As admissions session draws close and students ready their certificates, letters and documents related to their achievements in ECA to try their luck for getting into the colleges which they couldn’t due to their cut offs, we present a story of a student who was in the same shoes at one time.

Years before, Varun Chopra was also one of them who got into Ramjas College through ECA. He is currently pursuing his masters in Film and Television at the School of Film and Television, Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California. He is the youngest Indian whose film was screened at the highly popular and prestigious Cannes International Film Festival. He talks about his experience of theatre in Delhi University and his film “God on a Leash” which is woven around the story of being held on a leash to the hands of faith, heritage and poverty that explores the concept of humanism and divinity.

Q. You were a student of Mathematics at Ramjas. When did you decide for going for a masters in Films?

I was studying Mathematics (Hons.) at Ramjas College. I got my admission by the ECA quota in theatre which was a great ordeal in itself. Consequently, theatre turned into an indomitable element of my college life. Being in Shunya, one of the premier theatre societies of the University was the most fruitful experience in itself. There was a massive spirit of creativity and collaboration, it just propels one forward in terms of innovation and exposure. It was here that I directed my first play Saints and Sinners and later got involved with some exceptionally talented people who refused to sit idle. Most of us are now theatre artists and filmmakers trying to make our way up.

Q. You have been a student of DU and an active member the Delhi Theatre circuit. What is the scene of film making in DU?

As I mentioned before, the theatre scene in DU is blooming. It is very demanding but the kind of creative satiation people achieve here is unparalleled. Filmmaking however is still practiced in closed quarters and I fail to understand why DU still does not have a filmmaking course. It shows that the University has lost touch with the demands of the youth today. Students are trying to get out and organize festivals for films there, but they remain amateur since one does not have the apparatus to create something which is at par with what the 18-21 year olds in universities outside India do.

Q. What can DU do to promote these fields within its campus??

DU can organize more and more festivals which would push the status quo of the University. You should not have to spend a fortune to learn something. Get your college to get a course. Even if it is a workshop as a starter, the initiative must start.

Do you think the young film makers in India have any good platform? What advice would you like to give to the Aspiring film makers of India.

The fact that we have one of the biggest film industries in the world and only a handful of institutes for film making is appalling. Those that exist aren’t even comparable to the universities abroad. What you end up doing is going to Mumbai and leading the quintessential “struggler” life, at least that is my understanding of it. All in all, one must be forced to do that. It is obvious that we are going tangential to the needs.
There is some brilliant talent but a dearth of opportunities too.

I don’t think I am qualified enough to give anyone advice, but to a hopeful person who is reading this and thinking if they stand any chance. I would like to say take the leap of faith, you’ll be surprised to see how many people would support you. If you want to be a painter, just paint. Likewise, if you want to be a filmmaker, make films.

Q. How do you feel to be the youngest Indian in Cannes International Film Festival? What would you like to say about your film which got screened at Cannes?

I am very fortunate to be able to experience Cannes at a young age. It is more of an opportunity to engage with interesting people than anything. The film is special as it took me back to the University. Parts of the film were shot in North Campus itself. With all honesty, I feel a sense of gratitude towards Shunya and the people I met there. I would want to give a big shout out to the folks there today, they are churning out some amazing stuff every year.

Through this documentary, I was able to unravel the intricacies of this culture. We followed a Madari, who sat with his macaques and their offspring near a Hanuman temple at North Campus. It seemed the baby’s future in chains was indomitable, much like the off springs of the ancestral impressionists’ community. It created a cruel euphemism about our ignorance, the way we choose to live our lives, follow our traditions and practice our faith. The film is a window to a highly embellished niche world with a contrastingly unembellished human experience.

Here is the link of the film: https://m.facebook.com/godonaleash/

Interviewed by Srivedant Kar for DU Beat

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Are you one of those students who have no idea about their classmates and subject names? Are you the epicentre of low attendance jokes and are often called ‘Eid-ka-chand’ because of your hectic society practices and competitions? If the answer to these questions is a yes, then you have a reason to rejoice my friend!

Recognising the fact that a lot of students participate and win competitions at various annual college fests but don’t get any academic benefit of the same, DU has issued a notice regarding imparting of full marks in internals, to students who have won first positions at various college fests this year.

Insiders tell us, the administration was compelled to make such a move owing to the constant complaint by students, especially ECA students, who are often subject to bias of teachers and low internal marking due to their inability to attend classes all through the year because of society commitments. Thus, acknowledging the unfairness of the situation, the University has decided to accord full marks in internals to first position holders and 75% marks to second position holders in competitions such as Western Choir, Solo Dance, Street Play and many more. In order to maintain the credibility of this new scheme of marks distribution, colleges have been instructed to collect original winning certificates of the relevant students by second week of April.

