DU Beat


A petition filed by College of Vocational Studies (CVS) Professor Dr. Ravindra Singh Kushwah has alleged manipulation in the execution of a proper roster system by the college, which led to general category seats being converted into a reserved category. The Delhi High Court (HC) instructed that the College of Vocational Studies (CVS) cannot appoint any teachers without approaching the HC first.

On May 25, 2023, the Delhi High Court instructed that Delhi University’s College of Vocational Studies (CVS) should consult the High Court before recruiting any teachers since the services of a teacher “cannot be dispensed with” until the next hearing.

Dr. Ravindra Singh Kushwah, an assistant professor at CVS, filed the petition and claimed that the proper roster system was not implemented during the appointments for recruiting teachers due to manipulation and a lack of transparency. Kushwah alleged that a general category seat had been changed into a reserved one, so he could not apply for the position.

… the Teaching Roaster for the year 2023 is entirely manipulated which is ex-facie violence… as a result of which the Petitioner has lost his opportunity to even apply under unreserved category in the Department of Tourism.

– stated the petition filed by Dr Ravindra Singh Kushwah, through advocates Ms. Snigdha Singh and Mr. Kumar Shashwat

The petition was filed under the grounds of impugned advertised, impugned teaching roster 2023, and 2013. The petition also accused other manipulations conducted by the University and CVS. The petition further stated,

The respondent No. 2 [College of Vocational Studies] has diluted the authenticity of Impugned Teaching Roster for the year 2023 by making manual changes by hand and thereafter not even attesting the said changes with either initials or stamp. The same casts a heavy doubt on the veracity of the Roster as to whether the same has been approved by the University/Respondent No. 1 or not.

The President of College of Vocational Studies’ Teacher’s Body, Dr. Kumar Ashutosh, said,

There were four vacancies in our Department of Tourism, out of which one was unreserved. However, when the posts got advertised, all got converted to reserved posts. The court has made important points, including that Kushwah shouldn’t be terminated till the next date of hearing and that the recruitment process cannot take place without the court’s permission. Even in the History Department, an ST post was converted to an unreserved post, and the ad hoc teacher who was teaching against the ST post has approached the court.

– Dr. Kumar Ashutosh, President of CVS Teacher’s Body

Another petition by Mr. Mrinaal Pingua was also filed on the basis of manipulation by the University over impugned advertisements and impugned teaching rosters for 2023 and 2013.

…due to the manipulation in the Teaching Roaster 2023, post of ST Category in the History Department has been deliberately and clandestinely filled by another permanent faculty from unreserved category, and consequentially there is NIL vacancy for ST Category History Department – CVC in the impugned advertisement. Hence, the loss of opportunity for the Petitioner to apply for permanent teaching post against the ST Category.

– stated the petition

Dr. Inderjeet Jagar, the Principal of College of Vocational Studies claimed that the facts were not represented accurately.

Even when the posts were advertised in 2019, there were no unreserved posts. There are a total of four posts and the one unreserved post that is there already has a permanent faculty member. Currently, the vacancies are for three posts only… As per DU rules, ad hoc appointments are made for four months and services can be terminated without notice. Due to changes in the workload, the sanctioned posts also keep increasing or decreasing when this particular ad hoc appointment was done, we appointed whoever was available.

– Dr. Inderjeet Jagar, CVS Principal

The ad hoc crisis at Delhi University (DU) has been contemplated for quite some time. The committee recommended that whenever a vacancy transpires in four months, an ad hoc teacher will be temporarily recruited by a selection committee. Ad hoc teachers need to have their services renewed every four months, yet some have remained with the University for over a decade.

However, the college administration claims that the matter is restricted to this issue itself.

Read also: Keshav Mahavidyalaya’s Non-Teaching Staff on Month-Long Protest

Featured Image Credits: The Indian Express

Sri Sidhvi Dindi
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As parts of Delhi record temperatures as high as 46 degrees Celsius and a searing heatwave sweeps the city, Delhi University has issued guidelines granting an extended semester break for the current batch of first-years attending the University.

In a notification dated May 25, 2023, the Delhi Government issued recommendations pertaining to the functioning of educational institutions amidst the expected heatwave. With the national capital recording 40+ degrees Celsius consecutively and the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issuing a yellow alert, the University of Delhi, on May 28, released a modified academic calendar for the batch of 2025/26. Scrapping the former one-day break, the University has now granted a summer break that will last a month. According to the newly released guidelines, second-semester examinations will end on July 28, 2023 (Friday), and the batch will be dispersed thereafter. The new semester will commence on August 23, 2023 (Wednesday).

