The students of Daulat Ram College Hostel have different notions when it comes to the hostel being a home away from home.

On 7th February 2019, the ceiling of a washroom crashed down upon a girl in Daulat Ram College Hostel (DRCH), while she was using it. The reason being ‘negligible maintenance.’ Fortunately, she managed to get out just in time, but hurt her shoulder during the process. The washroom was locked and the issue was addressed silently. A series of such mishaps have been under the light in the DRCH, unfortunately not all of them have a tangible form.

The Psychology department of the college had to organise a picnic to the Lodhi Gardens on 20th February 2019. The teachers along with the students of the department were to go together. However, due to bad weather, the trip was pre-poned to 19th  February 2019. The students received the official letter from college and got it signed from their parents as well. However, the students were questioned incessantly for going out ‘without asking permission separately from hostel’, even though they reached the hostel by 5 p.m.

The girls are were also questioned regarding their social media presence. A hosteller, on grounds of maintaining anonymity has revealed how the Instagram accounts of students have been scrutinized and printed. The matron has, in fact, questioned girls on the type of pictures they post online by showing them printed copies of their own account. Another hosteller remarked, “We are being mentally threatened and harassed. She has created an aura of threat and mistrust in the whole hostel.”

The students pay an annual fee of INR 1,15,000 with extra INR 20,000 in winter. On being asked if they are getting services worth the money, a hosteller replied, “The food quality has deteriorated. At times, we feel that we are being given stale food. Some air conditioners and geysers in the washroom do not function, even though we have written multiple applications.”  She added, “Earlier, we were allowed to keep food for our friends, in case they were stuck somewhere or working, but now we are questioned to death.” When asked if the girls tried contacting their parents for addressing the issues, she said, “Most of the students are from far-off places, this makes it difficult for the parents to come every now and then. Because of this, the gravity of the issue cannot be understood by them.”

Instances of matron questioning the upbringing of the students and threatening them by bringing up old incidents when students were forced out of hostel have also come up. The girls are, therefore, in a lot of mental stress. They’re also having ‘anxiety issues’, a student commented.

Around 130 students of the hostel have collectively written and signed an application citing reasons due to which they are restraining from submitting the fee and are demanding due compensation . In the application, the students have described in detail the reasons of their decision and explicitly pointed out their grievances. One such grievance being that the hostel seats were allotted to the students one month after the commencement of the session, due to which they had to pay a minimum sum of INR 10,000.

A protest broke out on 23rd February with over a hundred students sitting outside the hostel gate. They are determined to stand for their rights and the facilities they have paid for. One of the hostellers adds, “It’s great that a majority of people have come out to support what’s right.”

It is yet to be seen what result comes out of it but it can only be hoped that the concerns of students are heard and taken seriously. It has been a long struggle on the students’ part. The question to ask is if their fee package included these intangibilities.

Feature Image Credits:DU Beat

Akshada Shrotryia

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In a country obsessed with engineering and medical degrees, the field of humanities takes a step back. There is a lack of liberal arts universities in the country when compared to government, and science and technology related institutions.

College admissions are a testing time for a student. The probability of getting in to  one’s preferred college/university is  very exhilarating, but the more important question is the choice of stream for  one’s further studies. Education in India for high school and further education is a division on ‘streams’. The predominant ones are science, commerce, and humanities. They are hierarchical in nature, as for an Indian parent the order places science at the top, followed by commerce, and humanities respectively.

The article brings to light a prominent issue in the Indian higher education scene: the lack of liberal arts universities. Liberal arts, within the past decade,  has been a good study option for a lot of students. In the western universities, there is a major focus on their course structures to cater to the liberal arts facilities. In comparison to their eastern counterparts like India and other Asian universities, liberal arts is still a blooming concept, majorly restricted to private universities.

Liberal arts as a concept was first designed by the  Greeks and Romans, as a form of essential education required for an active civic life. Basic subjects taught under it were grammar, rhetoric, logic, etc. However, in the modern curriculums, liberal arts has grown into a multitude of different subjects, with a promising prospect of varying skills and producing students as global citizens with a multi-dimensional knowledge of different subjects.

