DU Elections Herald the Winds of Change

For students of Delhi University, it is common sight to see the winning candidates in any year’s student elections being fielded by the ABVP, the RSS-affiliated right wing student organisation that has till now commanded the majority support. But not anymore. If the recently concluded DUSU elections send a message, it is that ABVP is not the most popular party anymore. The stunning defeat of the ABVP, only to give over its stronghold to the Congress backed NSUI shows that BJP is losing its hold over campuses.

It is true that the ABVP was not totally decimated in the elections. NSUI won only the President and Vice-Presidential positions, while the other two of General Secretary and Joint Secretary were retained by ABVP. It is also true that statistically, the best performer in the election was still the ABVP candidate for secretary, Mahamedhaa Nagar who defeated her NSUI rival by 2624 votes to win the post of secretary. Her win was still the biggest margin. However, what counts more is that NSUI has made a comeback and a stunning one at that. For the last five years, ABVP has dominated the student politics scene in Delhi, leaving no leeway for other parties to set foot. Since 2012, NSUI has never held an important position in DUSU and while this may be a half-triumph, it is still a triumph.

ABVP’s shocking loss should sound the alarm bells for the BJP and the Modi-brigade which has thus far captured the imagination of the youth across campuses. Students across the world do not like being dictated to and Indian students are no different. With the Modi brigade dictating terms on cow vigilantism, coupled with the lack of tolerance and the alarming rise of Hindutva across the country, it should be of no surprise that the students have swung to the age old challenger of the BJP, the Congress and chosen to put their faith in them. This is certainly a reaction to the brand of hyper nationalism propagated by the centre, which has backfired against them. Moreover, the ABVP has been on a rampage of violence and disruption, with the Rohith Vemula suicide last year, the upheaval in JNU and the Ramjas incident early this year. On every one of these occasions, the ABVP was the muscular aggressor and on the receiving end of much criticism from left-wing liberals.

And NSUI’s win in DU is not a one-off incident. This is simply a follow up of the impressive performances by the outfit in the recent polls in Guwahati, Rajasthan and Punjab Universities. This is the concert result of the educated and urban youth taking up arms against the divisive and polarising politics wielded by the ABVP in every election it participates in. This is a wake-up call to Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. Ironically, the latter had termed ABVP’s victory in DUSU polls last year as the triumph of nationalism. The DUSU election is definitely a reflection of the current mood among the youngsters, who are witnessing a polarising of the country under the current government.

However, it is not all hunky-dory for the NSUI. This year’s election also saw a huge jump in NOTA votes, from less than 10% last year to 16.5% this year. This can only portray a certain disillusionment with the student wings of mainstream political parties and should be a cause of worry for both the Congress and the BJP. It is also to be noted that more students availed of the NOTA option in the DUSU elections than the JNSUSU elections. Nonetheless, the DUDU results should be doing much to boost the sagging morale of the Congress, which sadly, does not remain a key player at the centre politics any longer.

Sources: The Quint, Hindustan Times

Policemen facing PIL after assaulting students in Ramjas Violence

A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed against the policemen who were involved in assaulting the students and journalists at Ramjas College. This action was taken by the Delhi high court after two students from the Delhi University Law department approached them on March 1.

The policemen during a protest at Ramjas allegedly assaulted the students part of it. The two students who took the issue to high court are Tarun Narang and Deepak Joshi. Both of them are Law students in Delhi University only.

In the PIL, they have asked for an independent committee to examine what led to the huge protests at the University last week. The committee will include senior Delhi Police officials.

Another demand is that there should be cases against the Police officers involved under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code. It is most likely that the hearing will be this week.

All this Violence began in Delhi University last week when the All India Students Association (AISA) and the ABVP went into a scuffle after Ramjas College called the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Umar Khalid for a talk.

