To stay relevant in the 21st century – the University of Delhi (DU) needs to let go of its laissez-faire attitude. Read our Editor’s take on why DU is trapped in its own history.

Making it into DU was a dream for so many of us. We battled the unpredictable and exhausting board examinations, obsessed over  cut-off lists, and withstood the impossibly frustrating admission process to finally make it here. Once here, all the effort seemed worth it. To study with the brightest people in our generation, participate in DU’s competitive society culture, absorb its active protest culture, and learn under its brilliant faculty, made it a one of a kind experience. This, coupled with a relatively relaxed attendance policy and reasonable fee, was enough to make this place a dream come true.

However, three years in the University and my rose-coloured glasses have finally worn off. What I saw as the culture of protest is actually teachers and students demanding basic resources and rights. What was seen as thriving society culture is the students’ way to keep themselves occupied and challenged since the varsity offers few opportunities to do so. The affordability of DU is constantly at threat, with newly established schools like Delhi School of Journalism charging a hefty fee and offering sub par education in return. With the Higher Education Funding Agency and the current government’s obsession with privatisation, DU’s accessibility is historically most vulnerable right now.

However, this is not all. The bigger problems with DU are related to its academic rigour. The truth is, towards the end of our three years, there is very little that the institution has taught us.

This facade of DU’s reputation has limited influence; recruiters and major corporations are distinctly aware of how little a DU degree teaches you, which is perhaps why they avoid us like the plague. Navigating the process of landing your first job on your own is chaotic and most people seek the security of campus placements. However, in DU, the word ‘placement’ is reserved for commerce students from the five top – ranked colleges in the varsity. It’s not as if commerce students or those in top colleges are necessarily more skilled than the rest of us but selective elitism goes a long way. The rest, pursuing other “non-employable” degrees in the remaining colleges, cannot aspire to be recruited in any capacity.

Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful to DU for the exposure and experiences but they were by and large the product of the hard work of the students who made societies their life and gave them their competitive edge. Apart from its reputation, there is very little that DU offers us. My resentment stems from the fact that I, like my peers, am horribly under-prepared for the real world. It is responsible to revive the curriculum to make it competitive with other universities, and it is their responsibility to realise that their job does not end by offering students mere theoretical knowledge.

Sports facilities in DU are underwhelming and most sports’ quota students find their own way of training themselves independently. Certainly, there is a funding crisis that the varsity is experiencing and the threat of a bigger impending crisis looms above the surface, but even existing funds aren’t appropriately utilised. For example, in 2017, the varsity returned 108 crores to the University Grants Commission (UGC) because it could not find an avenue to spend it. Three crore rupees allocated by the UGC remained under-utilised and had to be returned as well.

As I reflect upon my three years in DU, I am grateful for the creative minds I got the opportunity to interact with. However, nostalgia has not clouded my judgment and I know that there was so much more that DU could have offered and so much more that I deserved. The only people who graduate from DU and make it in life should not be B.Com. students, IAS officers, rich kids whose resources get them into an Ivy – league college for Master’s or those studying in Hindu, Lady Shri Ram, Stephen’s, and Hansraj. The rest of us also deserve access to an education that teaches us the required skills, has a curriculum abreast with top international universities, and offers us the opportunity that allows us to get employed if we wish to be. Like an egocentric, ageing actor who cannot get over their glory days, DU is iconic but stuck in the past. It needs to catch up with the times and enter the 21st century. After all, reputations alone can only last so long.  

Kinjal Pandey
[email protected]

DU has finally sent in a list of the governing bodies of its colleges. Here’s a quick run-down of events that lead up to Delhi government’s massive decision to freeze funds for the 28 colleges it funded. 


In what can be called a last minute miraculous save, the University of Delhi has finally sent a list of names for governing bodies of the 28 Delhi University colleges to the Delhi government. This is in response to the Delhi government’s repeated reminders and an ultimate threat to withdraw support for the 28 colleges it funds. On 31st July, Manish Sisodia announced a landmark decision to freeze funds since the respective colleges had failed to form governing bodies in time.

Devesh Sinha, the Dean of Colleges confirmed that DU had sent the list of the reviewed panel, and said, “A few changes were made to the list and it was sent to the Directorate of Education”. He also mentioned that the Executive Council has tried to maintain a diversity of occupations and included at least 2 female candidates. When he was questioned by Indian Express about the delay in the formation of the governing bodies 2 weeks back, he had said, “Since our Vice Chancellor and other top officials are involved in the Law Faculty interviews, there has been some delay in the process.”

The Directorate of Education is yet to verify if it received any list concerning this.

In what has been a to-and-fro of documents since long, the saga has been ongoing since October last year. The term for the last governing bodies ended in October 2016. According to a picture tweeted by Sisodia detailing the sequence of events, repeated reminders were sent to Delhi University by the Director of Higher Education, Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi(GNCTD).

In February this year, a panel of names was sent to GNCTD. The government then sent its recommended panel to Delhi University for approval. Since then, the list has been hanging, either due to a change required in the format or the list not being approved by the Executive Council of DU. Finally, the list was passed albeit after tweaking minor changes, to include recommendations from diverse backgrounds and evenly divide. The governing body of a college comprises of five members from the university panel, five members from the government, two university representatives, two representatives of the college faculty and the college principal. An ideal governing body consists of a wide range of members to ensure a healthy mix of lawyers, educationists, journalists etc.

Delhi government’s decision to hold on to funds had sparked a huge furor among both, students and teachers. Members of ABVP challenged the move and burnt an effigy of Sisidoa on 31st July near the Faculty of Arts, North Campus. The National Democratic Teachers’ Federation, too, protested against the government’s decisions citing financial reasons. According to sources, 360 crore is annually allotted to those 28 colleges. With the list finally sent, it remains a dubious question if the decision to freeze funds would be pulled back.


Image credits- Financial Express


Vijeata Balani

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Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister for the Delhi government decided to cut government funding to 28 Delhi University colleges on Monday. Twelve of the aforementioned colleges are completely dependent on funds from the Delhi government. The decision was taken after the colleges failed to create a governing body which would regulate them and look into their finances. To protest against this, members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad gathered near the Faculty of Arts today. ABVP students burnt a dummy representing Sisodia in order to express their outrage at his decision.

While Sisodia insists that he took this decision because of the delay in the creation of a governing body, ABVP claims that it is a threat to the reputation of the University and the well-being of its students. While speaking to DU Beat, DUSU President Amit Tanwar described this decision as a gamble with the future of students. He insists that ABVP would not back down from its demand that this decision be reversed. He also revealed that the organisation is willing to go to the residences of the Chief and Deputy Chief Ministers themselves if that means getting the students and colleges justice.

A considerable number of police officers were present at the location in order to maintain law and order and prevent the possibility of a violent outbreak. The National Democratic Teacher’s Federation (NDTF) also protested against the same decision at the Faculty of Arts. Slogans like “Manish Sisodia down down” could be seen on the placards being waived around. While opposition against this decision is strong, Sisodia insists that it was taken to prevent corruption and has even ordered a Comptroller and Auditor General audit into the 28 colleges for the same.

What remains to be seen is whether the Delhi government will soften its stance, and if it doesn’t, for how long will ABVP and NDFT protest against the issue? What happens to the 28 colleges and its students and how long will they be able to sustain themselves with the funds that they have?


Feature Image Credits: Kinjal Pandey for DU Beat

Kinjal Pandey
[email protected]