Cascade, the annual national level seminar of Department of Commerce, Gargi College was held on 1st November 2017. The theme of this year’s seminar was ‘GST: An Epoch-Making Revolution’. It was thoughtfully themed on Goods and Services Tax, which is the current talking point in India regarded as a revolutionary step in the indirect taxation regime.  

In pursuit of the theme, the fest was structured into the formal seminar and informal events.

The formal event was graced by Mr. Sachin Jain, Additional Commissioner, GST South Delhi Zone as the Chief Guest and four panelists: Mr. Ram Singh, Professor of Economics, Delhi School of Economics, Mr. Amit Bhagat, Partner in Tax and Regulatory Services, PWC India, Dr. Sanjiv Agarwal, FCA, FCS, ACIS(UK), Managing Partner in Aggarwal Sanjay Co., Mr. VikashDugar, Chief Financial Officer, Ashiana Housing Ltd., and Mr. Vivek Gaba( Moderator),a Chartered Accountant.

The formal event commenced with the felicitation of the speakers by the Commerce Association team followed by the release of Comascent magazine.

Carrying the event forward, Mr. Sachin Jain addressed the audience with a presentation on GST and gave a glimpse of key areas of changes in the indirect taxation law post the implementation of GST.

The panelists engrossed the audience with an impactful discussion. They delved on the impact of GST on economic growth, profits and gain of business houses, and real estate sector. Further, a comparison between GST and pre GST indirect taxation law was also brought to the table. The discussion drew important questions from the audience on the lines of anti-profiteering law, inclusion of petrol and diesel under GST’s ambit, and impact of GST on the education sector.  

The informal event consisted of four interesting and carefully picked competitions: Make it or Break it, Managers of Mayhem, Think Tank, and Mind in Motion. These competitions were tagged with attractive prizes worth Rs. 1, 10, 000 and certificates. An overwhelming participation was witnessed from across various colleges of Delhi University as well as other institutes such as Symbiosis, Noida.  The procedure of selection of teams comprised of an online preliminary round where 80 teams had registered out of which 14 teams were shortlisted for the on-campus rounds. The teams were judged by the alumni of Gargi College.

Cascade 2017 was highly appreciated by the participating students and faculty members for acting as a thorough knowledge sharing platform and organizing interesting competitions for the students.


Professors from the University of Delhi want the removal of the Goods and Services Tax which is applicable on academic activities such as application forms, examination fees, and entrance fees.

Former President of Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) and a professor at the Department of Social Sciences, Aditya Narayan Mishra has already written to the Union Human Resource Development Minister Mr. Prakash Javadekar to reconsider charging the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from students as it will ‘burden’ the students by making education inaccessible.

“The imposition of the 18 per cent GST on the admission and examination forms for the young trying to get admission in universities, on the other hand, is nothing but education denied to those coming from economically weaker and backward sections of the Indian society,” reads the letter written to the union minister. “Please withdraw GST on students’ fees immediately and make education inclusive,” Mishra said in the letter.

The GST, India’s biggest reform tax, passed as an act in the Lok Sabha on 27 March 2017, finally coming into effect across the country on 1st July 2017.

With a motive to make the taxation process simpler by eliminating the concept of multiple taxations, the GST is all set to strike the education sector as well. A lion’s share of the economy is fulfilled by the quality education and high levels of literacy. However, the way the tax will affect the education process makes the faculty of most Delhi University colleges apprehensive.

The faculty is protesting against the imposition of 18% of GST being levied on admission as well as examination forms for students across universities, claiming it will slow down the social transformation of students.

Teachers claim this move will neglect the economic situation of the students and their parents, who are working as watchmen, security guards, or are engaged in other menial jobs. “The government needs to make higher education accessible to youth, treat it as an instrument for upliftment for those unable to afford it. My students have expressed their parents’ inability to afford higher education if they have to pay money at every stage,” said Rajesh Jha, a professor at Rajdhani College to India Today.

The professor’s sentiments echo the feelings of most of the underprivileged parents of this country, those who wish to send their children to premier government institutions but are unable to given their financial restrictions. “The country’s goal must be to make education as accessible as possible, but with further taxation on university fees, it seems to defeat the purpose”, commented a former professor from the University of Delhi.

