Delhi University yet again is at loggerheads with its minority-administered south campus Jesus and Mary College on the decision to do away with the interview in the upcoming admission season for its minority students.  Delhi University cannot take over admissions under Minority quota, states JMC plea.

Jesus and Mary College has filed a High Court petition in an effort to overturn Delhi University’s decision about the admission procedure for the academic year 2023-2024. According to a notification released by the University on December 30, 2022, The Executive Council of Delhi University made a decision to give admissions at both UG and PG levels solely on the basis of Common University Entrance Test (CUET) score. This policy also covers admissions under reserved categories and minority quotas. As confirmed by numerous other sources, the university intends to use only CUET scores as the only criterion for admission regardless of any category.

Conflicting views have emerged between the minority colleges and the University as a result of this decision. Advocate Romy Chacko advances JMC’s argument which states that is in clear violation of Article 30, of the Constitution of India to insist on giving 100 per cent weightage to CUET scores under the 50 per cent minority quotas.

Minorities have the fundamental right to establish and administer educational institutions under Article 30. Hence, the plea declares that University cannot interfere with their right or take absolute control of admissions as it is Ultra vires ( an act beyond one’s legal capacity or authority ) and unconstitutional.

A similar concern was raised by St. Stephens in September 2022 which sparked a legal battle between the college and the University where the college wanted to conduct interviews for the admission process apart from the CUET scores. In their plea, St. Stephens insisted on giving 85 per cent to CUET scores and the rest 15 per cent to its interview round for non-Christian applicants. While they stressed this was their right as a minority institution to take decisions independently, The High Court ordered the college to concentrate only on CUET merit for admitting non-minority students adding that the interview process can be carried out for the minority students. The college appealed the High Court decision to the Supreme Court after that.

The JMC plea makes a reference to this High Court decision dated September 12 and notes that while the St. Stephens case is still pending with the Supreme Court, this decision of the Executive Council is in conflict with the previous High Court Judgement and suffers from ‘total non-application of mind’.

On Tuesday, the matter was listed before a bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad. The Delhi High Court is now set to hear this plea by Jesus and Mary College on May 24, 2023. Notices for the same have been sent to Delhi University and UGC.

Read Also: St. Stephen’s Supreme Council Row Escalates, Delhi High Court Seeks Response

Image Credits – Jesus and Mary official website

Priya Agrawal

[email protected]

On Tuesday, 11th September 2018, DU Beat conducted an interview with Neelanjita Bishwas, the Vice-Presidential candidate of the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) in context to the Delhi University Student Union Elections to be held on the 12th of September 2018.

Neelanjita is pursuing Political Science Honours from Hindu College. She is from West Bengal and has been working with SFI since class 12th.  
Here are some excerpts from the interview.

A majority of students feel detached from DUSU (Delhi University Student Union). In such a scenario, what is your model of establishing accountability?
We certainly consider this a major issue. As made clear in our agenda, we plan on holding regular union GBM (General Body Meetings) with students. Yesterday, we held a program called “Ask Your Candidate” and answers pointed questions about our manifesto and policies. We are ready for all sorts of criticism and questions.

What are your party’s opinions regarding the autonomy drive of the colleges?
Our party clearly opposes any such autonomy of colleges. We understand that autonomy entails economic privatisation which will lead to fee hike and compromise the diversity, accessibility, and inclusivity of university spaces. SFI has struggled against autonomy in the past and would continue doing so.

How inclusive do you think SFI in terms of minority representation?
At SFI we believe in equality. In fact, only after the recent NSUI allegations of casteism, we looked into the issue of minority representation and found that we have people coming from all socio-economic backgrounds in our party.

Lyngdoh Committee lays down five thousand rupees as the maximum expenditure amount. How does your party maintain it?
To make things clear at the very beginning, we are against the Lyngdoh Committee for its restrictive nature. Having said that, we are the only party that follows the expenditure and paperless election regulations, when everyone else is abusing it indiscriminately. The administration should take stringent actions against the same. At the same time, seeing other leftist parties engage in the same is extremely disappointing.

This election year, AISA has been accused of aligning with CYSS for monetary gains. How do you see these allegations?
First of all, it was disappointing to see AISA not aligning with us, in spite of our ideological similarities and the many wars we have fought together. As far as your question is concerned, I believe it would be more proper to pose this question to AISA leadership.

