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In the aftermath of the Lok Sabha Elections, the nation stands shook by the NEET and UGC-NET paper leaks. Besides, privatisation of public education and saffronisation of the curriculum were major issues that were raised recurrently throughout the decade. While the present diaspora signals towards a supposedly balanced Lok Sabha with the Opposition winning close to majority seats, is there any positive hope for the future of public education in India?

June 4, 2024, allegedly invited a new ray of hope for Indian democracy. Netizens chanted, ‘Democracy is back!’, the opposition rejoiced with a near majority, and a sliver ray of hope was projected for the upcoming 5 years. Studio-pandits dominated television screens with their expertise upon a more balanced parliamentary representation- with the INDIA Alliance thundering at nearly 230 seats, and the Congress owning 99 of them. ‘A balanced Parliament will keep the Modi Goliath in check’, was the unanimous declaration. ‘Economic measures will be balanced out further with GST in check!’, ‘Hindutva politics will be in check!’, ‘The Constitution is safe and it will be hard to pass the UCC (Uniform Civil Code) with a strong opposition!’, Twitteratis declared.

However, through all the discussions about the potential action-plan of ‘Modi 3.0’, there was one particular sector that was left out- Public Education, the same ministry that is now facing major hit-backs 15 days into ‘Modi 3.0’.

On June 24, as the 18th Lok Sabha launched its functioning, Opposition ministers were witnessed to chant ‘NEET! Shame!’ as the Education Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan, walked towards the podium to undertake his oath for the newly-formed Government. While student protests asking for ‘RE-NEET’ and a CBI probe into the paper leak overtook the streets of New Delhi and across India, the future of 24 lakh medical aspirants lies uncertain in the hands of a government averse to the concerns of national education previously.

When it comes to the Modi report card in terms of public education in India, the sector has undergone significant tinkering in terms of rewriting NCERT textbooks and introduction of the National Education Policy 2020; the government has failed to look into the administrative and managerial failures to implement such measures and policies within most government-run schools. With rising summer temperatures across the subcontinent and the atrocity of climate change, the education sector is on the verge of suffering yet another setback- potential dropouts and absenteeism by students due to lack of air-conditioning or functional fans in government-run schools and colleges giving rise to miserable environments which are not conducive for learning. An instance worth mentioning is the May-term examinations conducted by Delhi University amidst scorching 50 degrees Celsius.

When it comes to investment in public education, the government’s ambitious National Education Policy promised a whopping 6% of GDP by 2020. However, as per a report by Scroll.in, expenditure pertaining to education counts at 2.8% of GDP in 2019-20, and a marginal increase to 3.1% in 2022. Contrastingly, the BJP’s 2014 manifesto claimed that, “investment in education yields the best dividend.” However, the ruling party’s words have hardly aligned with their actions. Another report by Scroll.in draws upon the comparison that between 2004-24, the Congress-led Union Government invested nearly 0.61% of the GDP annually towards education. On the other hand, between 2014-24, the number significantly reduced to 0.44% of the GDP annually. 

Simultaneously, the National Education Policy of 2020, introduced by the Modi government has also faced several criticisms. Several critics, student activists from the left-bloc and academicians claim that NEP has fuelled the privatisation of public education through exorbitant fee hikes, which makes it less inclusive for the economically-marginalized. Numerous exit options open doors for candidates to drop out of college much more easily. While NEP aims towards digital enhancement of classrooms- several academic institutions in India lack basic infrastructure to implement the same- several schools and colleges even lack facilities like proper hygienic washrooms and water-filters.

Under the guise of “syllabus rationalisation”, the country has witnessed its school textbooks being rewritten, its history reshaped to give birth to a ‘monocultural narrative’ at the expense of India’s multiculturalism. While school textbooks are crucial for the construction of a ‘civilizational memory’, underfunding and budget cuts in public schools hamper the development of human capital and the long-term growth of the nation. 

Since 2017, the NCERT has undergone significant changes in its curriculum, all of which were passed against a weak-opposition in the House. Several instances such as the exclusion of the Mughal era from Class 12 history textbooks, removal of texts on the caste system, social movements, brief ban of the RSS post-independence and Gandhi’s unpopularity with Hindu extremists, were observed in 2022. Furthermore, in 2023, Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution was excluded from the curriculum as well.