According to the most recent published data by University Grants Commission, on 25th September 2018, there are a total of 318 Private Universities established by the Acts of the Legislatures of different states. In India, some of the more prominent and well known,  liberal arts universities include universities like Ashoka University, O.P. Jindal global university, FLAME Pune, etc. While these universities offer attractive courses and world class infrastructure, the high fees is a major concern for  potential students. These universities also promise world class  standardised education, career prospects, and partnerships with big companies for future job prospects. A major attraction to these universities is the ease of adaptability one has, for pursuing post-graduation courses abroad, due to the similarity in course and work structure.

The study of humanities is still taken quite lightly. A lot of the state and  centre-run universities and colleges provide a basic Bachelor’s degree in the mainstream subjects of humanities. There  is neither much versatility in course selection, nor enough staff to ensure introduction of more flexible course structures. A major benefit which students adhere to a degree from these government run institutes is the feasibility of education. It is economical and reputed. A lot of students also wish to take it up as it helps in the preparation for their civil services aspirations later on. A popular career option is also   academia and politics.  While a major attraction today on a global level is MBA, with B-schools offering seats to over five lakh students every year according to a recent Assocham report,, a lot of students in these colleges are from engineering and commerce backgrounds.  .

A major factor for the lack of universities catering to liberal arts is also because of the demand-supply factor.. According to the general thinking of an Indian family till date  is that engineering and medical sciences remain the most highly opted courses in the country, as they are  considered “safe” options.. India, along with other Asian countries, is also the biggest supplier of IT and technically skilled labour in the world. Hence, when compared to other Asian countries, the state of Indian universities is almost the same. . Even though the liberal arts courses provide a number of career options the general desire  for high-paying jobs and a better standard of living is a driving force to opt for other courses. Luxury and sustenance is considered to be of a greater value than personal “passions” and hobby in a country like ours.

From the beginning, there has been good investment in institutes related to science and technology, and management like Indian Institutes of Technology, Indian Institutes of Management etc., which are government backed and autonomous, and have been given international accreditation. Government sponsored liberal arts universities are fewer  in number, but very highly accredited. Universities like English and Foreign Languages University are known for delivering quality education in different foreign languages like Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Spanish, Italian, among many others, and in  areas such as Education, Literature, Linguistics, Interdisciplinary and Cultural Studies etc.

The need to have more liberal arts universities in India is a must, as they offer a great deal of flexibility in subject options.. There are options like deferred admissions, and students often take a gap year to   explore their courses more thoroughly, and also volunteer in their time off.

Liberal arts universities remain a popular  choice for the upper middle class and the more affluent sections of the society in the urban areas. A major reason why  this happens is because of soaring fees. While India is endowed to take its education sector in the same manner as in countries like the USA and the UK, where higher education is expensive, India should try to incentivise the private universities to bring more scholarship and financial aid opportunities. This is apart from the present situation wherein  the government itself caters to such services, albeit in a limited number.. Moreover, the government should also invest heavily in the improvement of higher education. . While public universities in India  do have a very vivid course structure  like that of foreign countries, the lack of options in courses is something which affects the career choices for students. A lot of the times, students compromise on their career options in lieu of studying and associating their profiles with a degree from a government institute.

The future state of affairs may seem bleak for now, but with so many different job portals opening up in every field, liberal arts may be taken seriously and more educational institutions would be put to practice for its sustenance.


Feature Image Credits:  Perkins Eastman

Avnika Chhikara

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Out of 60 colleges that fall under the University of Delhi, at least 20 colleges are not located in ‘primal’ locations – the North and South Campus. Despite forming a decent share of the total students studying in DU, these colleges are often overlooked and their worries not given equal impetus compared to fellow north and south campus colleges.