In an environment where clean and honest politics has a history of not bearing fruits, what motivates your party to keep on fighting?
A drive to weed out the corruption and mismanagement of resources, I would say. There is an inner drive which propels one to keep on working against all odds. 

1.  President (SFI)
Akashdeep Tripathi- Ballot no. 2
2. Vice President (SFI)
Nilanjita Bishwas- Ballot no. 4
3.  Secretary (AISF)
Subhash Bhat- Ballot no. 6
4.  Joint Secretary
Srejeet K.- Ballot no. 4

Feature Image Credits: SFI-AISF

Interview taken by Niharika Dabral ([email protected])

Interview transcribed by Nikhil Kumar ([email protected])


Interviews are the most dreaded part of any examination. They are, nevertheless, prima facie personality tests where there is a need to maintain a fine balance between being blatantly honest and sounding pretentious to your interviewer.

With the Common Admission Test (CAT) results announced, it’s a given that many exam-takers will now be facing several interview rounds, in the upcoming months. Additionally, many final year students have been preparing for their HR interviews that are required for final placements or for internship interviews. There is, unfortunately, no fixed formula or set strategy to deal with all the questions during an interview, and only a few basic things that should be at everyone’s fingertips while appearing for one. Usually, the academic or technical interviews are more domain-specific that cater to a student’s basic knowledge of the subject and the subject-specific skill set. They may also involve questions on general affairs, which can be handled with ease if you read the newspaper on a daily basis and make sincere efforts to brush up your current affairs’ awareness. The personality interviews have always been tricky, and more often than not, the interviewers are observing your interpersonal skills. Many of us are tempted to make up things out of thin air in order to leave a great first impression. Predictably, this contradiction is the biggest blunder anyone could think of.

First and foremost, you need to accept that the interviewer is a smart and sensible human being. The interviewer is prudent and will not expect any candidate to know everything under the sun. Thus, if you are unable to answer a specific question, it is wise to politely say a ‘sorry’ rather than beating around the bush and waste everyone’s time. Most importantly, do not panic if you make a mistake and do not lie about your work experience, as the interviewer is a human too and will not judge you for being human. Secondly, since the interview is only about you, you are not expected to know the technicalities of an unrelated field. So, do not waste time preparing out-of-context questions and focus on the stream/field of study which you had been pursuing up till now and for which you are applying. The best shot that you have at interviews is to prepare for the generic “tell me about yourself” part or “why an MBA” or “why this company”. Since this part tends to be grueling for most interviewees, you should be genuine and outright in your approach. Start from the very beginning — where you come from, your interests, work experience, knowledge about your graduation subject, why do you want to change your stream (if so), why did you score a low C.G.P.A. and so on.

Keep your answers crisp, intelligent, short, and chronological. Tell them about the topics that excite you and subtly touch upon your aspirations. Don’t stutter while talking about your application — be thoroughly familiar with it. Unlike the popular adage, an interview is not an opportunity to “sell” yourself. Making it a conversation will always be the key to crack it.


Feature Image Credits: US News Money

Oorja Tapan

[email protected]

Miranda House witnessed a lot of heat during this year’s Student Union elections. Unlike last year when the post of the President had just one person contesting for it, the competition this year was fierce. After a well-contested election, Miranda House elected Nitasha Dabas as the President of the Miranda House Student Union for the 2015-16 session. A third year Chemistry Honours student, Nitasha has been a part of Mridang, the Indian dance society of Miranda House for two years now and also works with the environment society Vatavaran, and the Miranda House NSS unit.

Nitasha got down to business right after her oath-taking ceremony. Nevertheless, we managed to get to know what’s on her mind as she kickstarts her tenure:

Q. Congratulations on your win, Nitasha! When did wanting to be a part of the Student Union become a plan for you? What motivated you towards student politics?

For the last two years I have observed the basic problems that students face and felt the urge to work for the college. I have been constantly making plans in my mind for the betterment of the college and being a part of the union was one of the ways to execute my plans.

Q. While there are obvious ecstasies about representing the students of Miranda House, what are some of your inherent fears for your tenure?

As much as I am enjoying my victory, I am aware of my responsibilities and the promises I’ve made in my manifesto. I am not really afraid of any obstacle; I’m fully prepared to face them. I do have a lot of things in mind to execute my plans, but sometimes I feel that the time period available is not enough. Nevertheless, I’m determined and will devote all my energy and time towards working for the students.

