In Delhi when someone asks you where you study, you automatically respond with the name of your university. However, most college students admit to knowing little beyond their own college and for them the university exists only in name. But it does not always have to be this way, assured a Delhi University official on Thursday.
“A student has two identities, one connected to his college and one to the university,” said Deputy Dean of Cultural and Youth Affairs Suchitra Gupta, adding that the students had completely wrong notions about their association with the university.
She was proved correct by a former student. “I tell people I studied in DU, but my whole life was centred round my college. I was on the dance team and we competed with other colleges, but there was no such thing as a university level competition or anything. It is just a tag, and the university is important only at the time of admission because of common application forms,” said Nitya, who had come to help her sister with extra-curricular activity forms in Miranda House.
What she does not know is that every student getting admitted to the university pays a nominal fee that automatically entitles them to membership of the university cultural council. “We have several competitions and shows that every student in the university can participate in, we never screen people based on colleges or departments. Our events are usually funded by the fee that the student pays at the time of admissions,” said Ms. Gupta
Stage productions, street plays, music competitions, essay competitions and several other competitions are part of the cultural council's responsibilities throughout the year. “We had special musical productions this past year that were a hit with students, there was Jis Lahore Nahin Dekhiya based on Partition and Rabindranath Tagore's Chitrangada also had a stunning response among others,” she said.
Each college is contacted by the council asking for participation and the event is usually held at some college auditorium or premises.
Theatre, dance and painting workshops are also regular features and the university is particularly proud of its debate competition. “Fun mushairas, qawalis, gazals, and the medieval art form char bait, which is neither a qawali nor a ghazal, were new events that we want to keep repeating.”
She said that inter-college competitions were few but individual participation was encouraged. “Even students pursuing correspondence courses and other non-conventional courses are entitled to participate.”