In light of the recent news reports citing safety concerns for female students of Bhim Rao Ambedkar College, we must address the issues that an off-campus student generally faces. After interacting with several students from the aforementioned category, the following is an attempt to point out the mutual problems and arrive at hopeful solutions-

  1. Hostel/PG Facilities – Out of the 15 Delhi University Colleges that offer hostel facilities, only 2 are off-campus colleges: Maharaja Agrasen College and Keshav Mahavidyalya. Both colleges offer hostels only for girls that too with a very limited capacity. It becomes a daunting task to find PGs especially when the college is in a relatively secluded area. Famous PGs in Kamala Nagar are a go-to for most students in the North Campus, but off-campus students don’t enjoy a similar structure. A lot of times, students rent flats with fellow batch mates where may end up paying higher. There are steps being taken to fulfill the lack of such facilities, as Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College and Shaheed Sukhdev College for Business Studies are in the process of building hostels which would be open soon.
  2. Limited reach of on-campus events – Any organiser of an event or a quiz would agree that gathering footfall for society events is a herculean task. Since many colleges are in far-flung areas, students think twice before attending that college’s event in comparison to a North-Campus College where one can miss a couple of lectures and attend the rest. Consequently, finding sponsors for societies is extremely taxing as most sponsors consider an event’s footfall before investing money in the society. A few colleges which enjoy famous reputation may not face this problem, but many which are comparatively newer and not as well-known have to go through a struggle to raise funds.
  3. Lack of University-wide Facilities – Every north campus student can avail the benefits of centralised photocopy shops, university special buses, and has easy access to the parts of Delhi University that are relatively unknown to most off-campus students. Vice Chancellor’s Lawns, DUSU office, Mind and Body Centre, Conference Centre are at the threshold of every North Campus student. To top it, protests and marches are a regular thing in North Campus, and many students are yet to experience the power of dissenting voices through this wonderful medium. Moreover, any news of relevance to the student community reaches late to a student who isn’t in those extreme directions.
  4. Fewer student-centric hangout spots – While north campus has Hudson Lane and Kamla Nagar, south campus has Satya Niketan, off-campus college students end up in varied places each time. Depending on the location, the surrounding locality of the college can either be lackluster, with very few areas of interest or with extremely pricey restaurants that primarily cater to families, barring a few outlets opened for students. College canteen becomes the last resort especially when breaks between classes are of a shorter duration.

In addition to the above, the newer off-campus colleges have to face the brunt of being new.  Students there have complained about lack of exposure in comparison to other colleges with established Placement Cells and decades-old society culture. The management doesn’t entirely trust students and many college rules digress from commonplace practices eg. the system of ECA or Pink Slips is not prevalent in many newer colleges where the management repudiates the students’ requests. An implication of this system of long procedures is heavy focus on academics and figuratively no co-curriculars to participate in. Connectivity is another major problem for students of Maharaja Agrasen College, as the nearest metro station isn’t exactly near to their college.

Regardless of everything mentioned, there are several bonus points of being an off-campus college student. The infrastructure of some off-campus colleges is better than many of its extreme counterparts, DDUC, MAC, and SSCBS being great examples of that. The students who disdain the heavily politicised atmosphere during elections season do not need to fall prey to unnecessary harangues. Opportunities to start new societies tend to be on the higher side, and ways to escape droning lectures are always innumerable. Specialised courses, sprawling campuses, hi-tech facilities, and immense focus on academics steal the spotlight from north and south.


Feature Image Credits: So Delhi


Vijeata Balani

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The University of Delhi (DU) is regarded as the academic powerhouse of the country. The talented student fraternity, experienced faculty and the incredible exposure that it offers to its students, makes DU what it is. Yet, for all the hype around DU, most people assume that its colleges lack adequate sports facilities. This stereotype is widely spread, despite there being a little truth to it. In fact, most DU colleges offer resources like swimming pools, tennis courts, basketball courts, cricket grounds, etc. Hence, it’s high time we break off this age old myth!

1) Hans Raj College

Shah Rukh Khan’s alma mater offers its students an indoor badminton court, shooting range, lawn tennis court, pistol shooting range, basketball court etc. Often students from other colleges after having acquired adequate permission from the authorities are allowed to practise here and use these resources.
What makes it special – It has a state-of-art gym which can be accessed by Hans Raj students at the cost of 1000 per month. Hans Raj also offers immense opportunities and resources to those dedicated to shooting and archery, an extracurricular that only a few colleges offer.