While the move is being applauded by societies across various colleges, it has also invited criticism from various ‘Non-ECA’ students who think this move is unfair to hard working and academically inclined students who attend classes the whole year.

Expressing her disappointment at this announcement, a student said, “ I am appalled at such a strategy being introduced. People like me work day and night, attend all classes to fetch decent marks in internals, and some students will now be served marks in a platter”. Some students however are celebrating this move, “  I am glad some sense dawned upon the authorities to give us the credit and respect we deserve for representing our college and winning”, remarked an overjoyed ECA student.

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

Image Credits: www.dailymail.co.uk 

Riya Chhibber

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Being a 3rd year student, I often look back at my college life and wonder, have I done it all? That is a question all of us ask ourselves at some point, especially when you realize that life as you know it, is going to change very soon.

In retrospect, I realize that my college life would have been incomplete without being a part of my society. So if today, someone asks me why it’s so important to be a part of an ECA society, I would probably sit them down and tell them the following:-

1. It will make or break your college experience

Being in a college society is a unique experience in its own sense, but if you can’t be seriously dedicated to it, then you might never reap its benefits either. That being said, becoming a part of a society gives you a feeling of being something more than just another student, as in this team, you have your own part to play and your own unique identity. The experience you gain with the people you meet and the colleges you visit all adds up and changes the way you have viewed life so far.

2. It helps you grow as a person in life and in your chosen field of expertise

The time spent practicing and building up your production from the scratch is the most satisfying feeling in the world. To get on the stage and show the world your art, while soaking in the applause after, gives you a high, unlike that of any drug. It boosts your confidence both on-stage and off, and leaves behind a feeling of accomplishing higher, tougher goals.

3. Hard work becomes a way of life

Along the way, you also realise that you aren’t afraid of working hard anymore. After 6-8 hours of practice every day, which is typical for dramatics and dance societies, you learn to manage your social, academic and romantic life. This means that you won’t be scared of putting in extra efforts anymore, and may in fact, even become a pro at waking up early in the mornings and always reaching on time for practices (never for lectures though!).

4. Societies will literally give you the best of friends for life, for real!

For the most part, I think I will miss the moments and memories made with all my friends and seniors. Imagine spending 6 hours a day, all week, for three years in the company of the same people and never getting bored. Under the pressure of rigorous practice and performances, you will get to know their true selves like the back of your hand, and they will get to know you the same way.

The best part is that you get to be totally free with your team and it is with them that you truly discover your crazy side, one that will surely surprise you too! You tear your walls down and share a bond so deep that you won’t be surprised if you start completing each other’s sentences. However, it is worth a mention here that you might also embark upon certain rivalries in the process, but rest assured, they will also be the most fun to act on.

5. The parties and farewells are to die for!

If you have ever heard about society farewells being the most fun parties, then you have heard it right. Along with the fun and frolic, they are also an incredibly emotional affair. The farewell speeches, gifts and ceremonies make you realize how amazing your experience has been and how much you are going to miss these days. And more so, the people!

In my personal opinion, being a part of a western dance society has truly defined my college life. It has given me irreplaceable friends, a name and a taste of accomplishing something big. So if you ever get an opportunity to audition for a society, you should definitely take a risk and go for it.
It might just be the best thing you do!

Image Credits: Divik Gupta 

Tarushi Varma

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According to the norm, extracurricular activities are defined as being outside the regular curriculum of a school or college. But under Delhi University’s Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP), sports and Extra Curricular Activities (ECA) have been pinned as obligatory. Cultural Activities including NCC, Sports, NSS and Extra Curricular Activity are an integral part of the programme and all students will have to take up a cultural activity in Semester III, IV, V, VI, VII and VIII in some form.

“In a way, making ECAs compulsory will boost up the societies’ performance, but on the other hand it will be more of a burden on the authorities and societies as well”, said Ayushi, Member of Alumna Cell, LSR College.

As per the curriculum, students will have to latch on papers like Integrating Mind, Body & Heart (IMBH) in the first two semesters and Cultural Activity (CA) from the third to the eighth semester. Indoor and outdoor teaching like visiting a museum or showing an informative movie and other fieldwork are some of the threshold activities included.

Making sports and ECA mandatory was objected by several teachers across the University. According to them, imposing Sports or ECA on over 1.5 lakh university students is absurd. It is like imposing homogeneity.

Arshiya, Member of NSS, Jesus & Mary College says “Compulsory ECAs will be helpful in identifying hidden talent rather than the usual focus on rote knowledge. There will be mixed crowd, including people who are passionate and others lacking interest and one can’t really hope to get the best of a student this way”

To ensure that all students get access to the activities they want and need, should ECAs be part of the curriculum? Let’s canvas the matter further.