DU registrar Vikas Gupta reportedly told The Quint that the sudden move by the administration comes in light of the sweltering heat in the city.

I hail from Himachal and Delhi weather is nearly intolerable for me. There is no hope for the weather to get better but at least when colleges are shut, I am hoping to protect myself from the heat by staying indoors.

-commented a student at Shaheed Bhagat Singh College.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Yogesh Singh, stated in conversation that the lack of a semester break was a result of the delayed implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.

CUET was conducted for the first time in 2022. Its implementation was gradual which led to semester lengths being halved. To bring the academic calendar for first years back on track, the University had to scrap the provision for a semester break.

– DU Vice Chancellor, Prof. Yogesh Singh

However, following the backlash faced by NEP and amidst demands for a rollback of the policy, the University has decided to offer respite to the students. The Vice Chancellor added,

The last year has seen a drastic modification in the entire education system of the country. As a students’ university, we realize the uncertainty it carried along and the detrimental impact it had on students’ mental health… We believe students deserve a good break and hence start afresh.

The move by the University has been highly appreciated by the student body.

I am glad the University finally realized how hectic our college life has been so far. We are infamously the experimental batch but there is thankfully something to look forward to now.

– commented a fresher from Maitreyi College.

Sources also report that the session for the incoming batch is expected to commence in mid-August. Hence, a semester break will allow the academic calendars of the University to continue in an integrated manner. This will also enable the University to direct its efforts to ensure a smooth admissions process.

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

Read also: Jesus and Mary College and DU at Odds over Minority Admissions – DU Beat – Delhi University’s Independent Student Newspaper

Featured Image Credits: The Times of India

Manvi Goel
[email protected]

The decision to drop the history elective course ‘Inequality and Difference’ has invited vehement criticism and concern from members of the academic community who believe the course to be an important means of navigating the history of India’s oppressive social systems that affect present-day inequalities in more ways than one.

The Standing Committee for Academic Matters of Delhi University, headed by the Vice Chancellor, has suggested dropping an elective course titled ‘Inequality and Difference’ offered by the History Department of the University. The elective course included issues around gender and caste and helped students gain a historical understanding of institutions such as caste. This development came about after a similar proposal by the standing committee to scrap a paper on B.R. Ambedkar from the B.A. Programme Philosophy syllabus.

This proposal has caused a tussle between the committee and various professors and academicians in the department who have previously taught the course. The committee stated that they are considering dropping the course because concepts of caste and gender are already being taught. On the other hand, professors in the department reasoned that the course helped students view inequality through a historical lens and hence greatly contributed to a nuanced historical understanding of persisting inequalities and biases.

The course is offered to students of different honours degrees as a generic elective paper in their fourth semester and has been part of the curriculum for more than seven years. It comprises four units. The first unit, titled ‘Structural and Forms of Inequalities: Normative and Historical Experiences,” involves discussions around oppressive structures and social systems such as the Varna system, slavery, etc. The second unit is on ‘Gender, Household, and Public Sphere’. The third unit is on tribes and communities of forest dwellers. The last unit is called “Indian Constitution and the Questions of Equality’. The works of historians and scholars such as Uma Chakravarti, Romila Thapar, and Sunil Kumar, among various others, made it to the reading list for the course.

The move has invited condemnation from various members of the academic community who believe this to be “an act of political indoctrination” and alleged propagandising of education. Dr. Maya John, a professor at the Department of History at the University and an Academic Council member, stated in conversation with the Quint that the fate of the course is yet to be decided and although they hope to retain the course, once the decision passes through the Standing Committee, it is difficult to reverse it.

It is a rich course that speaks about the institutionalisation of inequality and the resistance to it. It is the history department’s way of engaging students from other departments, in conversations about the various structures of inequality in the Indian subcontinent. It teaches students to think historically about varna, caste, gender inequality, and racial and ethnic differences.

– Dr Maya John, in conversation with the Quint

Professor Abha Dev Habib, from the Department of Physics at Miranda House, raised concerns regarding the drastic changes being brought about to the academic curricula at the school and university levels.