Q. What tops the to-do list of your union?

Our first step was to realise the problems of our college, of which we are now completely aware. Now is the time to act. Like I said, with all the time I’ve spent in the college I have deeply felt and faced the issues faced by everyone, and I believe that our team is capable of fulfilling all our goals set for the session. We are determined to work for our college and make a change.

Q. Before the elections we had been made to realise the problems of the College. Do you think the new union is harmonious enough to deal with these?

The newly elected union has good experience with working for the college. In the last two years, we not only got the opportunity to work for various societies but also for the union. The new union consists of people who had worked very closely with the previous Student Union, so we have sound knowledge of how an organization is run in Miranda House. With the managerial and coordination skills that we have gained, we will be able to work very efficiently as a team and take Miranda House to new heights.

Q. What is your message to all Mirandians?

I would like to tell them to not restrict themselves. Try to explore. Miranda House is a place where you can make your dreams fly high. You should not only be proud to be a part of this great institution but also feel blessed because only a few and the finest become Mirandians.

Image Credits: Jasmine Chahal

Tooba Towfiq

[email protected]


Asha Elizabeth is a third year B.Com. Honours student in Jesus and Mary College. An eminent part of the Commerce Core team and NCC of the college, she is currently getting trained in athletics at JLN stadium.

 Q. Congratulations, Asha! How does it feel, and did you use any strategies to win the elections?

 Thank you, this feeling cannot be expressed in words. I want to thank god for his abundant blessings. The only strategy I used was to reach out to the students and make them aware of my views and agendas for the upcoming year. I did offline and online campaigning, talked to the students individually and collectively and ensured that my posters covered the entire campus.

Q. What is your immediate plan of action as the President of the Union?

My immediate plan is to take steps to ensure cleanliness around the campus and to form an effective and efficient student council. My main aim is to organise workshops for all the courses so that they can get practical knowledge related to their field of study. I also plan to introduce self-defence training in the college.

Q. What do you think, lacks the most in Delhi University colleges? How do you plan to overcome it in your college?

I feel that most colleges lack adequate healthcare facilities. To overcome that, I would want sufficient medical care to be provided in JMC. I have also observed that there is more bookish knowledge than practical knowledge in the education system. I want to organise educational trips and workshops to overcome that.

Q. What is the biggest challenge that you see coming your way this year?

 The biggest challenge I see ahead of me is balancing both, the demands of students and those of the college administration. I wasn’t to be able to fulfill everyone’s expectations, but that can be difficult if they clash.

Q. What advice would you like to give to the students, aspiring to hold such leadership positions in future?

I would like to tell them that leadership qualities are not hereditary but they have to be developed and used in the right way. Be confident, be enthusiastic and find happiness in whatever you do. Make sure your actions inspire others.


Interviewed by Lovleen Kaur

[email protected]

From talking about their characters and relationships to the movie as an adaptation of Chetan Bhagat’s novel, the star cast of the movie 2 States, Arjun Kapoor and Alia Bhatt recently sat down with our correspondent.  Take a look at them talk about their experience of shooting  in IIM Ahmedabad, their chance to be students once again and what they enjoyed the most as students. Arjun also tells us how he is envious of actor Varun Dhawan and wants to do comic roles in the future.

Presenting Arjun Kapoor and Alia Bhatt in conversation with our correspondent Iresh Gupta.

Iresh : Tell us something about your character Krish, and in what ways could you relate to it? And what is it that the students will love about the movie and the character?

Arjun : I identified a lot with Krish in terms of emotional quotient, not because he is Punjabi or I am Punjabi, but there is a lot more to it. He is somebody who doesn’t show his emotions. He has a certain take on life. He is very a responsible kid. There is a certain selfless nature. Whatever he does is for his mother. He is brought up properly with family values. There is a certain understanding that he has developed to keep his mother happy and that is something that I completely related to. For a 23-24 year old kid, he hasn’t lost his way, though there have been ups and down in his life. He is a sorted out kid. So the viewers also will be able to relate to the character fully, I suppose.

Iresh: Alia, how was Ananya for you as a character?

Alia : Ananya is much more mature than I am. She is very active with her thoughts and her intelligence is the reason behind it. She is very sensitive to the people she loves. I relate to her ideas. She has an opinion and she puts it forward. The character also thinks that she is right 90% of the times. And when it comes to Krish she would go on her way to convince her parents. And also, in many ways she was very inspiring for me as a woman.

Iresh : The book by Chetan has done really well and is quite popular, especially among young people and students. Has that built up any pressure for you two?