 Post the Lok Sabha election of 2024, the NCERT took another move towards removing any mentions of the Babri Masjid and swapped it with the phrase, “three-domed structure”. Such omissions in the curriculum were justified with fervour by BJP MPs later. 

In 2022, BJP leader, Kapil Mishra explained the exclusion of the Mughal era from the syllabus alleging that “thieves” were referred to as the “Mughal rulers” and this initiative of reshaping the curriculum will “shine light on the truth.” Similarly, on being questioned about the removal of the mention of the Babri Masjid from textbooks, NCERT Director, Dinesh Prasad opines that, “teaching about riots in school textbooks can create violent, depressed citizens.” On the other hand, several critics and netizens claim that reshaping historical narratives is a convenient way to “whitewash the Ayodhya dispute.” However, it is not difficult to point out that the changes undergone by the NCERT in recent years reflect a strong saffronized stance- an alleged BJP-led government move to eliminate text that challenges the Hindutva worldview. 

While curriculum-reshaping and a lack of basic infrastructure hamper public schools in the country, the BJP manifesto had promised to bridge the digital divide persisting within the country. The online-education era propelled by the COVID-19 pandemic showed that students had scant access to digital devices and the internet. Moreover, the pandemic-era led to major learning losses that are yet to be addressed. 

The Modi government has not fared well through the decade when it comes to funding higher-education institutions as well. The Government changed the mode of financing from grants to loans for such institutions, which consequently caused central institutions struggle to repay loans and in turn pressurise their administration to increase fees or compromise upon other aspects of education. The BJP-majority government also rolled out a scheme to identify 50 ‘Institutes of Eminence’ by 2019 and develop them into world-class universities. However, the said-scheme has slobbered and only 20 institutions have been identified till now. 

When it comes to affirmative action, the government introduced a 10% reservation for economically-backward classes and directed public institutions to increase their seats for the same. However, several institutions lacked classroom infrastructure to intake students above the usual capacity. Casteism runs rampant to this day on academic campuses. In December 2023, the Education Minister replied to a question in the Lok Sabha that, “In the preceding five years, 2622 STs, 2424 SCs, and 4596 OBC students dropped out of central universities.” This paints an ugly picture of the caste discrimination that bleeds through the country even today. 

Moreover, in another attack on minorities, the government withdrew the Maulana Azad Fellowship for Muslim students and even excluded students from humanities background from the National Overseas Scholarship intended for students from marginalized backgrounds.

Besides, the education domain from 2014-24 witnessed the maximum number of student protests- with student political parties and youth wings like AISA, SFI, and NSUI holding rallies and marches against the Gaza War, Saffronisation, NEP, fee hikes, and hostel infrastructure for women, to ABVP joining protests related to the NEET 2024 paper leak. 

Out of the endless issues that have been raised with the Modi Government’s decade of “revamping Indian education,” the most pertinent of these remains the display of religiosity in otherwise secular campus spaces. From the Hijab ban that proved to be a litmus test for democratic secular values to the Ayodhya Consecration ceremony that was widely celebrated with ‘hawans’ and ‘bhandaras’ across academic institutions, there have been monocultural biases when it comes to regulations upon displays of religiosity within learning spaces. This needs the state to create a healthy balance between the sanctity of secular educational spaces and the individual right to religious expression. However, with the widespread saffronisation of education across the country, rewriting textbooks and faculty displacements, the BJP’s attack on public education reflects an ethno-cultural majoritarian election agenda. 

Moreover, several attempts have been made to document mass-faculty displacements in public colleges, with highly-qualified teachers being fired despite years of experience due to ideological and other pertinent differences; the faculty displacement within the Sociology department of IPCW in 2023 and Ramjas’ English Department in the same year are noteworthy instances. This has led to widespread agitation amongst students who were afraid to speak out amidst stringent suppressive measures taken by the administration of the respective colleges.

While the administrative, managerial and intellectual architecture of the Indian education system is being rapidly eroded by aggressive saffron policies, one can only hope that a healthy Opposition granted by the 18th Lok Sabha elections can voice the concerns of the students. Meanwhile, the NEET-fiasco has dug out the deeply disturbed state of testing agencies and the ignorance of the education ministry to preserve the sanctity of public education. 

