Owing to the aftermath of multiple incidents of violence against student fraternity, National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) is all set to deliver a peace petition campaign to Ram Nath Kovind, President of India.

On 25 January 2020, NSUI has initiated a ‘peace petition campaign’, requesting the honourable President of India Mr Ram Nath Kovind for his involvement, to aid mediation. This is done in the wake of the upsurge of violence and unjust brutality that is unleashed on University campuses like Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) ,Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) ,etc to name a few.

The NSUI made an official statement and said it “condemns violence by individuals affiliated with a particular ideology and failures on the part of the state machinery.” This was reported by The Times of India. 

It has also hinted towards the 5th January violence that terrorized JNU where a bunch of masked miscreants entered the University campus with rods, bottled acid, etc to spread hooliganism and terror. The NSUI, while alluding to this attack stated the worry over escalating violence on students of universities pan India.

Saimon Farooqui, National Secretary, NSUI  told DU Beat, “because of the violence that has been caused by the right wing

political parties and their student wings, a feeling of terror has been instilled in the students of the campus.” He further added, “NSUI being a responsible Students’ Union, has followed the guidelines given by the Constitution of India.”

When asked upon as to what the primary objective boils down to, he said, “we want a discourse and a dialogue to take place within the campus unlike violence carried out by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP),” he further added, “the reason why we are sending for the President is because he is the ‘visitor’ for central universities in India which makes him the visitor for Delhi University as well, and therefore such a matter is worthy of his attention.” 

Deepender Singh Hooda who’s the former Member of Parliament (MP) in the Lok Sabha from Rohtak, took the lead and signed the very first petition.

According to NSUI, the campaign will witness about one thousand written petitions for them to be sent to the President.

The use of petitions for social causes have been gaining quite a momentum these days. Quite popular ones for Climate Change and justice for rape victims made numerable rounds. Although there are some qualms about the success rates of petitions as a solution,since it doesn’t always end up in aiding to achieve the requisite demands and actions. However, there is no denying the fact that through petitions, students have found themselves to be empowered in recent times.


Featured Image CreditsHindustan Times
Umaima Khanam 

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The Delhi High Court refused to consider a petition which sought University of Delhi to take responsibility for providing all regular college students with hostel accommodation on Wednesday.

The High Court bench comprising of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice C. Hari Shankar gave unanimous decision on the aforementioned matter, and also said that the varsity was not under any statutory obligation to provide hostel accommodation to all students.

The petitioner Parveen Kumar Singh invoked section 33 of the Delhi University Act of 1922, which states that every student of the University shall reside in the College Hall or under such circumstances as prescribed by the Ordinances. This plea furthered that the regular students who were unable to secure a hostel seat should get a monthly stipend of INR 10,000.

The court was of the view that this interpretation of the section 33 was not economically viable as it would cost the University crores of rupees.

The petition which is filed through advocate Kamlesh Kumar Mishra further stated that of the 1,84,668 students enrolled in DU as per an RTI reply, only 6,235 or 3.37% have hostel accommodation.

Accomodation crunch in the University has been an issue for a long time. Due to lack of subsidised accomodation facilities, students have to give in to privatised facilities. The students who do not get the hostel accommodation are exploited by the landlords and property dealers who charge excessive amounts of money for accommodation.

The previously mentioned plea also sought to declare the area in and around the 5-kilometres radius of Delhi University’s South and North Campus as a “Special Students Zone”. It was suggested that this zone should have a fixed minimum rent for the accommodations.

The same plea also sought to end the inequal rates of departmental canteen food for staff members and canteen food for students. It stated that the prices of both should be harmonised, and operate on a break-even basis.  

On this matter, court pointed out that it is not incumbent upon the present judicial body to regulate prices in the University canteen. It is a policy issue that has to be looked at by the competent authority itself.

Advocate Mishra said that he would now move the higher court against the decision of High Court.

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat archives.

Antriksha Pathania
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A University of Delhi graduate who identifies as a transgender has filed a petition against the Department of Publications of Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and DU. The petitioner, Riya Sharma, is a 23-year-old student who identifies as female but was assigned a male identity at birth. Sharma’s birth certificate and CBSE documents have gender and name details of her male, pre-transitioned self, which she is attempting to change.

She claimed to have sent two applications to the Department regarding the changes but as per the CBSE guidelines, such changes can be made only before the publication of results. University norms require the changes to be made in the board documents before changes are made in the university documents. As per the petitioner, the Department of Publications of the CBSE required that a sex reassignment surgery is undergone before the change of name and gender. In this regard, she was asked to produce an affidavit and a Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS) certificate to execute the change in name. She is contesting this requirement by mentioning a 2014 Supreme Court ruling that allowed for only self-identification as a requirement, and held that insistence on a sex reassignment surgery for declaring one’s gender was “illegal and immoral”.

The petition was initially directed at DU and the Centre but included CBSE after the certificate demand. The Delhi High Court had also issued notices to the parties for not taking an interest in the issue and not changing the guidelines by themselves speedily. Sharma has also faced harassment at the hands of classmates, and while giving examinations as officials made her get a certificate from the university every time she gave an exam. Of her days in the School of Open Learning, she said, “SOL (School of Open Learning) have classes every weekend. Students in the class were constantly making fun of me. They were teasing me with slurs and cracking jokes on my gender. There was no other transgender person in the class and I felt so humiliated. I didn’t go after that”.

The university introduced the ‘Other’ gender option for its postgraduate courses’ forms in 2014 (and for undergraduates in 2015) which was hailed as a step forward. However, instances of institutional and societal discrimination probably also account for the fact that in 2016 only 15 applications of this category were received, signaling that immediate attention needs to be directed towards this category of students.