SOURCES-

  1. PTI- http://www.aninews.in/newsdetail-Mg/MzAyMDIz/ramjas-row-pil-filed-against-policemen-who-assaulted-students.html

2. INDIAN EXPRESS- http://indianexpress.com/article/india/ramjas-violence-pil-against-policemen-for-alleged-assault-on-students-4549141/

IMAGE SOURCE- PTI

 

Dalit students claim caste bias at JNU

Caste bias seems to be the norm for universities across the country, the latest entrant in the sphere being the coveted Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi. Only days after a Phd scholar threatened to commit suicide for having been denied a one-year extension for his senior fellowship programme, yet another Dalit student alleged the University of caste bias.

Madan Meher had written to the Vice Chancellor (VC) on January 22 about the discrimination he faced at the university’s Centre for International Politics, Organisation and Disarmament under the School of International Studies. Hailing from western Odisha, Meher has been a student of JNU from 2008. He has been facing harassment from the centre since 2011, he alleged.

The centre had delayed his process of field work, for which he had to go to Brussels and ultimately could not go. Furthermore, the centre has also de-registered him, because of which he is not receiving the funds he is entitled to as part of his fellowship programme. “Even when the VC is fine with me getting the grants, the centre is creating hurdles,” said Meher.

JNU clarified that there have been issues with a particular centre and a meeting will be held on February 8 to sort out the issue.

Source: TOI

 

DU cut-offs scale sky high, students under pressure

New Delhi: As the Delhi University’s cut-off list touches 100 percent for various colleges as declared on Thursday, it is clear that receiving education at this prestigious University will not be any easier for aspirants. The high cut-off legacy continues even though DU introduced the four year course pattern with enhanced course structures and increased seats, the admission process, however, does not provide any solace for those, only other than the best.

This year, Ram Lal Anand college posed stiff competition with its 100 percent cut-off for the computer science program for non-science aspirants, as against last year’s 100 percent cut-off by Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) that sparked numerous problems wherein the then HRD Minister Kapil Sibal had to intervene and ask the Vice Chancellor to look into the issue. It might seem that an outcry by DU aspirants is on the cards, posing stiff questions with regard to this year’s cut-offs and it’s criteria.

The Delhi University has announced its first cut-off list for the new four-year undergraduate programme.
The Delhi University has announced its first cut-off list for the new four-year undergraduate programme.

A new four-year course structure has been implemented by Delhi University from this session onwards.
A new four-year course structure has been implemented by Delhi University from this session onwards.

The cut-off for other courses for colleges such as Lady Shri Ram is set at a whopping  97.5%-98.5% for Journalism where as  cutoff set by Hindu is 97.75%-98.5% and similar for Economics and Commerce. SRCC, however, brought down their cut-off for their prestigious B.Com and Economics courses to 97 and 97.5 per cent respectively.

After the rejection of the Common Entrance Test (CATE) for English and Journalism from this year onwards, cut-offs for both courses ranged till 98.5 per cent with the highest being at Hindu college, the first ever cut-off marks for the Journalism course were above the 90 per cent mark in six colleges; IP College, Hansraj, Miranda House, Ramjas, Kirori Mal and Daulat Ram, offering the course.

In Science courses, Maths and Physics saw an all time high in their cut-offs followed by Computer Science and Electronics in close proximity.

Nearly a month back, DU had announced the increase in seats throughout various reputed colleges as well as off-campus colleges; however, with regard to the coveted courses being offered, admission seems to be a major hassle for aspirants as they await the next three cut-off lists.

According to a notification from Dean of Students’ Welfare Office, the registration process will begin from June 5, 2013 and will continue till June 19, 2013 for admission to DU’s four-year undergraduate courses.

This year, Delhi University introduced the four-year structure which will be a shift from the present 10+2+3 scheme. The course entails awarding a diploma if a student exits after two years, a bachelor’s degree after three years and a bachelor’s degree with honours or a B Tech degree on completion of four years. Thus, it is on a selection basis, where one can choose their own qualifying degree by the time they decide to leave the college.

DU also introduced a course, where a compilation of various different subjects can be integrated together for a combined course of the student’s choice, a course structure generally seen at various international universities. Even though, courses such as this are a respite for students from basic courses, if the next three cut-offs continue in a similar fashion, the student population at DU is likely to change drastically.