“Given how caste and class politics plague the inclusion of so called ‘lower caste’ people into the educational premises due to being enmeshed in the vicious cycle of caste privilege, the government’s move on taxation isn’t quite smart, it only manages to marginalise the already marginalised”, opines a former student from Miranda House.


Feature Image Credits: India TV Paisa

Ankita Dhar Karmakar
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What was once DU’s flagship course is now being offered by most private universities. While it remains to be one of the most popular fields of study, does it live up to the hype? Dissecting the nitty-gritties of the curriculum, we find that there is ample room for improvement.

With the advent of the Choice-Based Credit System (CBCS) in 2015, there has been a paradigm shift in most courses. The University of Delhi embarked on a new-found semester system, discarding the erstwhile annual examinations. The rollout was a tedious process, full of delays and uncertainty. The reaction was eventually a mixed one.

In particular reference to commerce courses, CBCS has not enjoyed a favourable position among professors. A few recommendations by the academic council to revamp the syllabi have been welcome changes; including the introduction of the IT Act and computer applications as core subjects, with practical lessons to file ITRs under the subject Income Tax bringing the application aspect to theory. Introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the commerce curriculum is another indicator of the continuous efforts made by DU to make learning more relevant.

Unfortunately, despite all progressive steps, commerce courses continue to teach several redundant and outdated portions. E-commerce, an elective subject offered in the 3rd semester, for example, includes HTML as part of its practical lessons and other generic theory related to online business transactions. Similarly, many core subjects act as mere additions to the theory taught in the 10+2 level, and the non-existence of case studies from these subjects is equally appalling.

One of the Heads of Department of Commerce at a prominent DU college said, “Everything happens under the ambit of the UGC guidelines, which makes the process of recommending changes in the syllabus a bureaucratic one.” Management Accounting is a subject that was compulsorily taught earlier, but under CBCS, it has become a discipline elective subject. According to her, CBCS claims to be choice-based but it undermines the urgency of a few courses and hence offers uneven combinations. Choices are offered, but most colleges do not have the infrastructure, and when one course is pitted against the other, either of those important courses suffers.

The curriculum is also not particularly flexible and is largely poorly designed. Covering the entirety of Income Tax and Macroeconomics in one semester is unjustifiable for both the teachers and students, thus, leading to lack of in-depth knowledge on any subject.

Private universities have started cashing in on this flawed course structure and are beginning to offer a diverse, well-planned layout. What used to be DU’s flagship course is now offered by multiple universities.

Despite this, there are a plethora of career options available for a commerce graduate to choose from. This course witnesses the highest packages being offered to some of its graduates. Semester Four includes subjects which are relevant to the skill-set required by a graduate in any job, for example, the application of Business Mathematics is a tool that would help future managers, and Applications in functions like MS Excel can hugely benefit its stakeholders. If DU continues on this path to revamp the course structure after shorter intervals of time, it can actually lead to value addition of a student’s skill set and make him/her more employable.

A commerce degree in itself is said to never be enough, but it certainly is a stepping-stone to the corporate world. For all the aspiring Chartered Accountants in the pack of freshers, B.Com(H) offers the most ideal course structure.


Image credits: NDTV

Vijeata Balani

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The 2006 movie The Prestige opens up with a Michael Caine monologue. He says “Every great magic trick consists of three parts or acts. The first part is called “The Pledge”. The magician shows you something ordinary: a deck of cards, a bird, or a man. He shows you this object. Perhaps he asks you to inspect it to see if it is indeed real, unaltered, normal. But of course… it probably isn’t. The second act is called “The Turn”. The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary. Now you’re looking for the secret… but you won’t find it, because of course you’re not really looking. You don’t really want to know. You want to be fooled.”

It is almost astonishing how beautifully this depicts the Indian circumstance as PM Narendra Modi, our very own magician, time and again transfers the utopian ideas of national integration, poverty eradication, and the emancipation of the socially, culturally, and economically marginalised on obscure and complex economic policies sugarcoated with his renowned grandiloquence, ingenious analogies, novel symbolisms, hyperboles, and signature abbreviations. The latest midnight reform from the Parliament came with similar pomp and show, riding on the indomitable optimism of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Modi himself, with their personal promises of grassroot and inclusive economic prosperity. It is only to be seen whether the nation already once scathed by the hardships of demonetisation finally finds relief in the messiah’s new trick or it further faces despair and confusion.

