With libraries and educational institutions shutting down across the country due to Covid-19, the University Grants Commission (UGC) is expected to extend the submission deadlines for research work by six months.

Keeping in mind the problems faced by research scholars in undertaking research work in the ongoing pandemic and lockdowns, former Executive Council members of University of Delhi (DU) have appealed to the UGC to postpone the research submission date by at least six months. “In the current extraordinary situation of crisis, it is not possible to carry out research work since consultation of an expert is required and library resources are essential as all references/books are not available as e-resources”, they added.

Most of the research scholars were expected to submit their thesis in a stipulated time as set up by the Ordinance of the University and was due in March-April. However in the second week of March during the semester break, the university was declared closed till 31st March followed by a complete lockdown in the country.

The Federation of Central Universities’ Teachers’ Association (FEDCUTA) in a letter to the UGC Chairman, D P Singh wrote, “Many PhD and MPhil research scholars have been enabled to conduct research in this period. Absence of laboratory and library facilities except for select few e-resources have left scholars largely resourceless. They have not been able to do any field work too.” They also pointed out that the pandemic has affected the mind frame of the research scholars and disrupted the pace of their work.

“We request you to take cognizance of the difficult circumstances and issue instructions to universities to give an extension of six months to all scholars across the country who were due to submit their thesis/dissertations or hold their pre-submission seminars,” they added.

With multiple requests being made for the extension, the UGC Chairman stated that a seven-member committee had been formed to discuss changes in the academic calendar due to the lockdown and that the next session would be started right after it is lifted. He asserted on avoiding any delays thereafter in the examinations as well.

Taking into account the uncertainty in the current situation, UGC is likely to extend the research deadlines and an official announcement is expected to be made soon.

Feature Image Credits: Zee News
Feature Image Caption: DU appeals to UGC for extending the deadline for submitting research by 6 months.

Aishwaryaa Kunwar

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The advancement in neuroscience and continuous research proved that the brain erases a lot of stuff.  Here is a take on how to do it voluntarily.

The results of science and technology are no less than fascinating. The brain is one of the most complex organs to be studied, and scientists have not known a lot about it leading to intensive and continuous research in neurology. Finally, experiments and studies have finally revealed that our brain has a “delete button” which all of us can access.

A report published in Daily Amaze talks about how the brain functions and as a process of its functioning, it erases memories. The cells that remove waste from the brain by glial cells. These cells are also the very cells that speed the signals between neurons. The report emphasised the importance of sleep. While we are asleep, the brain cells shrink  their size by more than 50% enabling these glial cells to create space, i.e., remove waste from the brain. An exhausted and sleep-deprived brain would mean that the glial cells won’t be able to remove waste and add to the misery.

So, what does this mean? Well, it certainly would make all the sleep lovers happy and probably encourage to sleep for as long as possible. This article does provide scientific reasons to encourage sleeping though. But, the important point here is that we need to maintain a balance of sleep in our brain. We need to ensure that our brain needs to remove waste and this would require sleeping. So yes, you might need to think before planning to study overnight before exams hoping you will make through. This is also the very reason power naps are recommended while studying. Also, the other important thing which this study implies is once we wake up from sleep, we will be fresher, more observant and more grasping. It will be because we will have enough space in our brain to learn. Not to mention, it will also be more efficient meaning it will work better making us a bit sharper mentally.

Now, the best part of the story. How to control it? Well, there’s a simple solution to it mentioned in the report. The less you think of something, the higher are the chances of  that thought fading away from your brain. Well, this isn’t the most tempting answer to the question but accept it or not, this is what is actually happening inside our minds. The major concern here is that we have difficulties in letting go of something because it has such a huge impact on us. Naturally, we would want to delete something that is negative and not something we want to be reminded of. Again the question, how do let go of such thoughts?

We can’t control what comes in our minds but we can control what do we want to think of? It’s easier said than done,but  that’s the challenge. How can we feel a great impact on ourselves if it isn’t challenging enough? There’s no rocket science involved in bringing a change in ourselves. It’s not a difficult math question involving formulas to find the answer. All it takes is our willingness and patience to wait until we experience a change. We have been hearing these things now and then. These scientific conclusions confirm that these “teachings” actually work. Eventually, it just comes to us and we need to decide whether we are capable enough of inducing a change in ourselves or not.


