union.  This is an issue that extends beyond Delhi University, with several state colleges facing the same issue. The women’s wing of Arunachal Pradesh’s student union claims that parental and social pressure plays a part, many afraid of the dangers of campus politics, which are notoriously violent. This institutionalization of force in student politics, which is traditionally associated with masculinity, is also an ideological barrier which dissuades women from even trying to make it to higher positions within the union. Similarly, in Panjab University, party vice-presidents raise the same grievances, stressing on the lack of importance given to female candidates despite the presence of women’s wings, which are mostly tokenistic. They also highlight how this lack of representation is detrimental to women’s causes within campuses, like creating safe spaces, provision of feminine hygiene products etc.

Moreover, since visibility creates such a big part in campus elections, the lack of women being present during campaigns is also detrimental to their cause. Given the proximity of the student elections, and more so India’s national elections, it is important to note how such issues of underrepresentation are magnified as we move up the administrative ladder. If we cannot adequately represent women’s issues within the student body, how can we do so on a national scale?


Read also. https://dubeat.com/2023/07/23/women-in-politics-or-the-lack-thereof/

Image credit. Deves


Chaharika Uppal

[email protected]