Arjun : It didn’t actually, till I met you all or met all his readers because I haven’t read the book. They all made me realize the unprecedented love the Chetan novel has. This hit me when our first trailer came out; we had six million hits which according to Dharma Productions, was the highest for any Dharma movie till date. Then we realized the expectation the film carries for age groups especially young people, as you say.

Iresh : Alia what do you think? How difficult is it to maintain the originality when a movie becomes an adaptation of a book?

Alia : See, when I hadn’t read the book I was little apprehensive about the fact that this book will be made into a movie. But when I read the adaptation, I read the book, I was happy. After watching the movie now, I feel that the basic skeleton of the book is there. The emotions are in place. Cinematic liberty is what we took but at the end of the day the emotion remains the same.

Iresh : Alia, you have been a student before for Student Of The Year. So how was it this time for 2 States?

Alia : This movie has characters of more older students, it is not high school. The movie is about a relationship that we develop while we are in college. But it was fun working and shooting in a campus.

Iresh : Arjun, any research that you undertook to be a student after different genre of roles you did in the past?

Arjun : I have grown up from being 17 to 25 and I was pretty alert as a student with whatever studies I did then. No research was required as such but there was this body language that Abhishek (Verman) wanted for this character as a director. I had to retain that no matter what I am doing as student in the film.

Iresh : How was it shooting in the campus of IIM-Ahmedabad? Was it among the college students?

Arjun : It was really nice to go back to the college. I enjoyed that experience. I enjoyed shooting in IIM, it is a fantastic campus. And it made much easier for us to believe that we are college students because college poora khaali tha, chutti ke time par gye the. We were there last April for shooting. We used to wake up in the morning, come to college, work whole day and go back. So it was a really cool experience.

Iresh : Alia,  how was it working at IIM-A for you?

Alia : It was a great experience. Even when Chetan came to the sets, he was quite happy for the fact that we got IIM-Ahmedabad as the campus which he had visualized in the book. It reminded him of his days in the college with his wife. For us, that was a big thing.

Iresh: Arjun what is that you enjoyed the most as a student?

Arjun : I got to dress well, that is what I enjoyed the most in the film. I got to wear clothes that I would wear in normal life and roam around. I played my age, more or less. I was allowed to dress how I would want to dress. When I say that I could relate to the boy, the sensibility and his aesthetics, the jeans, the shoes, the cargoes, the glasses I wear and the haircut I got. I would like to get rid of this (points towards his present look) for quite some time. So I liked all those changes that happened to me. It was a nice refreshing change.

Iresh : Arjun, when you look at all these movies coming today, what is the genre you would like to do or one director you would want to work with?

Arjun : I would love to do comic roles. I am really envious of Varun Dhawan. Really, the kind of genre that is taken up by David Dhawan, the movies he makes, is something that I would like to do.

Iresh : You both have been to Delhi University before for promotions. So how was the experience? And one last message for our readers?

Alia : We have got lots of love from the age group that you cater to. It is amazing to see how the young generation that is our own generation relates to and also appreciates our work. So all of you out there, please go watch 2 States, One love! It is a movie for everyone. It is coming out on 18th April. Do watch!

Image Courtesy: Mehr Gill for DU Beat

Swechha, started in 2000 as a young people’s campaign to raise awareness about pollution in the River Yamuna, is starting a fresh youth mobilization drive, ‘We For Yamuna.’  The campaign intends to work throughout March and April to organize sensitization drives, discussions and Yamuna walks for students of North Campus. Jack Todd and Josh Roberts,  volunteers of the campaign answers questions for DU Beat.

1. What made you come up with the idea of starting the campaign “We for Yamuna”? 


“We for Yamuna” started as a campaign in August 2000 for creating and spreading awareness about the pitiable state of Yamuna in Delhi. Since its inception, the campaign has been using innovative methods to attract the attention of the government, media and citizens for the cause of the river. Today, “We for Yamuna” is globally recognized as one of the strongest youth voices on the issue of Yamuna. “We for Yamuna” led to the genesis of Swechha in June 2001. For the past six weeks we have been working within North Campus to spread awareness and create a buzz about Yamuna throughout the student bodies.

Jack (left) and Josh (right) talking to students from North Campus about the river at  Najafgarh Drain, the first drain that enters the Delhi stretch of Yamuna.
Jack (left) and Josh (right) talking to students from North Campus about the river at Najafgarh Drain, the first drain that enters the Delhi stretch of Yamuna.