Image Caption: The brain has a delete button and there’s way to use it

Image Credits: HEALAM


Karan Singhania

[email protected]


Graduating from University of Delhi (DU) is still considered prestigious, but why do the same students with all the merit, never want to return as teachers to their own University?


In a few months, a prestigious University of Delhi (DU) degree in hand, the real world with its blankness and stiff competition will begin to look curiously topsy-turvy for most third-year students. Those rose-tinted glasses, which made life in college appear idyllic for two years, will have to be inevitably chucked aside in favour of the grittier, ‘realistic’, adult perspectives which only point to one of these two scenarios, in case you are a third-year student: either you have zeroed in on an employment/higher education opportunity which you feel reasonably confident about cinching, or, you have your feet pointing in multiple directions and in no particular direction at the same time. Either way, your ultimate goal is viable employment. But what if your feet took a U-turn and chose to come back to the University, looking for employment? In fact, how do students in DU truly feel about coming back and teaching at the University one day?

“I don’t feel comfortable with the idea of becoming a university lecturer. It’s highly unstable [as an employment opportunity]… Look at the state of our universities today; there is no freedom of speech and the way our ad-hoc teachers are treated is inhumane. My teachers themselves tell me not to become a lecturer. What more do I need as a proof?” says a Botany student from the North Campus.

Delhi University Teachers' Association strike
Delhi University Teachers’ Association strike

I remember one of my teachers in the English department attesting to something similar: the foundations of higher education in India are so shaky that the next generation dare not step on it, from fear that the existing plane may collapse too. Over the last one year itself, numerous national dailies have covered the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) protests for pay-rise and against the lack of permanent positions for lecturers, the overwhelming despair and suicides of PhD research scholars when they stared at their bleak future, shutting down of centres for the Humanities in several colleges, protests against the teaching of liberal ideas and values in universities such as Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), and many other related events. If a severe lack of funding plagues the Arts departments across India, the treatment meted out to lab assistants and ad-hoc lecturers in the Sciences fares no better. Teaching in a university, in short, comes with more perils than advantages.

“It’s sad, but the truth is that even I would not recommend any student to become a lecturer these days,” I recall overhearing a teacher telling another in the corridors of my college once. One after the other, as attacks mount upon the state of university education in our country from all sides, it becomes viable to look for alternatives. There are private-sector jobs and the ever desired civil services exams eyed by more and more students as the pool of competition widens further and further. Some even question what the point of an M.A. degree is, if the road to research scholarship and teaching appears this murky.  And if things are bad today, how much worse can they get tomorrow? It seems as if one door will shut forever for most of us, by the time we leave DU with our degrees next year.


Feature image credits: YourStory

Image credits: DU Beat


Deepannita Misra

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The Union Human Resource Development Minister Mr. Prakash Javadekar was addressing a gathering at Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College at a programme on higher education, organised by the Akhil Bhartiya Rashtriya Shaikshik Mahasanga (ABRSM).

Mr. Javadekar, on Saturday, said college teachers will no longer have to compulsorily conduct research to be eligible for promotions. Instead, they can choose to engage in a community or student-related activity, based on which they will be assessed.

“We are going to do away with the mandatory clause of research for college teachers seeking promotions,” Javadekar said. “An official announcement in this regard will follow soon. Instead of that, I want teachers to be engaged in student activity. We will make one community activity or student activity mandatory,” he added.

Mandatory research for college teachers has brought down the quality of research, Javadekar said. The research will continue to remain mandatory for university professors who guide M Phil and Ph.D. scholars.

Mr. Javedkar addressed the curse of “ad-hocism” prevalent in DU and promised “completing the process of regular appointments within a year.” He also insisted that long serving ad-hoc teachers compete in the recruitment process.

He promised that the 7th Pay Commission recommendations would be implemented for the teaching community “very soon.”

Some of the points of his speech ranged the bell of concern in the mind of teachers. He has made up his mind to introduce compulsory student feedback in API calculations for promotions. He has insisted to linking funding of institutions to performance. He made up his mind to introduce “graded Autonomy” for institutions. He has threatened to shut down the colleges that are not able to perform well as per NAAC and NIRF. He has made up his mind that Grant Funding of Institutions has to be replaced by Loan Funding through HEFA.