  • In some countries, the educational systems are only based on fixed curriculum with a number of books and learning materials that most people consider them as insufficient or restrictive for the student’s comprehension skills and imaginations. Although it is now believed that today’s the best educational systems constitute not only a curriculum but also extra-curricular social or cultural activities which have many advantages like increase in sociability, learning new things and better motivation.
  • Due to the fact that people will spend some time on extra-curricular activities in addition to studies, as a result, they will feel motivated, emotionally better and ready to take the challenge of studying varieties.
  • Companies are looking for all-rounded students. While high marks serve as a testament to an applicant’s studiousness and intelligence, they do not indicate the type of person the applicant is. These activities lessen the likelihood of spurring anti social behavior and increase career prospects.


  • Balancing academics work with extracurricular activities can be stressful for some students, especially when an abundance of activities (including travel!) takes up valuable time they need for studies or completing assignments.
  •  Students will have to stay out later than usual which can be tiring.
  • A lot of them may find it difficult to get the right activity.
  • Adding to all of these, the way societies function in most colleges is deeply hierarchical. So, while one might take up an activity due to the ‘compulsory notion’, making a mark in that field is not guaranteed. This might demotivate a lot of students.

One of the spotlighting features of the proposed scheme is that students will be awarded credit points for different papers as well as co-curricular activities. So if a student shines at sport, he can seek credit for it and avoid studying for a paper.

In a decision ruling by High court, Delhi University was advised to lay down fresh physical standard criteria for students who take admission under the sports quota for indoor games like chess.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said:”No doubt it is the physical fitness which leads to mental fitness. However, it should be examined as to whether for a person playing games like chess the level of physical fitness mentioned in the rules is appropriate,”

The university was directed to reformulate physical standards for games like chess which it could implement from the next academic year.

The judges were of the opinion that the existing physical standard criteria was apt and justified for outdoor games and also indoor games like badminton and table tennis, in which physical activity was involved, but different standards of physical fitness may be required for games like chess and carrom.

Petitioner Chetna Karnani, a chess player who secured 72.5 percent in her Class 12 exams, had sought admission under the sports quota. She applied for B.A. (English) course in four colleges of the university under the sports quota for chess players. She failed in the fitness test.

The court declined to grant any relief to Karnani saying that “unless the Delhi University prescribes fresh standards for games like chess, we cannot grant any relief to her”.”Laying down all these standards is not the function of the courts, therefore, this court can only direct the University of Delhi to consider the matter in the light of our observation and after in-depth deliberations come out with the physical standards which are required for these games.


Sakshi Gupta
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54,000 students take admission in Delhi University every year. But are they all of the same kind? I don’t think so. Here I take a look at the very many facets of this unique species called “fresher”, spotted only in and around the DU campus! (1) The “rag me!” – These freshers are the ones who come to experience the quintessential Delhi University life. They are so interested in trying out everything that is “so DU”, that they even want to be ragged! I encountered one such fresher during my college orientation; she actually stood up and told her seniors, “I want to be ragged. Shall I do a dance number?” (2) The “chilled out!” – These types of freshers are not even remotely scared of their professors. They never submit assignments on time, their course book probably wouldn’t show signs of human touch and their short attendance would probably be excused with an easy medical certificate. They believe that college is a place where one should just take it slow, and they certainly are in no hurry to end the post-boards-enjoyment-break. (3) The geek and nerd – The type of freshers who their college studies seriously are the ones who are mapped in this category. The only problem is, a bit too seriously. They’re always found in the library or with a professor, trying to gain an even higher level of expertise in their respective skills. No doubt, the Sheldon Coopers of DU excel in academics and are likely to get placed in a good job, but some amount of fun wouldn’t cause any harm, would it? (4) The “I will try for every college society” – These kinds of freshers are exactly the opposite of nerds. They take every ounce of advantage that DU’s vibrant ECA circuit provides. They will audition for almost every society, and try to participate in as many activities as the college allows them to be in. They make their presence felt and are usually quite popular in their respective colleges. Probably a rare sight in classrooms, their professors might not recognize them if they ever enter the classroom (if they get a break from rehearsals that is). (5) The social activist – This category of freshers usually comprises of the ones who aim to join politics in future. They are rarely involved in extracurricular activities, but try to make the most of student unions, organizations, Parliaments. They aim to make it to ABVP or NSUI, and hope to become the DUSU president in their final year. (6) The “trying to fit in” – This division of freshers try hard to fit in and gel with the crowd. But at times, their efforts become a wee bit over-the-top. They will shop till they drop. Looking for the trendiest bags, tops, jewelry and other stuff that comes with a “popular in DU” tag. However, after some time, the excitement wears out and people come back to the evergreen jeans and tee combo. See what category you fit into and tell us! P.S. in case you’re wondering what category I belong to, I’m a mix of category 3 and 4!   Picture credits: Additi Seth]]>

At Hindu College


Admissions are probably the most chaotic time of the year for DU, well maybe they’ve taken a back-seat to the ever-controversial semester system, but they remain a prominently harrowing process nevertheless. With the fake-caste certificate scam and the Ramjas admission racket, the quota entry into DU is eyed with much suspicion. The sports quota is perhaps no exception.