Touted by a section of Indian media as the greatest economic reform since Independence after the 1990 Manmohan Singh reforms, a critical examination of this big bang reform reveals the ramifications of demonetisation and raises serious questions over whether a volatile economy like India will be able to cope with such complex market structures. It is an inevitable analysis at this juncture – will this new policy makes lives easier or is just another one of Modi’s stunts because this man can clearly not keep himself off the front page.

Two things should be made clear at the very onset. Firstly, the GST (Goods and Service Tax) is not at all as simple or as utopian as Arun Jaitley and Narendra Modi want us to believe. The BJP, or for that matter any party in India, is at its core a political venture of giant financial houses. Expecting any all-out pro-poor reform would therefore just be unrealistic. Secondly, this reform is not at all an exemption from taxation but rather a distribution of tax from goods of basic survival to the first level goods of comfortable living. It is amply relevant that the different slabs ranging from 5% to 28% are specifically designed to pinch the pockets of the Indian middle class. Clearly, the Indian economy, already mortgaged to the western capitalist institutions in its years of corrupt Congress misrule, has found its new victim in the extensive middle class base. This new policy thus may be seen as a new venture of the government to further appease America.

The government released documents that reveal that the policy is aimed to make the tax incidence on consumers less by reducing compliance costs, removing cascading of taxes, increasing the tax base, reducing logistical costs, and reducing the effective rates of taxes from the present level. The new system is supposed to eliminate India’s notorious complex layers of taxation including purchase, entertainment, excise, luxury and sales taxes (VAT), and others, tackling corruption and inflation at the same time. Even a passing knowledge of the peculiar nature of the Indian economy will reveal the lacuna in every part of the government’s envisioned objectives.

First and foremost, the unorganised sector of India’s economy is vast, employing an estimated nine out of ten workers. When this sector – where the nature of employment is fragile, irregular, and voluminous – is subjected to 37 filings every year including three filings a month added to a jargon of technicalities, the manpower absorption and gross production is significantly reduced. For smaller companies operating on wafer-thin margins, hiring accountants and technical staff could substantially dent their bottom line. This would all lead to zero transference of the added profit to the customers, which in turn only leads to a further increase in prices.

Second, until corruption as a way of life is promoted by the regime, and its supporters and patrons are allowed a free play to evade taxes and plunder national resources, the reform will merely be regressive and atrocious for the giant middle class base, consuming a higher proportion of poor people’s income, compared to those earning large incomes.

Third, the GST will continually pose a threat to the federal setup of the nation and may create unnecessary friction between the states and the centre. This all culminates into the fact that the very fundamental idea of the GST seems to be flawed. It is hard to imagine the practicality of a “one nation one tax” programme when every state in India has its own economic weaknesses, strengths, and challenges.

Once again, the general masses bear witness to a hasty policy which is forced upon them. In the absence of sufficient preparation, infrastructure, resources, knowledge, and compliance across the nation, India once again looks like a class of weak students who are forced to face tough examinations one after another, without the guidance of an expert teacher.



  1. Economic Survey of India
  2. Government of India official Goods and Service Tax (GST) website.
  3. Modern Diplomacy Archives

Feature Image Credits: Quora

Nikhil Kumar
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The machinery of education evolving and growing with the dynamic forces of time is evident. With the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) marking the most significant tax reform in the country since Independence, the implications of ‘one country, one tax’ was bound to permeate to the amassed literature of the textbooks. The University of Delhi’s Academic Council has announced that the historic unifying tax has been approved to be a part of the syllabus for Commerce students. The same has been recommended to the varsity’s Executive Council.

GST and the students

Considering the economic system has been practically refurbished, the council feels the inclusion of GST in the curriculums of B.A. Programme, B.Com (Programme), and B.Com (Hons.) is necessary for the current set of students to comprehend its totality. An air of ambivalence surrounds the introduction of the tax, as uncertainty shrouds over how it will influence various products and services. The new section on GST will be included from this academic session onwards.

The nitty-gritties of the tax will be taught in the third and fifth semesters to B.Com (Hons.) students and fifth and sixth semester students will have to study a paper on GST and Custom Law in B.Com (Prog.), while the course will be taught to B.A. (Prog.) students in the third and fourth semester, depending on the approval of the executive council.