ABSRM, which has contributed an NDTF presidential candidate for the DUTA election welcomed the speech but DTF’s candidate is skeptical about the speech. He believes there should have been questions on Mr. Javedkar’s speech and should have tried making government more accountable.



Feature Image Credits: The Indian Express


Sandeep Samal

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If the multi-spheres of pollution are humanity’s most significant survival battle today, then the planting of trees is claimed to be the biggest contributor in cleaning the air which serves as the life valve of every species. Daily reports allude to the deteriorating air, aquatic, and land quality owing to a multitude of reasons. Luckily, this World Environment Day, new research about countering air pollution has been discovered.

A team of researchers from the University of Delhi has identified five trees which might be instrumental in tackling the plight of the degraded quality of air. Plants are known to act as air purifiers by sucking up and trapping harmful gases and particulate matter. The team comprises of 16 members – three assistant professors and 13 students – who collected data on air pollution and the dominant tree colonies from five areas – Mandir Marg, Civil Lines, Anand Vihar, RK Puram, and Punjabi Bagh – over a period of a year from September 2015 to September 2016.

According to their research, certain trees with inherent qualities contribute in cleaning the city’s air more than others. Dr. Vijay Thakur, Assistant Professor of Botany at Shivaji College, comments, “But not all plants have the same ability to bring down pollution and clean the air. Our research shows that there are some trees such as peepal, saptaparni, and jamun which help to clean the city’s air more than others.”

“We compared the levels of five pollutants — PM2.5, PM10, NOx, SOx, and ozone — in these areas as measured by the monitoring stations and then studied the dominant tree colonies,” he added, when speaking to a popular national daily. The parameters considered for the study included the tree’s height, canopy size, leaf size, shape and orientation of leaves, leaf characteristics, dust accumulation, and other factors that were studied in the laboratories.

The results found that areas such as Mandir Marg and RK Puram have lower pollution levels as compared to Anand Vihar and Civil Lines, which are highly polluted areas. These findings conformed to their hypothesis wherein areas which were dominated by trees such as peepal, jamun, devdar, champa, and saptaparni registered lower levels of pollution. Civil Lines, which has trees such as Vilayti Kikar, on the other hand, observed high pollution levels.

“We found that these five trees were able to trap more pollutants, including PM2.5 and PM10, than others. Their leaf structures were such that they helped to trap more dust and other pollutants,” said Dr. Kumar.

Concretisation, infrastructural toll, falling groundwater, termites, bugs, and ageing continue to be the biggest threats to the health of trees occupying the Delhi region. According to statistics, 15,000 trees were felled in Delhi in the last three years for development projects, and there is currently 299.77 sq. kms. of green cover in the national capital.

The project, in addition to testing the ability of a tree to absorb pollution, also studied the presence of birds as bio-indicators of a healthy tree. “It was found that some trees, such as the peepal, not just helped to bring down pollution levels but also supported a wide range of bird species. The grey hornbill and brown-headed barbet were found in large numbers in areas which were dominated by trees such as peepal,” said Dr. Virat Jolli, Assistant Professor of Zoology at Shivaji College.

The project titled “Amelioration of Air Quality in Urban Ecosystem of Delhi – Role of Avenue Trees” was mentored by the ecologist and emeritus professor of Centre for Environmental Management of Degraded Ecosystems, CR Babu. Funded by the University of Delhi, the findings will soon be published in a peer-reviewed journal.


Feature Image Credits: TheHealthSite

Saumya Kalia
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With a bundle of high hopes, millions of students enter their college classrooms every year. Some think of changing the world while others swear to change themselves and acquire the skills which boundaries of school life did not allow. Be it History or Psychology, English or Metallurgy, students show a high interest in their subjects for the first few days of college but this fire dies out the second they are faced with long reading lists and a cumbersome syllabus to cram. Our University does not provide the option of an in depth academic exposure to a subject in the undergrad level. Thus, undergraduate research still remains that big elephant whom the system has failed to tame.

