Lady Shri Ram


In a move to include OBC candidates into the hostel facility, the governing body has decided to make the college’s hostel an all first-year accommodation.

The governing body of Lady Shri Ram College (LSR)  has decided to convert their college hostel into an all first-year students’ hostel. This decision has been taken after several demands were made by the student union for reservations to OBC students in the college hostel space. It seems that implementing this decision comes at the cost of removing all the second and third years from the hostel facility.  The decision has been justified by the governing body as a step taken due to the lack of enough rooms.

This reservation policy comes at a heavy cost for the students. The reservation would mean that every other student, who is not a first-year, loses the eligibility to apply for the college’s hostel.

In a statement released by the Student Union, this action has been condemned by referring to it as “absurd” and “a calculated attempt to polarise the student body sentiment along already existing fissures in the society.”

While the student body welcomed the administration’s attempts to promote inclusivity by implementing constitutional reservation—that is, providing 27% hostel seats for OBC candidates. It is a move made after several protests. The union responded by stating that the way it is being implemented needs to be spoken against and criticised.

This decision forces the first-year students to look for accommodation facilities outside the college premises. That is, to seek refuge in flats and PGs once they finish their first-year at LSR. It would happen irrespective of their reservation and economic or social standing. This move is not only an economic burden on the students, but also forces them to be subjected to harassment, discrimination, and moral policing at the hands of PG owners and landlords. The housing economy makes students vulnerable, with little bargaining power at their disposal. Shelter being a primal need, students are often coerced to accept the terms of the owners, be it paying a high rent for a small room or accepting being monitored and controlled.

“South Delhi is a very expensive area, especially the locations near colleges. It’s not a feasible option for many of us. This move would lead to the college becoming an elite space, that is simply destroying class inclusivity,” a member of the hostel union said.

Further, this move affects all students, whether they belong to the SC, ST or OBC community. Reportedly, the decision includes “chances” of exemptions for PwD students. Many of the students cannot afford other housing facilities as the college hostel is the most affordable option for them.

This move would also mean that there would not be any Hostel Union from the successive academic sessions as the first-years would have to be removed annually; further curbing any voice that the Hostel Union holds. “This is an absolute form of harassment that the Governing body has decided to engage in,  under the disguise of inclusivity,” the statement by the Union pointed out.

This move would not affect the second and third years in the hostel as of now, but from the next semester. Only first-years would be eligible to apply for the hostel from the next academic session. This would mean that the first years would have to evacuate as they get promoted. The same set of students who are provided with this so-called privilege in one year, are then left to fend for their own, in the immense instability where they are forced to begin the hunt for shelter from scratch. “The students would thus be walking into a huge economic crisis. Parents in the coming years would be compelled to not send their children here. This step is a violation of the right to education itself,” a Student Union member, who did not wish to be named, stated.

This decision has been questioned for a length of time now. The Union had in many instances, written letters against the same to both the principal and the warden.  However, no response was received from the authorities. The Union also went to meet the college principal in person. The principal was not present in the college during office timings. The union has been constantly trying to  convey their disregard. “We have also been trying to gather the faculty’s support,” a Union member said.

The college has been under scrutiny for a long time with its inability to construct more hostels in the campus to accommodate students. The Union reminded the administration that providing shelter to the students was the utmost responsibility of the governing body, and that this facility cannot be served to the students as a privilege. According to the University of Delhi Act, “All colleges are to have hostel spaces for all their students, exempting those acquiring distant education.” (1922, section 33). The college is clearly violating this act. “The college is justifying this by stating that the hostel comes under a Trust. There is no transparency, nor legal documents that back their claim,” the Union member added.

“The admin wishes students to become mere customers; enjoy the hostel services for a year and then get out, go figure the money to be able to afford the ‘magic of LSR’,” the statement pointed out.

The atmosphere certainly is tense between the students and the administration. The Student Union hopes to be able to make negotiations in the coming days before the semester begins.

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat archives.

Stephen Mathew

[email protected]

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]

The Department of Journalism at Lady Shri Ram College for Women kicked off its Annual Academic Meet, Juxtapose 2015 on October 7. The theme for this year’s meet was ‘Deconstructing Identities, Reconstructing Perceptions’ and shined through in the topics of the various events.