In such circumstances, one can only hope student protests aren’t curbed, the sanctity of investigation bureaus is maintained and opposing voices are respected within the state as a crucial part of the democratic mechanism rather than being equated with the ‘anti-national’ tag. India’s public education system is a ticking time-bomb. It is only a matter of time before it explodes and rubs out the sanctity of what we call India itself.

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

Featured Image Credits: Cartoonist Satish Acharya

Priyanka Mukherjee

[email protected]

What happened to the voices of the campus? Where are we with the freedom to express dissent?

 

How do you manage to live in a highly polarised world? Being an apolitical person you can ignore, or if you hold the responsibility of calling yourself political, you can “allege” or “accuse.” But how do you manage to make sense of things when the world being ravaged by hate is your future workplace? For student journalists or the students of media, it’s the most worrying question. There is no doubt that we are facing a massive downfall of the media in the last few years, from the very orthodox and conservative relative to the very vocal and performative activist group. Everyone alleges that it is the media that is creating the ruckus, just the different ones for them.

 

From constantly and directly promoting hatred in the name of religion, targeting minorities, lobbying and creating propaganda around deliberately selective issues, and heckling, there’s almost no ditch that our mainstream media has not stepped into. This is nothing less than a moment of crisis for future workers in this arena. But as I look around, the worry of the future leaves me and the present stress grips me harder. 

 

A few months back, a notice was released to all the DU students that they would need permission from the Proctor to protest. Moreover, there has been an erasure of resistance art from campuses, section 144 was imposed in Jamia for two long months, deployment of police forces inside the campuses has been frequent, violence in Jamia’s library by the police came to light,cancellation of Sarfoora Zargar’s degree, and hundreds of other actions that signify the movement at large to  distance students and campuses from the larger political movement. The administrations, which were supposed to be benefactors of students, have turned into watchdogs bent upon making the vocal universities into apolitical centres of study.

 

 After the pandemic, such tendencies have increased with the batch that did not get to live their campus life. It feels like a gap altogether, as if something was lost that could not be recovered. The admin has taken advantage of this opportunity in the worst way possible. There is an urgent need to revive political deliberation on campuses again.

 

 The trampling down of dissent in any form across all the university campuses is worrisome that should be a public topic for distress. The concept of universities as free spaces for deliberation and discussion has eroded, as has the opportunity for Indian students to have a space to themselves free of hatred and censorship.

 

 So, how do you manage to make sense of things when the world being ravaged by hate is the one you are currently living in? With the help of students who still hold the bravado of sitting on protests, well aware that there can be consequences, and those who are determined to maintain the same atmosphere on campus. With the help of Meenakshi, who did not deter from filling a petition in the court against the arbitary removal of her candidature from the LSR SU elections, with students of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) and St. Stephens not letting enablers of hegemony and patriarchy into their campuses, and with the students of National School of Drama (NSD) singing Dheere Dheere yahan ka mausam badalne laga hai while their Chairperson arrives to meet them after a long protest and hunger strike.

Kashish Shivani

[email protected]

The red glistening walls housing the dreams of lacs of students also house within themselves heaps of issues that wait for the dust to be removed from their face. 

When these issues lie on the surface waiting to be scratched upon, the onus falls on student organisations, activists and journalists.

 

For the part of student journalists, what goes on behind a published report? Just the protest or the issue at hand or loads of trashy politics and games of hushing. The search for quotes to provide legitimacy for the piece is a search like no other. To be ignored at the whim of others is not a new thing, but to be restrained from writing was a completely new experience for a writer that came to me as a student journalist. 

 

What irked me the most in the initial days was the deliberate silence of almost all of my teachers on the very issues that concerned them. The shock came with a strict message from the administration to not to consult any teacher directly for any issue. The next experience that awaited me was from the very society that I worked for which tried to restrain an article about the misconduct of society members towards the outstation students. 

 

With each passing report, the politics of the backend became more twisted and turned. From people restraining us from reporting upon the publicly available information to organisations keeping their solidarity private for the show of some people, I saw the ‘dark’ that resides in the red bricks. 