Read also: DU Philosophy Department Opposes Decision to Scrap Course on Ambedkar

Featured Image Credits: Devesh Arya for DU Beat

Tulip Banerjee 
[email protected]  

The decision to scrap the course on Dr. B. R. Ambedkar came after a standing committee reviewed the undergraduate curriculum in accordance with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. Amid widespread criticism against the decision, the Department of Philosophy wrote to the Vice Chancellor of Delhi University to retain the course.

The suggestion to drop the elective from BA Programme Philosophy by the Standing Committee on Academic Matters was first discussed on May 8th. A panel was appointed from the undergraduate and postgraduate levels to further elaborate on the same in a meeting on May 12. The committee is reviewing the curriculum in accordance with NEP 2020.

The University’s Department of Philosophy has strongly opposed this suggestion, saying that “Ambedkar is an indigenous thinker representative of the social aspirations of a majority of people in the country” and that research on Ambedkar is gaining momentum in the country. Accordingly, they have asked the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Yogesh Singh, to look into and reconsider the suggestion.

The course on Ambedkar philosophy was introduced in 2015. It includes the life and essential writings of Ambedkar, his concepts, and his research methodology.

Addressing various sources, a member of the Standing Committee reportedly said that no changes have been incorporated so far and that the final decision rests in the hands of the Academic Council, the varsity’s supreme decision-making body on academic matters.

This (the Ambedkar course) is not being dropped and this suggestion was not given by the committee. The suggestion was that new courses and old courses should be mixed together and it should be designed in such a manner that it should be attractive to the students and it should be designed in a way that it will be adopted in many colleges also… We suggested philosophies of thinkers from all backgrounds should be added.

– Prof. Balram Pani, Standing Committee Chairperson and Dean of Colleges, in conversation with the Indian Express

The Dean of the Faculty of Arts, who was present at the May 8 meeting, similarly added,

There were several suggestions made by the House to the philosophy courses presented before it. One such suggestion was to align the contents of the course ‘Philosophy of B R Ambedkar’… and to offer courses of other philosophical thinkers of India representing different approaches and schools of thought, so that students have options to choose any thinker they wish to study.

– Prof. Amitava Chakraborty, Dean of the Faculty of Arts

However, there were many sources that claimed the proposal to be true.

There were several suggestions made by the House to the philosophy courses presented before it. One such suggestion was to align the contents of the course ‘Philosophy of B. R. Ambedkar’… and to offer courses of other philosophical thinkers of India representing different approaches and schools of thought, so that students have options to choose any thinker they wish to study.

– A professor from the Department of Philosophy

Following the opposition, a sub-committee set up by the Standing Committee was appointed to discuss the revision of the syllabus. On 22nd May, the sub-committee suggested that the elective paper on B.R. Ambedkar be kept following the addition of papers on other philosophical thinkers as well, following which students can opt for their preferences. Sources concluded that papers on Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi, and Periyar were being considered to be included in the curriculum.

The suggestions shall be placed in front of the Academic Council after approval by the Standing Committee.


Read also: DU to Launch 18 New Courses in Upcoming Session

Featured Image Credits: The Indian Express

Aanya Mehta
[email protected]

Delhi University embarked on a new journey after signing an MoU with Ambedkar University in order to share resources with each other in sync with NEP.

On Thursday, May 18, the University of Delhi and Dr. B. R. Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to ensure the optimum utilisation of their resources with one another. Both universities have agreed to work together in areas of research, extension activities, student and faculty exchange, consultancy, and outreach. Officials reportedly agreed to maintain a common ground by allocating libraries, sports grounds, research laboratories, seminar halls, auditoriums, etc. for students and staff of both universities.

Due to proximity, the collaboration can explore the possibility of mobility of students between the two universities. It will help students study courses/papers offered in the collaborating university and their credit transfer as well as issuance of a certificates.

– DU Vice-Chancellor Prof. Yogesh Singh

The Vice Chancellor also proposed to conduct joint PhD programmes for the students to get the best opportunities under the co-supervision of both universities. The universities will work on emerging areas like the impact of artificial intelligence on social sciences and promote research in the fields of science and technology.

Committed to academic partnerships and collaborations with other institutions, the goal of Ambedkar University is to become a Multidisciplinary Education Research University in alignment with the objectives of NEP 2020. Vice Chancellor of Ambedkar University, Prof. Anu Singh Lather, said that the University is committed to the ideals of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar by bridging equality and social justice with excellence.