2. Tell us about the previous attempts that you have made to better the condition of Yamuna? What was the impact those endeavours had on people involved?

Since 2000, Swechha has facilitated a huge number of successful mega events including: Yamuna Shramdans, Yamunotsavs, Delhi’s first Yamuna Cyclothon in 2012 and the first 24 hour Yamuna cleanup as a part of NDTV’s Greenathon. Over the past 14 years we have engaged with over 15000 young people through Yamuna Walks and Yamuna Yatras. We have also engaged actively with national and international media on the issue of Yamuna. All of these events and activities have resulted in an increased level of awareness.

3. What does this campaign involve? How do you think this campaign will improve the condition of the river?

Since February 1st “We for Yamuna” has been working with North Campus on the awareness aspect of the campaign. Since then we have facilitated several Yamuna Walks, Community Interaction Sessions and Perspective Building Exercises to open the eyes of North Campus students to the state of Yamuna. As active campaigners Josh and I believe the first step to a successful campaign is awareness and that is what we are working towards.

Water from the Delhi section of Yamuna on the left and from the Haryana section of Yamuna on the right


4. Why are you targeting students of North Campus? Any specific reason?

Students getting out of a boat at Qudsia Ghat at the end of a Community Interaction Session along the river.

In 2000, a group of students from St. Stephens College initiated a campaign on the Yamuna, which eventually evolved into Swechha. We feel it was very important to make the students of North Campus aware of this issue as the river flows so closely yet so few students are aware of its location. North Campus is the hub of positive energy and we want our targets of change to be the media of change.


5. What is the cause of Yamuna degradation? This degradation can’t be stopped in just few attempts.

Yamuna entering Delhi through Wazirabad Barrage.

The biggest cause of degradation of Yamuna is the amount of raw sewage being pumped into Yamuna via 16 drains along with the minimal flow of the river. As Yamuna enters Delhi it becomes comparatively smaller as it flows through Wazirabad Barrage and starts its 22km journey through Delhi which amounts to 2% of the river’s length but contributes to 80% of the total pollution.

 6. What are your future plans of action regarding the whole issue?

As of now we plan to keep on creating a buzz about the river in North Campus. In time we see these students become a part of our bigger picture and help us spread the word among the residents of the city and to be responsible citizens.

From talking about the “bewakoofiyan” they did in college, to exploring the urban and corporate side of Delhi with their upcoming movie Bewakoofiyan, we sat down with Ayushmann Khurrana and Sonam Kapoor recently. Hear them speak about love during recession and the experience of working together as co-stars for the first time. Plus, Sonam gives our readers some tips on budget fashion and questions the radicalism of Ayushmann’s dressing sense.

Presenting Sonam Kapoor and Ayushmann Khurrana in conversation with our correspondents Ishika Gupta and Iresh Gupta (Videographed by Abhinav Arora).

Ishika : Tell us something about Bewakoofiyan and what is it that students will love about your movie?

Sonam : This story is about how love is more important than materialistic needs. Sometimes you get to relationships or get married to people for various reasons like money, job or education. But sometimes you need to be with someone because you love them, because they make you happy and he/she is a nice person. And I think that is the most important thing and at the same time very basic and simple. But kids or young people these days are actually forgetting that. They get to relationships saying that “She is hot” or “She is sexy.”

Ayushmann : (laughs) Sketch of the film is that this guy (points toward himself) is jobless. And his girlfriend earns more than him and she is hot. The father has a problem with that, of course. The sketch is very simple but the story is unusual, it is realistic. It is not those typical rom-com movies. It is based on recession.

Iresh : This is a very unique pairing for the movie. You guys have been paired for the first time together. So how was it working with each other? Like comparing to your co-stars in the past?

Ayushmann : TERRIBLE! It was really bad… It is the first time I am working with a star. I have worked with debutants in the past. Yes, of course she is a star! Lets be straight now. Earlier I thought she is a fashion icon, so the pairing will be quite odd and unusual with I being a guy next door and she being a fashion icon but when I got to know her, personally I got to know that she is very simple, sweet and sorted and she has seen life so I have learned a lot from her, not only how to be on camera but also how to be off camera.

Sonam : (hugs Ayushmann) Okay, honestly it was amazing working with him. Actually, I have never had the same co-star in any film. Everytime I do a film it is someone else. So how is it working with him? The only person I have worked with twice is Abhishek (Bachchan). One was Delhi 6, the other one was this not so happening film, Players. Everybody else has been new. I have worked with 10 different heroes. (laughs) So yeah. He is awesome.