However this year, the sports quota admissions at Delhi University apart from being decentralized, were also based on equal weightage for a candidate’s certificates and trial performance, unlike last year’s 75-25 ratio, which people tried to exploit through fake National and Zonal certificates.

“When there was no marking system, there was a possibility of manipulating the coach or team to get in. Even last year, students manipulated the marking system by getting fake certificates to satisfy the 75% weightage given to certificates. But this year, with the 50-50 weightage given to certificates and field trial, there is complete transparency. A lot of colleges, including ours, are videotaping the trials to be able to address any grievances later.” said Mr. Narendra Gaur, HOD Physical Education, Sri Venkateswara College.

As per the fresh guidelines notified by DU, the trials were conducted by a panel of representatives from the University Sports Council and an observer from the University Vice-Chancellor’s office. A physical fitness test preceded the trials and only shortlisted candidates are allowed to compete.

“Last year’s centralized sports trials caused a lot of hue and cry. But the system this year was very transparent. There was a check on colleges as the Sports Quota Admission Committee of each college was headed by the principal and also included sports experts from a confidential university-approved list. There was absolutely no possibility of any nexus between a student and the experts.” said Dr. Meera Sood, Secretary of Delhi University Sports Council (DUSC) about Sports Quota admissions this year.

Having changed the Sports Quota admission process two years in a row, DU seems determined to rule out any possibility of foul-play when it comes to quotas. “A few years back it was possible to get in through sports quota if you knew someone on the team, as the coach along with the team would take the trials. Obviously we never take bad players, since we have to play with them as a team, but it was a possibility all the same, and has perhaps even happened before. But with the new system, there’s no such chance, because the trials are supervised by experts from SAI (Sports Authority of India)”, said two members of the Hansraj and Hindu basketball teams.


Garima Verma
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A fresh new year and a fresh new bunch of fests to look forward to! We bring to you the ECA calendar of the year that was so that you can get an idea of all the fun that’s in store for you this session.

BITS Pilani

Oasis, the annual cultural festival of BITS, Pilani is an eagerly awaited event and sees a high level of participation among DU colleges. Known for its energy and rock nights, it is also one of the biggest competitions for most ECA societies, especially western dance and fashion.

Jaipur literary festival

The Jaipur literary fest is the biggest of its kind not only in India, but all of Asia. It is a celebration of national and international writers and encompasses a wide range of activities including film, music and theatre as well as readings, talks, literary lunches, debates, children’s workshops and so on. Last year it was attended by the likes of Aamir Khan, Anoushka Shankar, Moni Mohsin and Fatima Bhutto. This year, expected bigwigs include William Dalrymple, Amitabh Bachchan, Bashrat Peer and Advaita Kala among others.

IIT Delhi

IIT Delhi’s ‘Rendezvous’ is among the largest cultural college festivals in Northern India with participation from over 400 colleges and attendance from over 30,000 students. Though all its events are equally thrilling, their rock show ‘Blitzkrieg’ definitely takes the cake with its eclectic performances.

IIT Kanpur

Antaragini is IIT Kanpur’s much talked about annual cultural fiesta. Watch out for their drama and music events which are a big hit among DU colleges. Apart from them, the other events like the fashion show, panel discussions, essay writing competitions, workshops etc. are also not to be missed. Once again, IIT Kanpur also hosts a brilliant rock show.

Old World Theatre festival

Another highly anticipated event, the Old World Theatre festival showcases the best of drama from across Delhi University. Last year, many plays from various colleges made it including ‘MacWho’ from Venky, ‘Line mein lago’ from KMC and ‘Accidental Death of an Anarchist’ from LSR. This is a must watch for all theatre addicts!

Let’s not forget our own college fests in the flurry of out-station events, shall we? Now, onto some of the notable DU fests!

Tarang, the LSR festival is one of the most energetic carnivals in DU. Competition levels here are pretty high with all the top colleges in and around the University vying for the coveted awards. The same can be said for Nexus, Sri Venkateswara College’s annual fest which draws a huge crowd every year. Last year saw performances by Euphoria and their own hugely popular college band – Fire Exit. Their play, “MacWho” was also a big hit. Crossroads, SRCC’s fest had a wide range of events ranging from the usual dramatics, music, debate competitions and such but also including adventure sports like zorbing and rafting. Performances by Advaita and Kay Kay were major crowd pullers too.

With all the fests being such roaring successes last year, we wonder what they have planned this time around. Going by their track record though, we’re sure they’ll surpass their own standards and surprise us again. Here’s to another great, exciting, fun-filled DU year!