Undergraduate Research provides an exposure for students to explore the academic boundaries of the subject of their choice. They are told to choose a project under a supervisor (researcher) and under his/her guidance, learn to do a research. It includes their introduction to research methodology and various research tools that are used by researchers around the world. This academic exposure not only gives them an edge over the traditional Bachelor’s degree but also a preference over others while applying for a graduate school abroad.

The projects that are chosen by or provided to the candidates are mentored and supervised by a professor with a good background in the chosen subject of research. This in turn, builds a better rapport between students and professors and often helps the students to get good recommendations from their supervisors. Having worked with the student closely, the professor also gets to know him/her better which later becomes useful in filling out the recommendation letters of those applying for admissions abroad.

The research work that a student does can be presented at various conferences, paper presentations and even poster presentations in colleges of their parent university or other universities. This helps them form meaningful connections with other research scholars, working in the same field at an early stage.

Even though a majority of the students lack an in depth knowledge of their subject at this level, it is their curiosity to learn which becomes valuable to the research. Sometimes, their exploratory minds come up with incredibly breakthrough ideas or observations which tend to become a matter of further study.

In fact, nowadays, even employers across several hiring platforms look for candidates who can brilliantly take a lead in various projects for their companies. A successful undergraduate research spanning for a couple of months in summer or an experience of an yearlong research would be like an icing on the cake for all the students in search of employment opportunities after college.

Therefore, students in India can explore the opportunity of Undergraduate Research at various Universities like IITs, IIMs and other Universities. Delhi University offers the option of Undergraduate research in form of various Innovation projects to its students.

Image Credits: www.shutterstock.com

Srivedant Kar

[email protected]

What now, once the ordeal is over? Nothing planned? Well take some hints from us, and live a little after the torture of a month.

1. Work/Internship

While mostly applications have to be submitted well-in-advance, you may still be able to find work or pursue an internship after your exams. It is a great opportunity to learn something and add it to your CV, and even a better way to make contacts in the industry.

2. Join a course

There are enough online/offline courses in the market. Go and learn something that helps you in future or maybe just boosts your interest. It does not have to be academic only.

3. Go on a trip

While road trips are the quickest and easiest, even visiting your extended family is not a bad option. A trip or maybe just a change of atmosphere will refresh you, and even give you a new zeal for the term ahead.

4. Binge on TV/Movies/Books

It is the right time to visit or re-visit those characters and their journeys that you patiently waited for all this time. Start reading a new series, after having devoted time to your course for six months. Relax and have the time of your life.

5. Social Service

It is harmless to utilize your time by teaching or volunteering for an NGO. It may just give a purpose to your life. Or just go to an orphanage or old-age home, and spend some quality time with people you don’t know. It will not only make you feel better, but will bring a smile to somebody else’s face.

6. Research

No matter what year you are in, it is never too late or too early to look up the internet. Even if you are sure, what you want to do in life and what your career will be, search options and maybe probable routes to achieve your dreams. Gain some knowledge and be surprised, if not confused!

Finally, sleep. You deserve it.


Ayesha Sareen

[email protected]

Image credits: http://24.media.tumblr.com/


Criminology is a social science that is concerned with the scientific study of crime. A criminologist is a social scientist who specializes in the study and control of crime. Criminologists gather and analyze statistics about crimes and the people who commit them in order to identify patterns of criminal behavior but are not on the front lines fighting crime like police officers.

In India, criminology is a dveloping field. Criminology careers can be divided into three broad categories: Law Enforcement Criminologists, Professors and Academic Researchers, and Correctional Officers and Social Workers. Students who are interested in this field usually study psychology or sociology at the undergraduate level before earning a masters degree in criminology. If one doesn’t end up working directly in criminology, he/she can use the background to work in social services or law enforcement.  NGOs, banks and teaching are good options too.Both undergraduate and postgraduate courses in criminology are offered by various institutes. The basic requirement for getting admission at the undergraduate level is Class 12th with either arts or science and at the postgraduate level is to be graduated with science or arts subjects.

Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science (NICFS) in New Delhi, University of Madras(Chennai),Lucknow University, Banaras Hindu University are some of the institutes that offer  courses on criminology.

Analytical skills, good understanding of psychology, sociology, good data collection ability and an empathetic and sensitive attitude towards the needs of the society and a desire to construct a safe society are the essentials skills of this field.