 

Just like the objects in the mirror that are closer than they appear, the issues that looked smaller were huge in their very own sense. And in the midst of this hullabaloo of some people trying to voice the issues and others trying to shut it down, I missed the inside joke of DU: Pretence is the play that everyone loves. So the very organisations that might be vocal about the declining freedom of the Press in India would be the ones shutting the issues at the level they operate. 

 

Thus was broken the dream of witnessing politics and change at the university level for maybe at a place where election results are decided with the gifted items, the dream was a mere delusion painted by the cinema that only encaptures and stops with its delivered euphoria. 

 

The urge to break through the opaque walls to reach the transparent core is often defeated in the entire process of searching for information so the question that appears at the end is – Who is being joked upon and by whom in this ‘humorous’ circle?  

Kashish Shivani

[email protected]

When we have not experienced something first hand, we tend to believe anything that is a popular opinion regarding it. So, if you are a fresher then you tend to believe everything that into pop culture and select Instagram posts show about college. However, not all of what you see is true. Here are some of the myths about college. Let’s bust them!

1. You won’t have to study

Just get your school life done with. Do your class 12 well and that is about it. You don’t have to study at college, you’ll pass all exams!

Let us take this moment to call you out of this misconception. You must or should have been really worried about your class 12 results and you should have worked hard for them. And, just to make sure you give it your all, people tell you that the struggle ends after your school is over. Definitely, college is not as hard as that until the last year. However, it does not mean you don’t have to study at all. Your score from semester one to the last semester adds up to count the final percentage at the end of your college, which will not only stick to your CV for the rest of your life but also play a crucial role in getting you a job or further admissions.

2. Life will suddenly turn into a Karan Johar movie

When your college is about to begin, your parents will take you out for shopping and your friends at college will talk about the freedom and fun you’re about to throw yourself into. With all the amazing clothes and stories given to you, you might begin daydreaming about your college life as one of those KJo movies. Yes, a few moments might definitely be like you’re on the golden screen. However, it is important to remember and be prepared for the fact that not everything will be as glamorous. There will be failures, heartbreaks and god forbid, bad hair days!  But what do all the protagonists do when in trouble? Get back up and emerge out of it!

3. You will get friends for life

This is not true for everybody. You do get contacts for life. You will receive and give several calls to your college mates throughout your life, for work. However, you might not remain tight friends with them. While in college, you will definitely have a ‘gang’ of friends. However, people tend to get scattered and busy once college ends. Only lucky people are able to sustain these lifelong friendships. But, the good news is that you are living in the era of social media. Most of your friends might be just one tap away from you, therefore, you have a great possibility to remain in touch for a long while.

4. You have to defend yourself in this cold world

Your parents are seeing you grow as you enter the new college environment. They have seen and been in touch with your school, earlier. They used to trust the school, its people, and its rules well. However, they now are a little paranoid about college. They will tell you all sorts of precautions you have to take to defend yourself in the ‘cold world’ you’re about to enter. However, it is not true. Do not pull up your guards or over think about anything at college. It will just cause mistrust. College is as warm as a school if you want it to be. There will be well-wishers, there will be competitors like there always are at every place! Just remember to take sensible decisions and really know a person before relying on them. That done, you are good to go!

Feature Image Credit: Hindustan Times

Khyati Sanger

[email protected]

From a time when student reporters had to run around to capture pictures of protests and then send them to their copy editor to ensure that it goes for the weekly print issue, to posting live stories on Instagram – our journalism has travelled a long way in the past 10 years. Amidst the chaos of getting quotes from people in various administrative hierarchies, student leaders, documenting the events and happenings around the campus, and raising crucial issues regarding gender and sexual health among students – we have played a major role in initiating conversations through our student journalism in the past decade.
In the words of Kofi Annan, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, “Information is the first step towards liberation.” Be it through printed copies across colleges or reports on our social media handles, we have tried our best to keep you updated about what all happens in DU, while sincerely hoping that the experience has been as liberating for you as it has for us. Right from raising issues concerning women’s safety in the campus after the Nirbhaya case in 2012 and the haphazard introduction of the Four Year Undergraduate Program in 2013, to raising the issues regarding the right to dissent and debate post the violence at Ramjas College in February 2017 – we have represented students in media and given a voice to the unheard. As completely independent journalists, we have embraced our responsibility, sometimes even at the cost of our safety.
We are an entirely student-run platform – a badge of honour we wear with pride. From ideating stories, writing, investigating, raising funds to print copies, to regular managerial work, every little thing in our organisation is handled solely by undergraduate students. We recruit students, train them to excel in their various fields, and prepare them to work in professional settings. In the past 10 years, students who have worked at DU Beat in various capacities have gone ahead to lead major teams at Google, pursued journalism in globally influential outlets like The New York Times and Huffington Post, excelled in academics as Commonwealth Scholars, and begun their own media initiatives.