2) Indraprastha College for Women (IPCW)

IPCW offers a swimming pool, tennis court, basketball court, fitness centre, squash court, badminton court, climbing walls and walking track to its students.
What makes it unique – The swimming pool and lawn tennis facilities can be accessed by students from other colleges for a nominal fee of around 300 per month. IPCW also has a playing arena for differently-abled students, a move which other colleges should adopt as well.

3) Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC)

SRCC is one of the most well-equipped colleges in Delhi University, as far as sporting facilities are concerned.  It is home to a centrally air conditioned indoor stadium with a seating capacity of 1200 people. It has been designed for games like badminton, basketball, table tennis and judo.
What makes it unique -The college also offers multiple gyms, a sports injury and rehabilitation centre and a medical room. Students from other colleges can access the swimming pool facilities for a nominal cost.

4) Sri Guru Teg Bahadur (SGTB) Khalsa College

SGTB Khalsa nurtures its athletes exceptionally well. It has a very talented cricket team that has won many laurels.
What makes it unique -a cricket academy also operates on its grounds during the evenings. This academy provides students with an excellent training in cricket, available to non-Khalsa college students as well, for a cost of 1500 per month.

5) Kamala Nehru College (KNC)

KNC offers sports like football, cricket, judo, athletics, basketball and aerobics.
What makes it unique – It has a gym inside its campus which students from Gargi College can access for a reasonable cost of 300-500 per month.

6) St. Stephens College

Stephens has a badminton hall, basketball court, shooting range (10mts air pistol and air rifle), squash court and a swimming pool.
What makes it special- The badminton and squash courts have wooden flooring while the basketball court has synthetic flooring.

7) Lady Shri Ram College for Women (LSR)

LSR is a pioneer in the field of sports. Sports like archery, basketball, air rifle shooting and volleyball and squash are all prioritised here.
What makes it special- The Dr. Bharat Ram Sports meet. It is not only a prominent sports meet but also the only one hosted by a women’s college that caters to both men and women.

These colleges are not an exception. Most Delhi University colleges have unique sports facilities. If certain colleges lack certain resources, they tie up with other colleges to ensure that their students have access to the same. These grounds have produced athletes and sportspersons who have won laurels at various international platforms and it is the time that they are given their due recognition.


Kinjal Pandey

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If you happen to roam around North Campus, there are two things you won’t miss seeing: one, a fast-food corner and two, students. They are everywhere, be it Kamla Nagar, Roop Nagar or Aadarsh Nagar. This is not news since North Campus is all about DU colleges. With these students, comes the question of their accommodation as more than 70% of them are outstation residents. It is here that these ‘fancy’ PGs play their role, and how! The students are provided with a fully air conditioned room, a gym, “all kinds of beauty treatment facilities”, Maggi and cold drinks a phone call away, 24 hours power back up, Wi-Fi, personal bathrooms, any time cab facility and so on! The rates of such PGs range from Rs 14000 to 20000 per month.

“In our times a student’s life was considered to be one filled with hardships, where a good result was the fruit of multiple sacrifices that the student made by leaving the comfort of his home and by surviving the brutalities of the world outside. And look at the scenario now!” comments a DU teacher. The students, away from home, live in much luxury now, and their parents think nothing of the 20 or so grand they lavish on their kid each month. The worst part is that the quality of all these PGs tops the scale during the first few months, but it’s downhill after that. Reportedly, the Wi-Fi stops working, the food quality deteriorates and the AC does not work half of the time. “We don’t have an alternative to leave the PG and move elsewhere since that would result in us forfeiting the security the landlords take in the beginning (which is rent of two months)” says Ridhima, a paying guest.

Most of the PGs are not even registered, meaning that they are not legally permitted to carry on a commercial business. The tactics that they use to exploit the comfort-seeking students is deplorable. Just half a decade back the maximum a hostel or a PG charged was Rs 7000.

However, a respite from these fraud PGs is DU hostel. The newly opened Undergraduate hostel and the Rajiv Gandhi hostel for girls are not only cheap but far better than these PGs.  They are clean, spacious and the food is hygienic and delicious. And all this in around Rs 24000 per year! The admission to the hostel is however on merit basis since they provide accommodation only to 800 girls.


Aishwarya Chaurasia
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Image credits: Sapna Mathur