Pre Juxtapose, 7 October- All India Media Meet

The issue of freedom of expression in the light of recent killing of journalists was subjected to heated discussion at The All India Media Meet of Department of Journalism, Lady Shri Ram College on 7th October 2015. The discussion shed light upon the subjective issue of freedom of press. The major issues of whether killing of journalists is an ultimate resolution to the “offensive” content produced by media was put to discussion. The major issues addressed during the course of discussion were the need of media and government to be independent bodies, inadequate self-regulatory mechanism prevalent in media, how killing of journalists is a direct consequence confrontational journalism.

The conference finally sought to address the two major issues of implementing an ideal law exclusively for the safety of journalists and the question of the actual identification of journalists considering how the concept of citizen journalists has led to ambiguity in the definition of journalists.  Other issues of media blackout,the thin line of difference between hate speech and criticism and the leading consequences of defamation of judiciary by the press were address.

The debate whether an independent body other than the Press Council of India is required for safeguarding the interests of journalists was the final question addressed towards the end of the discussion. The discussion concluded with the following recommendations by the delegates of the committee –

  1. Creation of a committee that gives licenses to freelancers and not citizen journalists and ensures that these licenses are not misused.
  2. Ensuring that the committee formed shall ensure legal safety of journalists.
  3. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting should put forward these recommendations to the Parliament.
  4. Periodic meetings like AIMM must happen frequently to address these issues.

Day 1, 8 October- Turncoat Debate, Panel Discussion and AdMad

The topic for the Annual Turncoat Debate – Vox Pop at Juxtapose 2015 was whether film certification works in favour of the state or the public. Ideas like state propaganda, state mandate, to name a few, surfaced. Speakers spoke of how the Indian government compresses its citizens into a monolithic identity while at many a times completely disregarding the plurality of the country and on the other hand, how the state’s “parental attitude” was essential and justified.

‘Kissa Kursi Ka’ was a movie cited as an example by many speakers. However, as felt by the judge, Ms. Ishita Tiwary, what happened to the movie after it was banned wasn’t talked about by the speakers. This was an integral part as it shows the lengths the state can go to, to prevent anything that goes against its interests. After drawing comic reactions to a reference by speaker Chandrashekhar to Ragini MMS and how it had a “mentally scarring” effect on children, he went on to win the debate. The second and third positions were bagged by Naman Malhotra and Kushal Mishra. 

The panel discussion, the second event of the day, was on the topic, “Media’s content: A state of compromise or progression?” The panelists included eminent personalities from the field of media – Abhinandan Sekhri, Shoma Chaudhary, Ritu Kapur and Supriya Sharma. Anshul Tewari, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of YouthKiAwaaz.com, was the moderator.

“Digital media has really shot up in the last 7-8 years. Though it has received a fair share of criticism but it has emerged as a powerful tool for people to speak up,” said Anshul Tewari. “Yes, digital media is limited there is no denying but I think over the next few years it will go deeper,” said Ritu Kapur, co-founder- The Quint. They further went on discussing the impact of digital media to which Abhinandan Sekhri’s stance was very unambiguous. According to him it’s a screen and it doesn’t really matter whether it is NDTV or News Laundry or Scoop Whoop. Also, he said that he believes that the number of views is not a yardstick to judge whether something has impacted people or not, rather, it’s the time they are spending in reading it which speaks.

On comparing the online media with print, Supriya Sharma, recipient of the Chameli Devi Award, given for excellence in Journalism, pointed out that online media is an interactive media with young readership and a sense of feedback. For her it is really very exciting to be able to influence the young minds of the country.

Towards the end the panelists discussed free speech and reasonable restrictions to which Abhinandan responded by saying that he is an absolutist and does not believe that any restriction is reasonable. His opinion was seconded by Ms. Shoma but with two caveats, which were – factuality and incitement to violence. The session concluded with a question and answer session with the audience where in issues like gate keeping, hate speeches and corporate ownership were discussed.

The AdMad competition was judged by Professor Shikha Jhingan and Professor Vibhushan Subba, from the Department of Journalism at LSR. One team that stood out was the one given a “mind reader” to sell. Their mind reader was a pair of flashily lit glasses. Team 4, consisting of Khushwinder and Dhruv, from who advertised an online grocery store bagged the first position, followed by Team 8, Manan, Akhil, Ishan and Vikas from Netaji Subhash Institute of Technology. The second runner up was Team 10, consisting of Manan Batra and Tushar Singh from Sri Venkateswara College. 