We are working on becoming a Multidisciplinary Education Research University (MERU) and have recently signed MoUs with GGSIP University, NSUT, DTU, NLU-D.

– AUD Vice Chancellor Prof. Lather

Prof. Lather added that AUD’s mission is to create sustainable and effective linkages between access and success in higher education. The MoU will be a step towards fulfilling this purpose.


Read also: DU Scraps Existing B.El.Ed. Programme, Teachers Raise Objection 

Featured Image Credits: B.R. Ambedkar University Website

Aanya Mehta
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After issuing suspension notices and imposing fines on students for protesting, Hindu College is reconsidering its move. The students have submitted written apologies to the administration, and the principal is reportedly willing to let students explain themselves and address their concerns.

The Hindu College administration had issued notices suspending around 40 students and demanding a fine of Rs. 10,000, citing “gross misconduct” by students protesting against the administrative decision to reduce Mecca to a one-day event. The notice firmly stated that the students would not be allowed to take their semester exams if they failed to pay the fine. It further stated that they would not be allowed to hold any post of responsibility in the future and that “any repetition of such or other misconduct in the future will be treated with the utmost strictness, to the extent of rustication”. Additionally, 15 students have received a notice for financial fraud and cheating. The notice also alleged that the protesters caused damage to college property and behaved disrespectfully towards the principal, blocking her way and not letting her attend an official meeting.

However, after some deliberation and discussions, the principal, Ms. Anju Srivastava, is reconsidering the suspension. On the evening of May 9, a day after the suspension was issued, the principal reportedly held a meeting with the students. The students put forward their demands and concerns regarding the notice and requested that it be withdrawn.

They (the students) have given us verbal apologies and written apologies. We will give students another chance to put forward their sides. We are open to discussion with them. I have asked the disciplinary committee to look into each application separately on an urgent basis. The work has started. We will soon inform the students.

– Ms. Anju Srivastava, Principal of Hindu College, in conversation with PTI

The principal stated that the students will be given a chance to explain themselves and that their apologies will be accepted. It has been stressed that every student’s application will be reanalyzed in depth. The suspension notices drew widespread criticism from students involved in the protests. The students initially stated that they would resort to protesting against the suspension and the imposition of fines if they were not withdrawn.

The RSS-affiliated student body, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), came out in support of the students and requested the administration withdraw the notice at the earliest. Despite all efforts to encourage dialogue between both sides, whether every student will be spared suspension is uncertain.

Read also: Hindu College Suspends and Issues Fines for Protesting Students

Featured Image Credits: Keshavi for DU Beat

Tulip Banerjee 
[email protected] 

Delhi University intends to replace the current B.El.Ed. degree with an integrated course for teachers’ education in compliance with NEP 2020. The move, which is expected to be implemented from July 2023 onward, has been met with opposition from faculty members who have questioned the reasoning behind it.

The Bachelor of Elementary Education (B.El.Ed.) degree at Delhi University is due to be replaced with a new programme beginning this year, the Integrated Teacher’s Education Programme (ITEP), a new four-year course that is expected to commence in July. It will offer the B.A.B.Ed., B.Sc.B.Ed., and B.Com. courses. Foundational, Preparatory, Middle, and Secondary (5+3+3+4): the new school structure laid out in the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 will be followed to train teachers henceforth.

We will be scrapping B.El.Ed. and bringing in ITEP. For this year, we will run both programmes parallelly. Both can’t run together because teachers are limited; we are not getting new teachers from the government. We are looking at starting ITEP this July, and if there is a positive response, B.El.Ed will be automatically scrapped.

-DU registrar Vikas Gupta, in conversation with The Indian Express

Four colleges under the University of Delhi have applied for the programme. Three of them—Shyama Prasad Mukherjee College, Jesus and Mary College, and Mata Sundri College—will launch the new programme this year following approval from the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE). The rationale given behind the scrapping of the B.El.Ed. programme is the implementation of NEP and the objective of transformational improvements in the education system.

Every course has its durability. For instance, now that NEP has come into effect, the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) has automatically ended. Existing teachers are qualified; they will teach the new course. Colleges have provided a list of teachers, post which the NCTE has given its approval.