Ishika : As we grow old, we get freedom. With that comes a lot of responsibility and we get a lot of chance to exploit that responsibility. So what were the bewakoofiyaan that you did when you were in college?

Sonam : I only studied till the 12th. Unfortunately I could do bewakoofi only till high school. After that I started working. The biggest bewakoofi I have done in my life is not going to college. So people who are in college, please go to college.

Ayushmann : Bewakoofi in school, having crushes on teachers and seniors. That was crazy. The feelings are not mutual, so that’s the biggest bewakoofi. Apart from that, being an actor is also a bewakoofi. It is quite under weighed for someone who is not from the industry and is unaware about the frills of the industry. When people are judgemental, you have to be a master and completely in control of your head to be an actor. It is very difficult.

Iresh : You both came to SRCC to promote your film, so how was the experience in the university? Or Delhi as a whole, as the movie is majorly shot in Delhi and Gurgaon apart from Dubai?

Ayushmann : I was back with a bang in Delhi. It was my third film in Delhi. The city has a lot of character. There is Old Delhi and New Delhi. Jaise vicky donor purani delhi ki thi, yeh nayi dilli ki film hai. It is more urban. This is the first time we are exploring the urban side of Delhi, its corporate side like Gurgaon and Cyber.

Ishika : When we are in college we have a very minimal budget and everyone wants to look good. So what advice will you give to the students about budget fashion?

Sonam : Go to Dilli Haat, pick up every accessory possible for 100-200 bucks, get a kurta or anything from any of the markets and accessorize yourself and you will look beautiful. I think so. I guess it is all about mixing and matching, being artistic, being yourself and having an expression.

Ayushmann : I don’t know if I should talk about fashion or not. Fashion for me is a mood swing. If you feel like an introvert one day, you can be in jeans and a t-shirt. If you feel like radical or an extrovert one day, you can be radical to fashion. I am only radical when I am with Sonam. Otherwise I am okay with my jeans and t-shirt. When you are with Sonam, you have to make an appearance. There is an extra pressure to look good.

The DUTA Secretary, Dr. Harish Khanna was recently appointed an MLA from the Aam Aadmi Party. DU Beat, amidst his busy schedule, managed to catch an interview with him.

1. From being active in Delhi University Teachers’ Union (DUTA) to being a Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-How has this transition come through?

I have been active in DUTA since 1981. I have been a part of DUTA Executive Council six times and a part of the Academic Council twice. I never thought about being associated with the local politics. In the University, going among teachers and asking for votes is easy. But in local politics, one is confronted by the problems of the general public. This has been a totally different experience for me.

2. Since when have you been associated with AAP?

Earlier, I had been a sympathiser of the Jan Lokpal movement. Initially, when I was given an offer by AAP to contest the assembly elections, I denied. Subsequently, I joined AAP after being convinced by my friends in DUTA and in the party to join AAP.

3. You could have contested from Congress or BJP too. Why AAP?

If I would have wanted to, I could have joined politics much earlier (giving example of Kiran Walia, Congress MLA and the Health Minister in the last government, joined politics in 1987 who was also a member of DUTA). I was initially sceptical of contesting elections because of the murky politics. I can’t do the things that elected members from BJP and Congress do. I joined AAP because they are honest and I was impressed by their manifesto. I fought the elections with the resources provided by the party.

4. What is your take on the Four Year Undergraduate Program (FYUP)? How do you wish to take this issue up as an MLA?

We are fully against FYUP. It is indirectly opening ways for foreign universities and inviting them. This will lead to privatisation of education whereas education needs to be responsibility and priority of the government in a developing country like ours. Foundation courses in FYUP are a mix of all subjects and students from different streams are forced to study various different subjects when they have opted for specialised subjects. I will go to any extent to pressurize the centre to roll-back FYUP. Before the elections, I met the President, the Chief Minister of Delhi and the HRD Minister asking them to roll-back FYUP.

5. In your last press conference, you termed FYUP as ‘anti dalit and anti poor’. What makes FYUP ‘anti dalit and anti poor’?

FYUP imposes burden of an extra year on the students that approximately translates into extra 2 Lakhs accounting for everything for staying 1 year in Delhi. Poor students coming from faraway areas can barely manage to study for 3 year and now an additional year has been imposed on them. Dalit students will be forced to leave mid-way between the courses. FYUP is a conspiracy to admit students only from the rich families.