Externally, our journalism has also allowed our readers to succeed in their lives post their time at Delhi University. Many students still write to us, detailing how our news about admissions helped them bag a seat in the college of their choice. Inspired by our journalism, many of our readers have gone ahead to pursue a career in journalism, while others have benefited from our humble initiative of an independent student-run media outlet.

After successfully organising Mushaira, the Literature festival of Hindu College on 30th and 31st January with the Hindu College Parliament, to commemorate 10 years of independent student journalism, our team would like to raise a toast to our long-standing relationship with you, dear reader. Let the University and these printed words stand witness to our effort of making our University a more efficient, democratic, and liberating space.

 

Srivedant Kar
[email protected]

The Delhi University Students’ Union elections are just around the corner and the election fever is in full swing. In this context, we analyse the finer nuances of what sways the DUSU election results.

  • The name game

While campaigning, candidates often change how their name is spelt. Posters and hoardings will often bear the names of candidates with one or more letters misspelt. This leads to the following benefit – if there are any pending cases or FIRs against them, it would be harder for the average Joe to look it up. The second benefit allows them to manipulate the ballot number they received by adding “A” at the beginning of their name as a prefix. For example, the 2015 DUSU President Mohit Nagar filed his nomination as “AAA Mohit Nagar” which resulted in him getting ballot number 1. The ballot list is made in alphabetical order which means that the candidates with the maximum number of As at the beginning of their name would get 1 as their ballot number. Since a lot of people in DUSU elections vote just for the sake of it, the probability of them voting for the first candidate on the list is considerably higher. To combat this, in 2015 the Delhi High Court described this practise as “flawed” and finally put an end to it.

  • Money matters

Freebies ranging from movie tickets, chocolates, t-shirts, pens, notebooks, water park tickets, and what not are distributed during the election season. But it does not stop there. Major student political parties also go to large PGs to promote and campaign for their candidates. An anonymous resident of Aparna Girls Hostel, a private PG that houses around 300 girls, says, “Last year both the ABVP and NSUI came to our PG to campaign. They spent around 20-30 minutes there and also sponsored special food for the day”. These freebies are aggressively thrown around as the election day comes closer in order to sway the maximum number of voters until the very end.

  • Graffiti

Without any regard to either public and private property or to aesthetics, candidates spray paint their names over walls, buildings, pavements, hoardings, and any flat surface which catches the eye. The idea is to familiarise the maximum number of people with a certain name before election day. If the rival party has already put up their logo on a particular wall, instances have shown that political candidates are not above throwing black paint all over it. Every year, in the name of elections, these walls are besmirched with black spray paint and posters.

  • Personal touch

Any politician worth the salt knows how important personal touch is. Vox populi vox dei is an ancient Latin phrase which means that the voice of people is the voice of God. Candidates in DUSU elections are more than aware of this philosophy.  Once people want a particular candidate to win because they think he/she deserves it, there is little that can stop them. As soon as the logistics are dealt with, door-to-door campaigning begins. Personally helping people, reaching out to them, acquiring  goodwill, and building up a network of loyal friends are keys to unlocking the puzzle that is DUSU elections. On the day of the elections it is this goodwill acquired across months of rigorous campaigning and a band of loyal supporters and friends that ensures victory.

  • Party lines

Contrary to what most of us would like to believe, student politics does sync with national politics. DUSU elections are a playground for major national political parties. Most DUSU presidents acquire a certain degree of political relevance and end up with successful careers working with their parent organisations or parties. Delhi University is also a recruitment pool for these parties. A considerable number of today’s political leaders started their careers in Delhi University itself.

As far as the DUSU election results are concerned, the stakes are extremely high. It is a matter of immense pride to win the student elections in one of the largest universities in the country. The pivotal driving force in these elections – perhaps the sole factor that makes it so very grand – is the involvement of national parties. When Delhi University becomes the battle ground for the biggest political parties in the country, one can expect a magnificent showdown.

