Stampede-like situation during the degree-distribution ceremony at DU’s School of Open Learning prompts issue of advisory to past and present students to not attend any event without prior registration.

 Delhi University’s School of Open Learning had scheduled a Degree Fair on June 3rd and 4th, 2023 to distribute degree certificates to undergraduate and postgraduate students from the batch of 2022. The two-day long event was to take place at the University Stadium in New Delhi. Prior to the event, students had been asked to book an appointment through the university website to collect their certificates.

However, despite the arrangements, number of students showing up on Day 1 exceeded the venue’s capacity. Videos and photos shared online showed chaotic scenes as students tried to scale the walls of the sports complex.

Around 10,000 students had registered for the first day and adequate arrangements had been made for them. We had distributed a few hundred degrees when suddenly 25,000-30,000 students turned up.

        Uma Shankar Pandey, Officiating Principal, SOL

Students have been queuing up since 6 in the morning. Students crowding on the pavement is making things difficult for us.

        A rickshaw driver in DU’s North Campus notes the disruption caused due to overcrowding 

On Saturday, a notice issued by SOL read, “All concerned may please note that the distribution of degree for passing out students of 2022 of SOL through ‘Degree Fair’ scheduled on June 3 and 4 has been stopped with immediate effect due to unavoidable circumstances.” The university has said that the degrees would now be sent by post to students. 

I had travelled for 2 hours from Noida to collect my degree but I know of people who came from far-off states all in vain.

– Trigya Agarwal, a student at DU SOL.

Several teacher and student groups have called out the ‘mismanagement’ by the authorities. Krantikari Yuva Sangthan in its press release said “Due to the mismanagement by SOL, a stampede followed as students were arbitrarily not allowed entry to the venue and the event was abruptly cancelled by them. This is not an isolated incident, but among many which keep cropping up regularly.” KYS also calls for resignation of SOL Director Payal Mago and would be organising a protest. 

In response, Principal US Pandey has issued an advisory stating that all current and former students should strictly adhere to the registration process before attending any event and refrain from engaging in indecent behaviour and misconduct. This advisory seeks to maintain discipline and protocols during any university-sanctioned event.


Image Credits – Bhavya Nayak for DU Beat

Read Also- https://dubeat.com/2022/02/21/sol-students-attacked-and-harassed-during-protests-on-friday/


Bhavya Nayak

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Quintessence, the annual cultural fest of Lady Irwin College witnessed a lot of mismanagement with forged VIP passes and a stampede.

Lady Irwin College hosted their annual cultural fest, Quintessence on 9th and 10th February 2019. Ayushmann Khurrana, the star performer of the cultural festival moved the crowd to his words and flairs on 10th February 2019. The over-excitement of the crowd resulted in a stampede taking place outside the venue gates, with too many people gathering outside and trying to force their way through. Though the organisers ultimately managed to curb the situation by allowing everyone standing outside to come in, even those without the passes.

Nikita Tiwari, the President of Student’s Council of Lady Irwin College said, “There was immense police pressure since the college is near Connaught Place. The crowd gathered outside ended up blocking the roads. The situation became such that the gates were about to be broken. Some students  jumped over the walls and entered the grounds. There were kids, our sponsors, and faculty members in the crowd. Taking all these things into consideration, including a call from the DCP, we decided to open the gates and let people in.”

She reinstated that this took place outside the college and the event proceeded without any hassle. However, the students who were hurt during the stampede have a different tale altogether., Pranjal Bhandari, a victim of the stampede from Jesus and Mary College informed DU Beat about the same. She said, “The officials opened the college gates and let people without the passes enter the college, resulting in the stampede at the entry gates. Some people got hurt really bad. I was badly hurt, and my feet were bleeding. Despite asking for medical assistance from the core team, I didn’t get any. I was crushed by people with feet full of blood, and footwear broken, I was literally crying for help. All that the authorities said ‘yaha se aage chalo, clear the area’. When I reached out to the union members, they excused themselves by stating bheed main lagti hi hai humain bhi lagi hai.”

Another issue that she brought to light was the issue of fake passes. Bhandari said, “Two of my friends had VIP passes. They were still denied entry near the stage. Not only this, they were not even informed by the volunteers regarding a special area for the pass holders. All we got was rude and immature responses. It was a whole deal of mismanagement and we became a victim of it.”

VIP Passes  Image Credits: Pranjal Bhandari
VIP Passes issued for the fest.
Image Credits: Pranjal Bhandari

The union accepts that there was mismanagement in the crowd handling department. They did not foresee the issue of crowd mismanagement and the printing of fake VIP passes. The union also agreed that they provided passes to Ayushmann’s manager for his fanclub and close friends. They claim that they called these people up and tried to get them to the special designated area. According to Tiwari, the passes were only sent to the core team, faculty members and sponsors.They themselves helped these people get in, yet the chaos of people led to some being caught up and become a victim of it.

The union says that everyone with the passes was treated fairly. However, Yuvraj and June, who claim that they got passes from Ayushmann’s manager said,“We had the VIP passes, but were not allowed to stand near the stage. We were not even informed about the special seating for the pass holders and had to stand all the way back. Later, we saw many people standing right in front the stage who didn’t have the VIP passes. One of them informed us the same .Seeing this, I decided to contact the President of the Student’s Union, but I was informed that she had left the college (just after the concert ended). I called her on Monday morning, she hung up on me. I called her again, but she kept on rejecting my calls.”

However, the union stands by the claim that they tried to help as many as they could with both passes and medical help, but those who were in the middle of the crowd could not be helped. Hence, some people might have been left. The president also said, “Students of other colleges have something bad to say, only because they are jealous of us doing so well. They can’t stand someone’s success.”

Quintessence  is just another example that the University of Delhi is still a long way off from organising a fest without any issues. There are always helpless victims that get caught up in the mess that is caused, the student unions claim they did all they could, and others believe that they didn’t do enough. It ends up in a blame game where some just go with wounds and bad memories.


Feature Image Credits: International Conference on Learning

Haris Khan

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Friday, February 10, 2012. This date will be marked as one of the darkest pages in the history of  DU. In an incident that is nothing short of frightening, a terrible stampede at Ramjas College injured several students. The college was hosting its annual fest and a certain singer, who goes by the name of Honey Singh, was to perform there at 6.30pm.

At 4pm, the traffic intersection between Delhi School of Economics and Ramjas was in a state of complete chaos with police vans speeding towards Ramjas from all sides. The rumours and panic that spread among the students who were on the road at that time, did little to help the already grave situation. The speculations soon became wild and reached all the way to Vishwavidyalaya metro station where stories of a possible death were doing the rounds.

Fortunately, there have been no reports to indicate that any lives were lost. However, a girl (rumoured to be a student of Dyal Singh College) allegedly fell in the stampede and was so severely injured by the rushing crowd that she had to be admitted to a hospital and is still in ICU. “ It was a nightmare, there is no other way to explain it. I regretted going there so badly that I was almost in tears,” said a student on the condition of anonymity.

The college authorities are underplaying the incident because the blame for the entire fiasco is being pinned on them. Students were initially entering one by one in an orderly fashion when the college decided to throw the gates open to make their job simpler. “ We decided to open the gates at 3pm because a very large crowd had already gathered by then. A girl felt slightly uncomfortable and was rushed to a hospital,” said the Principal of the college.