Sources: India Today, News18 , livelaw.in, Times of India
Feature Image Credits: DU Beat

Rishika Singh

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Agonized by the conditions imposed by the semester system, a group of third year students of University have initiated an online petition to protest against the system. The campaign was started by two DU students, Ankita Rastogi and Shefail Saini.

The demands written in the petition include: Continue the system of re-evaluation and rechecking of exam papers; Any academic reform should start from evaluation of the existing annual system, its benefits and weaknesses and to devise a system which specifically redresses those weaknesses, Keeping the interest of students and teachers in mind. Whether the solution will emerge from within the annual system or a different one (semester/trimester etc) cannot be pre-decided; Ensure a sustained improvement in infrastructure and share the details with teachers and students and show transparency; Improve infrastructure and student teacher relationships to ensure that dreams of lakhs of students who come to DU every year and create an efficient education system in the varsity.

The petition, compiled and posted on the internet just before the first semester exams kicked off, has received about 107 signatures so far. The number might be small but the students behind it are still hopeful to get more support. Talking about the reason behind such a response of the students, Ankita Rastogi from SRCC, the student who’s leading the campaign, says, “The response from students has been decent considering their brief stay in the University. The petition was uploaded just before the first semester exam due to which students were not quite aware of it, post that there were holidays during which the petition got the bulk of its support. But then the first semester results doused the petition since the students were overwhelmed by their inflated marks. The results made the semesters so attractive to everyone that students under the annual mode regretted not being under the semester system, totally ignoring the cutthroat competition this is going to create amongst students. Besides, such inflation of marks indicates the foul play the university has indulged in to push through the semester system smoothly, how else can you explain 99% marks in Economics and that approximately 20% students in the University have secured above 95%? If we assume the checking has been efficient and correct, then why were the question-papers sub-standard?”

The fact that the petition has been compiled by a group of third year students who do not even have to bear the system sounds surprising. But that’s where they decided to take up the responsibility so that students don’t have to bear the brunt in their fifth semester. She states, “The reason why we consider it our responsibility to oppose a system we are not under is because we’re able to see that the University is getting away with all the illegalities it is involved in due to the fact that the student fraternity is unaware, fragmented and self-involved. The time by when all students will realize the ill effects of the system it might be too late to do anything. Therefore we consider it important to stir students out of their ignorance so as to create solidarity against a system that may not benefit them in their future. But the reason that made me prepare a petition before my exams was that perhaps by the time students begin having problems with this system they will be rendered absolutely helpless.”

“In their fifth semester, when students will be preparing for entrance exams, that will clash with their semester exams. Would they be able to sacrifice an entire semester in a system of such strong meritocracy? What will students do when in subsequent semesters the course load increases and they are not awarded marks generously and they don’t have the option of re-evaluation with them?”, she questions.

Their next step would be to officially submit the petition to the Vice Chancellor of the University, after they have gathered enough support. They also plan to file it in court if the University fails to deliver. “The whole objective of this petition is to roll back the system till the University brings in a well thought out, democratic and transparent semester system,” she adds.


Here’s the link to the online petition:



By Saumia Takru

Its a literature course, not a language course.

The decision to do away with the entrance test for admission to English (Hons) this year has been defined by the Dean of colleges, Mr Nayanjot Lahiri as an “interim measure before any decision to hold a common entrance test is taken by the university�. The reasons cited for this range from undue pressure being imposed on the students as they have to face multiple tests and the clashing of the examination dates of various colleges. Thus students applying for Literature in DU will rely purely on the CBSE marks for the year 2008-09 or the ‘school-leaving’ marks.

Colleges have openly expressed concern about this as they perceive it as something that hampers the autonomy of a college. Anjana Dev, principal Vivekananda college, commented saying that “colleges should be allowed the leeway to admit students as they want.” In fact, the University is also against the concept of interviews being conducted, as has been routine for many colleges for the past many years. Ms Sanam Khanna, the Head of Department English, KNC, also believes that students may not have the correct idea of what a literature course constitutes off. Students often fail to realize that it is a literature course and not a language course. The laconic ‘question and answer’ format that is put forth by CBSE is quite simply an inadequate way of measuring the aptitude of a candidate for a course that focuses primarily on analytical and creative abilities. Admissions given under this new Act thus run the risk of being based on marks secured by rote and not on the candidate’s proficiency or aptitude for the language. There may be various aspects of academics that CBSE excels in but the promotion of a creative mind or one capable of intelligent criticism is not one of them.

A separate entrance exam for English is a good indicator of a student’s inclination towards the language and will prevent students from being mislead into choosing a course that their marks gives them access to but which is not in tangent with their aptitude. Also, their literary skills can be properly assessed through an entrance exam that is specially designed to test their creative thinking.

This Act is then clearly a malfunction of justice due to its inability to ascertain the identity of the deserving candidates who should be granted admission. This is further underlined by the fact that a lot of students who are protesting this Act in fact belong to colleges like Venky and Dayal Singh, where entrance exams for English never existed.

The body in power is clearly closing its mind to reality and shoving its distorted view on an unwilling system. The time to Act is now and all that’s needed is a united front opposing it. In order to raise a common voice of concern, DU Beat intends to mail to the Vice Chancellor of DU a petition with the signatures of students who believe the Act to be an inadequate measure of reform as it overlooks various important implications in an attempt to avoid inconveniencing students. The way to articulate the fears plaguing our mind has been opened through the petition and must be taken advantage of.