-DU registrar Vikas Gupta, in conversation with The Indian Express

According to a statement by the Press Information Bureau (PIB), a flagship programme of NCTE under NEP 2020, the ITEP will be launched in 57 Teacher Education Institutions (TEIs) from the academic session 2023–24.

This integrated course will benefit students since they will save one year by finishing the course in 4 years rather than the customary 5 years required by the present B.Ed. plan… The course will contribute substantially to the revitalization of the whole teacher education sector.

– statement issued by PBI on March 4, 2023

Reportedly, teachers have expressed concern about the decision and questioned the need for its scrapping considering it is a “popular course with a high placement record.” The Department of Elementary Education hosted a meeting last week wherein faculty members urged the University and the governing board to reconsider the decision. Teachers agreed with the implementation of ITEP in light of more extensive reforms to teacher education in accordance with the NEP. However, they insisted that it should be an addition rather than a replacement to the existing curriculum. According to The Indian Express, teachers and educationists at the meeting called the ITEP a “pedagogically and academically flawed programme.”

What is the rationale for removing one course to start another? B.EL.Ed. is the first and only professional degree programme that prepares teachers for elementary classes (I-VIII), mandated under the Right to Education Act. It weaves together general and professional education. ITEP, on the other hand, is designed as a 3+1 programme, where 3 years is focused on general education and one year for professional training.

-Prof. Maya John, a member of DU’s academic council, in conversation with The Quint

The B.El.Ed. programme was launched in 1994 by Delhi University and is currently offered in eight colleges. It was the first integrated teacher programme for elementary education that an Indian university had ever provided.

The B.El.Ed. programme, with its interdisciplinary approach and integration of general and professional education, has successfully trained over 8,000 teachers, in consonance with the Constitutionally mandated Right to Education Act.

-Prof. Poonam Batra, a retired DU professor who co-created the B.El.Ed. programme

Teachers have questioned the justification for the implementation of ITEP, claiming it is “inadequate” to provide the requisite skills.

The ITEP programme provides only one-year professional training following three years of general education (BA/BSc), which is inadequate to equip teachers with the necessary knowledge and capacities for teaching diverse levels and classrooms. Imposition of ITEP goes against university statutes that protect the university’s autonomy to design curricula.

-Prof. Poonam Batra added

Pankaj Arora, Dean of the Department of Education, disagreed with this assertion and claimed that the “new course caters to the needs of the new structure as envisaged by NEP.”

The new course is a dual degree course. This will allow vertical mobility because it has multiple entry and exit points. This means that if students complete three years and leave, they will still get their degrees. Moreover, they go on to pursue their Masters and will even be eligible for Ph.D. under the new Ph.D. regulations.

-Dr. Pankaj Arora, Dean of the Department of Education

Read also : Demand Raised for Permanent Principal in SBSEC (Evening) – DU Beat – Delhi University’s Independent Student Newspaper

Featured Image Credits : The Indian Express

Manvi Goel
[email protected]

For the past month, the non-teaching staff of Keshav Mahavidyalaya have been protesting in a sit-in dharna for demands such as pending promotions and timely payment of dues. The administration has allegedly not relented to any requests as of yet. 

In an exclusive conversation with DU Beat, a member of the Karamchari Union of Keshav Mahavidyalaya alleged that promotions of the college’s non-teaching staff have been halted since 2009. Instead, they accused, the appointment of retired individuals has been extended to fill up the posts that were supposed to be taken up via promotions. This has led to serious concerns about financial security and workers’ rights, given that 30-32 members of the Keshav Mahavidyalaya Non-Teaching Staff Union have been protesting in the college since April 12, 2023.

Jo jahan pe hai wo vahin hai. Job kisiliye karta hai aadmi? Isiliye ki jisse uski koi growth ho, wo zindagi mein kuch achieve kar paye… 17-26 saal ho gaye hain logon ko kaam karte hue. Mehangai badh rahi hai, par us hisaab se aapki salary nahi increase ho rahi. Aadmi apni zaruratein nahi puri kar paata, apne parivaar ke kharche nahi utha pata.

(Everyone is stuck where they are. Why does someone work at a job? So that they can achieve something in life and for growth… It’s been 17–26 years since we have been working. Prices have been rising, but our salaries have not been increasing in proportion. One is not able to fulfil their needs and fend for their family.)