 

Image Credits: Kinjal Pandey for DU Beat

Kinjal Pandey
[email protected]

Dear Freshers,

Welcome to the University of Delhi. Take a moment to feel the joy of having achieved a massive milestone of your life – making it into DU. This might be an accident of circumstances or a culmination of your endless efforts, but for simplicity’s sake, let’s just say that the whole world conspired to help you achieve your dreams. Now that you’ve successfully taken admission in the most prestigious educational institute in the country, it’s time to comprehend the gravity of this stage in your life. Delhi University will give you all that a college experience possibly can – education, amusement, friends, and most importantly, an identity.

Be ready to expect the unexpected. Every notion that you currently hold will be challenged in this campus, where every fleeting moment of idleness is filled with the urge to achieve something. The people you are going to meet, the ideas you are going to encounter, the academic environment which used to be a mark-milking tool for you until now, are all going to change, even as this University continues to be well-known for its almost meme-worthy standards of education. Stereotypes of how DU kids carry jholas and never actually study are hilarious in themselves, but they function as badges of honour for students in their time here. Popular for harbouring, or at least generating, a liberal and culturally aware generation of students, DU allows you to push yourself, whether that be through academics or extracurriculars. Well-rounded and up-to-date syllabi, along with the general elective under the Choice Based Credit System, come together to provide students a holistic education. The numerous societies within colleges, as well as university-wide associations further allow students to expand their horizons and develop their talents. Portraying ideas, thoughts, and injustices through dance, music, and theatre, is no small feat, and you’ll get your moment of glory throughout the much-publicised fest season. We guarantee that being part of a society or student association will give you the experience of a lifetime.

It’s no secret that the varsity has produced a variety of individuals – scholars, athletes, and even numerous Miss Indias. The opportunities that DU offers, coupled with its cultural and ideological diversity, produce a distinctively unique environment. Three years in this place changes you – undoubtedly for the better.

The age-old traditions of skipping classes to chill in the lawns of your college, or to run outside for a quick bite of Tom Uncle’s Maggi in North Campus are just as crucial to the DU experience as the education. You will create an entire bank of memories from this period of your life, such as begging your class representative to mark your proxy and photocopying notes for the entire semester a week before your final exam. But the most significant change in your life will not be learning how to navigate the Delhi metro or how to bargain most effectively for junk jewellery. It will be learning about yourself.

Some people believe that this University thrives on its past glory. We beg to differ. We believe it draws its glory from you. We believe that as you embark on this journey of your college life with a nervous, excited, and hopeful state of mind, you’ll end up with many achievements, but the most noteworthy of these would be your identity. As you steer your life for the next three years among classes, societies, and this mad city, remember that it’s up to you to become a part of the collective pride of this University.

You may leave DU as a completely new person than when you entered, or you may leave as merely a more refined version of your teenage self. But what’s undeniable is that you will be a truer version of yourself after having gone through all that DU has to offer. So sit tight, because you’re in for the ride of a lifetime at the place you’ll soon call home – Delhi University.

We wish you all the best!

 

With love on behalf of the DU Beat Team,

Vineeta Rana

Srivedant Kar

 

Feature Image Credits: The Odyssey Online

The most difficult goodbye you ever say is to your family: the family that moulds you into a person that is ready to face any obstacle head on. No matter how hard you try to prepare yourself, you just cannot come around to say it to them. And when the moment is finally there, all you can do is stand and admire how beautiful your family is, reminiscing all the beautiful memories you’ve gathered with them.

My three years in DU Beat have been the most awarding and inspiring years in life. The slightly scared enthu-cutlet, as called by her seniors, who begged the HRs to let her be a part of her dream team at DU Beat within the first month of joining college; is now graduating as a proud Associate Editor of the same. My college life has been all about DUB- the source of all of my happy memories. From coping with deadlines to drinking games at DUB parties, DU Beat has been every happy memory I have of college life. I’ve seen my mentors becoming my friends, my friends becoming my guides and my juniors becoming family. If given a chance, I’d redo all of it with as much affection and effort, if not more.