Day 2, 9 October: Paper presentation, Panel Discussion, Media quiz

“Media presents to the audience what the audience wishes to see.” A paper presentation competition, Samantha vs. Savitri, organized by the Department of Journalism at LSR, kicked off the final day of their Annual Academic Meet – Juxtapose 2015. This platform acted as a podium where speakers presented their papers, on the question of representation of gender identities in 21st Century Sitcoms. The five participants present here had been shortlisted on the basis of their abstracts submitted much in advance. The event was judged by Ms. Abhija Ghosh, a student of Cinema Studies at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University.

The presentations highlighted how women in particular are stereotyped as being submissive, prudent, and emotional with lack of strength. While the debate concentrated move over the roles of women, reference to other genders were also brought in by speakers. They mentioned how genders apart from the males and females are hardly mentioned as they are considered “unnatural”.

One of the participants, Sukanya, from Daulat Ram College, said, “Ironically, the small screen acts a harbinger of change”. But what change are we talking about if the whole concept of sitcoms dwell on reinforcing stereotypes in just a “funny or new” manner. Indian television serials show mainstream drama projecting the relationship between a mother-in-law and a daughter-in-law as being manipulative and competitive to gain the sympathies of the son/husband.” Another participant, Azra Qaisar, who also happened to be the winner of this event, quoted Naomi Wolf, “Women are allowed to have a body or brain but not both”. A student of LSR itself, her paper focused on the women characters in the famous American sitcom The Big Bang Theory.

The title of the panel discussion of Day 2 was Alternative vs. Mainstream Cinema, will the spectrums ever converge? The panelists on board were Mr. Pankaj Butalia, an award winning documentary filmmaker known for his films like Moksha and Textures of Losses; Mr. Aamir Bashir, a renown Indian actor and filmmaker, known for his work in films like Harud and A Wednesday; Mr. Adil Hussain, an Indian stage, film and television actor most known for his work in Life of Pi and English Vinglish; and Ms. Shohini Ghosh, is the Zakir Hussain Professor of media at the AJK Mass Communication Research Center, an essayist on popular culture and a documentary filmmaker. The discussion was moderated by Ms. Abhija Ghosh, who is a student of Cinema Studies at the School of Arts and Aesthetics at Jawaharlal Nehru University. The discussion began with the moderator asking each panelist to define what mainstream and alternative films are to them.

One particular analogy given by Shohini Ghosh, was that of “the king’s highway and the detours” referring to the mainstream and alternative films, respectively, was used extensively througout the debate. Ms. Ghosh looked more towards the intersection of the two ways, and the ways in which each has its own importance. She quoted the example of Christopher Nolan, as to how he converged the king’s highway and the detour to completely redefine film form. She said, she prefers the term ‘independent cinema’ over alternative cinema. Documentaries, she believes, create the ground for content based movies in the mainstream cinema and have an invisible network of screening and reaching the audience.

Mr. Aamir Bashir wondered where the “dung on the detours” would go with the “swachh abhiyaan” happening. He said that the problem was of appropriation of alternative into the mainstream and how the mainstream tries to proach the alternative. He questioned the distribution system and market economy and how these forces were not willing to back alternative content. He also clearly mentioned, how he wasn’t very optimistic for the future of alternative films in India.  

Mr. Butalia was concerned with documentaries and the lack of importance given to them in conversations about films in general, saying that it was almost as if they do not belong to the category of films“. In the words of Mr.Batalia, we look at the “content” and “form” to distinguish between alternative and mainstream cinema. As the content gets more and more acceptable, it gets appropriated into mainstream media. The demands of commerce do not constrain the alternative film whereas a formula is literally laid out to govern the mainstream cinema; while the alternative cinema experiments more with the form. According to him, creativity is the defining factor in alternative media.

Adil Hussain said that all people who act, make or criticise movies are only human. Human nature and tendencies lead to mainstream media to be more widely accepted than the alternative, simply because it is more familiar and more acceptable to the masses. According to him, the greatest flaw in the medium of film is the need for money to begin making it. While comparing films to theatre, he mentioned how theatre needs no such investment. He defined alternative or more artistic films as those which put the characters and content under an electron microscope, giving them a completely new perspective rising from extreme curiosity and respect towards the arts.