– Anonymous member of Keshav Mahavidyalaya Non-Teaching Staff Union

Even though the number of students being admitted to the college has increased over the years, our sources claimed that the number of posts for non-teaching staff has not increased in proportion to the increasing workload. Reportedly, posts such as lab assistant, library assistant, gardener, etc. are vacant and awaiting promotions.

Additionally, our sources alleged that the college has not been adhering to the reservation policy; posts reserved for SC, ST, and OBC categories have allegedly been allotted to unreserved candidates. In another instance, they accused the college of allotting examination duties to “near and dear ones” instead of the existing college staff.

Our sources retold a particular instance of pending promotions which arose in the case of the post of Senior Assistant in the Administration department. According to the post-based promotion roster available on the college website, there are two posts in the cadre. However, our sources informed us that the same was reduced to 1 post in subsequent rosters. A plea filed in 2011 under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005, once again revealed that there were two posts present of Senior Assistant in the college.

Alleging “a blame game on Dilli sarkar (Delhi government)”, they reported that inquiries with the administration were met with the response that Delhi government has not sanctioned or approved those posts and that the college lacks adequate funding. Letters and mails to the administration have allegedly not yielded much positive response either.

Admin se jo ek-do baar baat hui hai, tab unhone humein pressurize karne ki neeti apnai hai. Ki aap apne kaam pe laut jao. Darane-dhamkane ka bhi unka raha hai.

(In the one or two times that we have talked to the administration, they have adopted the strategy of trying to pressurize us. That we should return to work. They have tried to intimidate and threaten us.)

– Anonymous member of Keshav Mahavidyalaya Non-Teaching Staff Union

While headlines of fund-crunch in the 12 DU colleges that come under the purview of the Delhi government have surfaced before, our source reported that, as per their knowledge, the teaching staff of the college hasn’t faced any issue with promotion or dues. If the issue is reportedly limited only to the non-teaching staff, they raised questions about the validity of the fund shortage reasoning.

The protesting workers and non-teaching staff have pleaded for immediate redressal of their “long-overdue demands” and inquiry into all cases of alleged maladministration.

Read also: DU Non-Teaching Staff Protest Demands Pending Promotions

Featured Image Credits: Sourabh for DU Beat

Sanika Singh

[email protected] 

University of Delhi professor Sathyabhama Das Biju, also popularly known as the “Frogman of India,” has been named among the fifty worldwide Radcliffe Fellows at Harvard University for 2023-2024. This fellowship will allow him to extend his research on the conservation of amphibian species in the Indian subcontinent at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study in the upcoming academic year.

The Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University is a highly prestigious research institution that selects fifty fellows each academic year who “demonstrate an extraordinary level of accomplishment in their work” and grants them a year-long stipend to fulfil their respective projects amidst an interdisciplinary setup and the immense resources of Harvard. It is a highly competitive fellowship, with acceptance rates falling as low as three percent. Amidst this statistic, the University of Delhi professor, Sathyabhama Das Biju, who is currently the head of the Systematic Labs at the Department of Environmental Studies, has been named for the award for the academic year 2023-2024.

It can be noted that this year’s Radcliffe cohort is highly diverse and involves talented minds from around the globe, with one fellow from India in Biological Sciences, Professor Biju. With an interdisciplinary focus, the Fellowship Programme brings together scholars from a range of fields such as the humanities, arts, sciences, and even writers and journalists to pursue their work in a concentrated way amidst the intellectual and resource-rich, vibrant environment of the Harvard-Radcliffe community. Past fellows have included intellectuals and academicians like Jill Lepore, Samantha Power, Zadie Smith, Elizabeth Warren, and the Nobel laureate Michael Kremer.

After kick-starting his career as a plant systematist at the Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanical Garden and Research Institute in 1992, Professor Biju quickly shifted to amphibian research in 2000 and joined Franky Bossuyt at the Amphibian Evolution Lab in Brussels. From then on, his career faced an upward progression, with him discovering 100 new species and formally describing 96 new species, eight new genera, and two new families of amphibians in the span of a decade. His work came into international limelight with the creation of his conservation projects, namely, the Western Ghats Network of Protected Areas of Threatened Amphibians (WNPATA) and the Lost Amphibians of India (LAI), to save rapidly vanishing amphibians in the South Asian subcontinent. Moreover, his works were advanced in terms of collaborating molecular techniques with traditional methods, thus coinciding with international practise in amphibian research. His efforts have also resolved long-standing taxonomic issues in difficult amphibian groups like those of frogs.