The course curriculum will comprise of the constitutional framework of indirect taxes before GST, which shall focus on the taxation policies of the union and state governments, like the Value Added Tax. They will also be taught the drawbacks of the indirect taxes which palled over the country’s economy before GST. Further, they will be acclimatised to the structure of GST, the GST council, state compensation mechanism, registration, amongst other topics. The curriculum is also expected to include levy and collection of GST, which will cover taxable events like supply of goods and services, places of supply within state, interstate, import and export, time of supply, valuation rules, taxability of reimbursement of expenses, and exemption from GST.

The decision has been welcomed by the faculty members of the varsity’s colleges, who emphasise on the importance of the students learning the intricacies of the new economic structure. “So far, the Goods and Services Tax was not included in the curriculum. Going by the status quo, it is important that students understand the tax well. We are awaiting a formal notification from the University and will include it in the curriculum for this academic year”, said Reena Chadha, Professor at Shri Ram College of Commerce. Rajesh Jha, Professor at Rajdhani College and an Academic Council member, mentions that the Executive Council is most likely to give a nod to the academic inclusion.

GST: The unifying economic umbrella

Heralded as the mechanism to bring about ‘fiscal liberation’, the GST council has devised a system which seeks to subsume the complex net of an array of taxes previously levied. The system was rolled out on the midnight of June 30th and July 1st in a grand ceremony at the Central Hall, and witnessed the likes of the President, Prime Minister, Finance Minister, members of both the houses, and other eminent personalities. The journey to implement GST can be tracked back to ten years ago, ever since the government was aiming to bring about economic reforms. The tax will supposedly lead to widening the country’s tax base and enhancing compliance while also freeing up internal trade and effecting a direct growth in the country’s GDP. However, there stand various regulatory challenges in its path to ensure that the tax brings comfort to the country.

Dr. Bhibhu Pratap Sahu, Assistant Professor at Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College, highlights the positive impact of the newly implemented tax. He says, “Tax has now been simplified for our country with GST. Revenue generated from GST will be generated in a manner that will benefit India. Economists are already expecting the tax revenue to reach 2 trillion from 1 billion so students should be apprised with the times they will have to work in.”


With inputs from India Today

Feature Image Credits: Media India Group

Saumya Kalia
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Indian Economy is an unpredictable concept, with intricacies to understand and get an idealistic approach towards it’s nature. The students and teachers shall come together to get a good and deep knowledge of it. With this initiative, ECOSPIRE: The Economics society of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College organized a seminar on ”Budgetary Reforms and the GST: Issues and Options” on 25th October, 2016.


With the celebration of its Golden Jubilee year, the seminar witnessed eminent speakers like Dr. Sacchidananda Mukherjee and Dr. Laveesh Bhandari who gave their viewpoints on the topic and shared their experiences erstwhile.

The speakers arrived at the venue in the morning from where the guests were escorted along with the principal to the seminar room for the inauguration ceremony. The convener Mr Jayesh Adeshra in the presence of the entire faculty welcomed the speakers. The seminar kickstarted with a speech by Dr. Laveesh Bhandari who currently serves as a Director of Indicus Analytics Pvt Ltd., on the topic “Budgetary Reforms” where he discussed about the basics of a government budget and how it affects the political atmosphere and the public, in general. He talked in detail about the budget deficit and the over and under expenditure done by the government in various sectors of the economy. He talked about the plight of the public sector undertakings (PSUs) in the economy and the effect on the budget deficit due to immense expenditure done by the government to recover the losses of this sector.

His speech was followed by a question hour in which he entertained all the questions asked by students and even teachers in the seminar.


The next speech was given by our second speaker Dr. Sacchidananda Mukherjee who is currently an Associate Professor at National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP), on the topic:”GST: issues and options”. In his speech, he explained in detail about GST and its effect on the household, and the markets. He explained how GST will widen the tax base by expanding the coverage of economic activities and cutting down exemption, achieving better tax compliance through mitigation of tax cascading, double taxation, and lowering the tax burden on the middle class section of the economy by giving numerical examples to prove the same.

After the speech, he responded to the questions asked by students in the question hour which noticed active participation. The seminar concluded with the conveyor presenting the mementos to the speakers. The students left the venue carrying a deep insight on the topic.