6. What is your take on the Vice- Chancellor and the reforms introduced by him in the University?

The VC is pro-Congress and the Congress government and the Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry are completely listening to and following him. The last state government and the HRD ministry supported FYUP under the name of autonomy.

7.       How do you plan to continue your association with DUTA, now that you are an MLA?

Technically, there is no problem in serving as DUTA secretary as it functions as a trade union. Besides, I have been attending various events organised by DUTA even after getting elected as an MLA. I plan to continue my work in the University and with DUTA.

With inputs from Shaily Sharma | Image Credit: Abhinav Arora

Recently, we interviewed the Secretary of Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) about the organisation, its views on the FYUP, the issue of ad hoc professors in the university, the Vice Chancellor’s Office and a lot more. Here is the entire interview for our audience to listen and to read. [soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/103948776″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” auto_play=”true” /] DUB : Mr Siddiqui, to start off, can you tell us a little about DUTA as an organization – what are its main goals and principles? DUTA: The Objectives of DUTA are to ensure smooth academic functioning in the university and academic growth and to ensure security in the service conditions of teachers alongside maintaining academic standards of the university. DUB: While so many teachers, students even administrative staff have been protesting against FYUP, the programme is still coming in with the start of the new semester. Where does DUTA stand on the programme? What were the main reasons for DUTA to protest against the FYUP in the first place and what do you think can go wrong now that it is being implemented? DUTA: Actually, any institution of higher education, we have to understand, it is neither a mill nor a corporate office, and here the environment is entirely different, and whatever is done in the university is done with the active participation and cooperation of teachers, authorities, students and karamcharis. Unfortunately, off late what has been happening is that this culture of the university which has been obtained with great care and devotion has been given a go by and things are moving in a highly partisan, non participatory and dictatorial fashion. There are university bodies, so many agencies and levels of decision making like the departments, the faculties, the academic council, the executive council, the general body of concerned teachers of a particular department. But in the process of decision making, the participation of all these bodies and the teachers who are the people who teach when there are changed courses are not being consulted in a way they ought to be consulted. That is the problem. And therefore the courses are coming in a half baked and haphazard manner, in a manner that the goodness and the propriety of these courses is not ensured. DUB: So as an organisation, DUTA is against the FYUP completely? DUTA : Let us not say we are against something which we do not know, something about which there has been no participative consultation and discussion. How can we say we are against it? We are saying, whatever changes you bring, bring them in a democratic manner with the due processes of law. But that is not happening. And the various agencies are being taken for a ride. DUB: How is the new system is going to affect the students? DUTA: I feel the educational standard of Delhi University is being made a mockery of. I am not against reform, reforms are welcome, and nothing is as important as change. But change in what manner, I decide something and impose it upon you, and you are people directly concerned, and say we are not seeking your opinion, you have to study this and teach this from this year. From where are the courses coming? DUB: What about teacher workload and the student teacher ratio – how is that going to be affected by the FYUP? DUTA: Claims and counter claims are being bended out, where they say workload is going to increase, the workload is getting reduced, and where there is a fear that the workload is going to reduce, it remains the same. Under identical circumstances, in different colleges, the workload is getting upside down. DUB: But the student teacher ratio sir, is obviously going to increase with so many students studying the foundation courses, right. So how do you think that’s going to affect the student teacher ratio and the workload, because if you’re teaching 70 students instead of 50, its obviously going to make a difference. DUTA: That makes a difference in the quality of teaching also. When I was a student in the University, there used to be 12 or 16 students admitted. Now we teach a batch of 40. Last year, there were 70 in honours. And this time, we may face an honours class of 150. What kind of honours or distinction will they be getting? They will be studying the same course. And so many courses are the level of school. DUB: Coming from there, why do you think no new appointments were made to teach the new courses under FYUP? What is DUTA doing about the shortage of teachers in the university right now? DUTA: There has been an acute shortage of teachers for the past 4 years and about 4000 teachers have been teaching in adhoc and guest positions. And it is a mystery, officially speaking, if you ask me, as to why the appointments are not being made. I am incidentally the general secretary of Federation of Central University Teachers Association, what you call FECUTA, so in that capacity I took a delegation and met the UGC chairman more than once and we wanted to know why the appointments are not being made – whether