The final event of Juxtapose 2015, was the media quiz. This year’s quiz was conducted by QuizCraft Global Knowledge Solutions.  The Quiz Master was Mr. Adittya Nath Mubayi, Director of QuizCraft Global. 

The quiz began with a preliminary round of 25 questions. A total of 65 teams participated out of which 6 made it to the final. Each team consisted of two members. To break the ice, Mr. Mubayi interacted with each of the final teams and asked them which journalist they would become, if given a chance, for 60 seconds.

The teams that made it to the final quiz had some really interesting names like Inter Galactic Hanuman Sena, Merry Pranksters and Bazingaa to cite a few. In the first round, each question was backed up by 2 hints. Each team had to recognize a person. First the audio was shown then the first hint would be a fact and the second would be the photo. Answering without using hints meant 60 points while it came down to 40 and 20 with the use of the first and the second hint respectively. The second round had direct oral questions. The third round was named Look here, Look hear which included audios and visuals. It covered questions right from the iconic interview with Princess Diana to who the voice of the Delhi Metro is. The fourth round again had direct questions. The last round was the buzzer round. This was a +40 and -20 round and had eight questions. The interesting part about the quiz was that each round began with a question from the audience and ended with the same and also when no team could answer, it was passed on to the audience. For every correct answer from the audience Amazon Kindle e-vouchers were given as gifts.

Team Chapter 11 which had Sreshth Shah of Amity University and Raletim of IGNOU won the quiz with a total of 440 points, they were given a cash prize of Rs. 5,000 and gifts from Support Foundation, Muskaan the NGO and Print Octopus. The quiz was quite tough and interesting and we are lucky to win it,” said Sreshth Shah after his victory. They were followed by Merry Pranksters which had Gokul and Arunav, students of Atma Ram Sanatan Dharm College and Aryabhatt College. There was tie between LSR’s Bazinga and Gulabbo for the third position and with a tie breaking round, Team Gulabbo grabbed the third position. The runner ups were awarded with cash prizes and gifts from the sponsors.

Compiled by: Sakshi Jain Megha Kalia, Maitreyee Misra, Tanvi Jalan and Saloni Singla


[/caption] It’s that time of the year again when freshers’ parties are the topic of discussion amongst every group of students across Delhi University. Many colleges have had their unofficial freshers’, but their official party is still on the waiting list. SRCC, Hansraj, Khalsa, Miranda House, St Stephens, Lady Shri Ram, Laxmi Bai etc are done with their departmental and unofficial freshers’ while Daulat Ram and Kirori Mal are going to have the same in the coming week. Shri Ram College had its unofficial freshers’ party on 29th of this month at Urban Pind, GK-2. The freshers had to pay Rs 300 each and the party continued from 3 to 7pm. Although very few students turned up, the party was quite a fun. “We sang and danced with our friends, and the food was good too!” says Mansi, a fresher. [caption id="attachment_7548" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Unofficial freshers' at SRCC"][/caption]

Miranda house had its departmental fresher with the theme of “ticket to Bollywood” last week in the college campus itself. Girls dressed up as actresses, danced to the tune of Bollywood music. “Food was good, they had it ordered from McDonald’s but the faulty music system spoiled the fun”, says Vanshika, a fresher from Miranda house. Lady Shri Ram and Laxmi Bai College too had its freshers’ last week with the theme of Angels and Demons at LSR. The girls of Laxmi Bai thoroughly enjoyed the “Miss Laxmi Bai” and solo group dance contest. “We also had rain dance which was terrific, I enjoyed a lot!” says Ridhima, a fresher.

Hansraj had its unofficial departmental freshers’ in Saket last week with each fresher contributing Rs 650. “They were serving alcohol and such stuffs, we don’t drink so it was just so-so”, says Vidushi.  Hansraj’s official freshers’ is meant to be held on 6th or 7th of next month with theme of Chronicles of Harry-oween and Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s unofficial freshers’ is at ice lounge next week.

On the other hand, some colleges are yet to have their freshers’ parties and students are looking forward to it with huge expectations. “I have already decided what to wear on the day, and I am very excited about it. I hope it stands up to my expectations, fingers crossed!” says Shiksha, SRCC.    Aishwarya Chaurasia [email protected] ]]>