At Harvard, Prof. Biju will be able to pursue his work on species conservation and identify further amphibian biodiversity hotspots in the Indian subcontinent while engaging in on-site collaboration with Harvard faculty, postdocs, and students and exploring the Museum of Comparative Zoology in the upcoming year.

Professor Biju is the sixtieth fellow representing Biological Sciences in the 23 years of this programme and only the second fellow in this discipline from India, a reflection of his vast contribution to the arena of amphibian research and exploration and his immense passion and potential to save India’s shrinking amphibian biodiversity in the future.

Read also: DU Professor Nominated for Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Programme

Featured Image Credits: tn.com.ar

Priyanka Mukherjee

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A first-year resident of the LSR hostel suffered major injuries when the ceiling of a bathroom stall collapsed. Students raised concern over the safety measures of the hostel and expressed their frustrations over the college’s lack of accountability. The incident occurred among previous allegations against the functionality of the hostel, such as food poisoning, irregular water supply, obsolete infrastructure, and a lack of air conditioning facilities.

On March 27, at around 8:15 in the morning, a first-year resident at the Lady Shri Ram College (LSR) hostel was severely injured when the ceiling of the bathroom stall disintegrated and collapsed on top of her. The student was immediately hospitalised due to debilitating injuries to her arms and legs. The incident has raised several concerns regarding the safety precautions and the obsolete infrastructure of the hostel.

When the incident occurred, the students heard a loud crashing noise emerging from the bathroom cubicles and a screaming noise. The injured student was trapped inside the bathroom and was unable to unlock the bathroom door due to her injuries. The nearby students immediately notified the superintendent of the hostel, who lives right opposite the bathroom and allegedly had not heard the collapse of the ceiling or the wailing of the injured student.

The superintendent was unable to push through the bathroom door without further injuring the student. Immediately, four men were called, and they assisted the student and accompanied her to her room. However, adequate support was delayed, and the student did not receive immediate care due to the technicalities of the hostel administration.

“They had first taken the student to her room and offered her tea. She did not get medical attention immediately, which is very weird, and they were saying that they needed a legal guardian for her to be taken to the hospital, which did not happen eventually. They ended up taking her themselves to the Moolchand Hospital. The hostel did pay for her because it was the hostel’s fault that this happened.” – A student and resident of the LSR hostel

The bathroom stall had been immediately closed and placed under supervision for further maintenance. Later, at 7 p.m., the head and assistant warden of the hostel organised a meeting to discuss the incident. They blamed the occurrence of the accident on the debilitating infrastructure of the hostel. Apparently, the hostel required constant maintenance, and the most recent repairs were made around September 2022. However, several students raised concerns regarding the quality of such renovations.

“Renovation of the building is not enough because the foundation of the building itself is not concrete. The architecture is very old, and the pipelines are iron, so they have rusted. The ceilings also have issues. It’s a problem with the infrastructure. Whenever we tell the warden, we are given the same response: that the hostel is a very old building, and Delhi University (DU) does not give any funds. To fully renovate the hostel, at least a year is required, and in that case, they cannot offer the facilities of the hostel for an entire year.” – LSR student and hostel resident who was present in the meeting

In the meeting, it was also stated that starting the following day, checks will be administered in all the bathrooms to ensure safety precautions. However, students are raising concerns over the safety measures of the hostel, as the bathroom stall where the incident occurred is considered to be one of the “safe” stalls. When the students expressed their frustrations over the lack of accountability on behalf of the college, the administration warned the students to vacate the hostel if they were dissatisfied with the facilities offered by the hostel.

“It felt like they were threatening us by saying they will close the hostel. They were saying that if we want proper renovations, they will need to tear down the building and the students will be required to vacate the hostel. This is, of course, not feasible for many students, who will not be able to find such accommodations on such short notice. They also said that if we want renovations with more qualified people, they will increase our fees, and the next year students will blame us for the increase in fees.” – LSR student and hostel resident

The parents of the injured student visited the premises to accompany their daughter to their hometown. The student will remain in her hometown for a few weeks to recover from her injuries.

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Featured Image Credits: Lady Shri Ram College Website