there a confidential instruction from UGC for not making appointments as DU has been dilly dallying the matter. Then the UGC Chairman said very categorically that there is no delay from our side – infact, there is nothing confidential, infact, on the other hand we want the process of appointments to be expedited and to that effect, at our behest, the UGC wrote to the University officials, but they something, and DU says something and then Delhi University says that as soon as the latest service conditions are finalized, the appointments will start, and the UGC says that there is no bar from our side. And there have been announcements atleast three four times in the press that shortly or sooner than late, appointments will begin. DUB: What is the composition of teachers in the university as of now? How many teachers are we short of? DUTA: At this moment, there is a strength of 9000 teachers in colleges and departments, out of which, about 4000 are temporary and adhoc and guest position and on contact basis. Moreover, there are about 4000 vacancies. DUB: What are the major differences in ad hoc and permanent appointments as far as work load and facilities are concerned? DUTA: In working conditions, there is no difference. But the nature of appointment is different. The permanent appointment is made through a properly constituted selection committee, and that is regular. Then you cannot be pushed out. And an ad hoc appointment is for 4 months technically. Then you can renew your appointment every 4 months. DUB: Tell us about the DUTA’s recent protests about the victimisation of ad hoc teachers? What exactly were you demanding? DUTA: We are demanding, very specifically, the filling up of these 4000 vacancies. DUB: By adhoc professors who have already been teaching? DUTA: Number one, actually, we cannot officially say that as that would be disregarding the judgment of the Permanent Selection Committee. So I would say, fill up these 4000 vacant positions with permanent positions and do away with adhocism. DUB: So you think there should be no ad hoc teachers all together? DUTA: Adhoc appointments are meant only for a very brief period, until you find a regular solution. But then you institutionalise the adhocism. You have made adhocism a permanent phenomenon, how can the university function? DUB: A lot has been said and written about the present Vice Chancellor. What is the DUTA’s stand on him? DUTA: This present VC unfortunately has not been functioning as a head of an institution of higher learning ought to function. DUB: How should a head function and how is he not fitting into that criteria? DUTA: Because an academic institution of higher learning is very different from a corporate office, a company or a mill. Because here you get an atmosphere where the university functions with the cooperation of the teachers, students and karamcharis. Unfortunately, here the environment has undergone a total change. And now the present VC, if you allow me to say this, has been functioning as the CEO of a company, issuing orders on his behalf, shooting letters through is assistant registrar, even though the assistant registrar has no authority to do so. . They are also very poor at drafting – they don’t know the protocol or propriety. DUB: While a substantial number of teachers, students and administrative staff have been protesting the VC’s major reforms and policies in the University, most of these have been implemented regardless of protests, dharnas, demonstrations, even the hunger strikes for that matter. Doesn’t that send across a message about the helplessness of organizations like yours? What are you doing to change that and make the VC’s office take DUTA more seriously? DUTA: It is being implemented but it is being imposed. But I think this is an interim period, and sooner than later, there will be some kind of reaction. The election of the next DUTA have been announced in August and now any major action programme will come in after the election of the next DUTA. But there is simmering discontent at all levels. Look, we cannot take law into our hands. We are law abiding people, we can protest, persuade, try to engage in persuasion and negotiation. We have undertaken various action programmes. DUB: So you think that someday, something as powerful as the VC’s office, will have to take into heed your demands? DUTA: Yes, very soon. These are not demands like those of mill workers. DUTA is a growing and evolving teacher movement, not a trade union screaming inquilaab zindabad. Because we take care of the health of the academics and we are worried and hurt that the academics is dying in the University. DUB: Finally, with a new batch of students coming in and a whole new system of education being brought about, what advice would you give both students and teachers to deal with these major changes? DUTA: The new students are coming in with their fingers crossed as they coming into the unknown. They are students and they are young and I know that with their dedication and hardwork, they will tide over any crisis. This is a period of crisis. When the semester system came, the students were made victims. And so many of them suffered. But the youngsters have to rise to the challenge, and have to work with determination, whatever the courses are. DUB: Any message for the teachers? DUTA: Teachers will teach whatever the new courses are. But they are feeling hurt, because their very eyes, the courses and their quality are being curtailed and stifled. But we know that the standard of education is being destroyed. You are flirting with the courses and making a mockery of them. We have seen a different kind of university. DUB: So you say bring back the university that it was? DUTA: Yes, we want the academic status and dignity of academic functioning must be restored, which is being crippled.]]>