I have always boasted about being the oldest member of the DU Beat Editorial team. And very proudly so. But being the oldest member comes with its own responsibilities- people look up to you for everything, everyone expects you to be the know-it-all. I have, not once, felt these expectations to be a burden and responsibilities to be unrealistic. DU Beat has pushed me to challenge my limits and strive for the best performance I can bring out of me.

I walked into this organisation as a fresher looking for a purpose. I couldn’t be happier that I chose DU Beat, more importantly, DU Beat chose me; to design my college life into the enigma that it is today. I have made friends I know will last a lifetime, I’ve learned from people and experiences. The perks, you bet, have been nothing less than a plate full of Vanilla Oreos. Standing inside the barricades with a press card hanging around my neck has to certainly be the best incentive DU Beat gave me. From getting all close up to star performers to being pushed and shoved and stomped upon in stampedes, it’s been a pleasure.

There are a lot of emotions I am experiencing right now. Knowing that I won’t have a 100 messages in my phone from DU Beat groups, leaving 60+ WhatsApp DUB Groups, not getting to make the Web Layout every week, not having to reprimand correspondents and copy-editors to adhere to the deadline and most importantly, not having DU Beat next to my name.

Will I get through this? I’m not sure. But DU Beat has made me into a person who sure can deal with these emotions amidst all possible challenges life decides to throw at me. And to cope, I certainly have some informal DUB WhatsApp groups to hold on to and I am willing to be the creepy stalker of DU Beat on Facebook. Whatever keeps me close to this family.

Words will fall short in explaining the gravity of DUB in my life. And so, is it a goodbye yet? Well, it will never be. DU Beat shall always occupy the most comforting spot in my heart.

 

Signing off,

For the last time,

Arushi Pathak,

Associate Editor Web (2016-17)

DU Beat

 

With the new party taking over the Human Resource Development ministry, chances are that the controversial four year undergraduate program installed by the University of Delhi might be scrapped. Sources have it, that the HRD ministry is already working out a way so as to incorporate the 4 year program into a 3 year one. BJP had already given hints last year that it might rollback the controversial programme as soon as it comes to power at the centre and it had been included in their manifesto as well.

Last year, there had been much protest when the program set in and it could have been easily removed if such an action would have been brought at the same time. But if FYUP would be scrapped now, it will pose a major threat to students currently enrolled in the existing Four Year batch. Not only will they have to do away with the Foundation courses, which they have already studied in their 1st year, additional disciplinary courses would also have to be incorporated into their syllabus for the next 2 years. Which would in turn mean that a student currently enrolled under FYUP would have to study 6 DC courses per semester. That’s a 3 time increase when compared to the existing burden.

It should also be noted that during the pre poll time period, the BJP had promised that if FYUP wouldn’t be scrapped, they’ll incorporate training and internships in the last year so that it might not go wasted.  Another proposal which may bring down the burden on students has been given by Delhi University Teacher’s Association (DUTA), in which, by doing away with the 2 Foundation Courses, 2 more Disciplinary Courses (DCs) will be added along with the existing DCs in the 3rd and 4th semester. Such a move will incorporate the whole program into 3 years. Seeing the scenario, it seems a better option than scrapping the whole program since a year has already passed.

De Facto, if one may recall, the protests against FYUP were not due to its 4 year term but due to the hurriedly introduced Foundation Courses which many termed as ‘elementary school level’ subjects. But since the new ministry is planning to scrap the whole program, it seems that students will have to suffer the consequential burden. But there are other reasons which might pose a problem in the scrapping of FYUP. The Bachelors of Science (B.Sc.) program which had been changed into Bachelors of Technology (B.Tech.) requires a minimum of 4 years to serve a B.Tech. degree. If the whole program is scrapped, then the above course will also have to be reverted back into its original form, which would simply mean playing with the future of the students currently studying for a degree in Bachelors of Technology.

To top it all, the University Grants Commission is already putting pressure on the university to either scrap the FYUP programme or the Honours degree it is giving under the old 3 year semester mode through the School of Open Learning. Since the UGC’s rules require a university to give only 1 type of degree, either SOL will have to start giving degrees for only certificate courses or DU will have to do away with the FYUP programme.

Whatever happens next would be significantly life changing for the students currently enrolled under FYUP. I hope the new government takes a step which might not hamper the future prospects of these students.