Vice-Chancellor goes around colleges meeting freshers

A fresh undergraduate academic session began at Delhi University on Thursday with thousands of newly-enrolled first year students marking their presence on the first day of the session. In a surprise move, Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dinesh Singh accompanied by senior university officials took a round of some colleges to meet the new students.

The colleges he visited included Swami Shraddhanand, Keshav Mahavidyalaya, Rajdhani College, Shivaji College, Atma Ram Sanatan Dharam, Ram Lal Anand (Evening), Moti Lal Nehru (Evening), and Aurobindo College (Evening).

Prof. Singh said: “We decided to visit these colleges in particular because they are as much a part of the university as other colleges. Whenever there is a talk about Delhi University, only a few well-known colleges are mentioned. Some other colleges never get talked about. Students enrolled in these colleges must feel that they too belong to the university.”

The colleges were not informed in advance about the visit. Director South Campus, Dean of Colleges, Proctor, Dean of Students' Welfare and other university officials were part of the delegation.

The university delegation interacted mainly with newly-enrolled first year students. Students were positive and enthusiastic and appeared determined to make the most of their experience at Delhi University. Some colleges seemed to have improved their infrastructure. At Atma Ram Sanatan Dharam College, however, all did not appear to be well, with students looking lost and anxious. The time-table was reportedly not available and students were clueless regarding when their classes were to begin.

In some colleges, where orientation was underway, the V-C formally addressed the students. Dean of Students' Welfare Prof. J.M. Khurana, who was part of the delegation, said: “The experience was positive as we did not see any signs of students being ragged or bullied. This kind of a programme has been organised for the first time.”

Principals in some colleges said that visits by Vice-Chancellors were usually few and far in between. There are plans to visit some colleges on Friday too.

Meanwhile the North Campus came to life with students, new and old, joining their respective colleges. The new students felt safer moving around in groups to avoid being ragged. Arrangements made by the university were in place to ensure the prevention of ragging.

PCR vans were deployed at strategic points around the North Campus while police presence was visible outside many colleges. Some students were accompanied by their parents who waited for their wards outside the college. Friendly interactions and “ice-breaking” sessions took place between the seniors and new students.

Teachers met the first year students. Not many classes were held and students made use of the time to explore their respective college and canteen.

Vidisha Malhotra, a first-year student of Ramjas College, said: “The first day was rather pleasant. Some of our seniors met us and helped us around the college.”

For many first timers, however, the first day at college was an overwhelming experience.

“I was rather nervous, being suddenly exposed to a sea of new faces and people from diverse backgrounds. Still, the college experience promises to be interesting,” said Vineeta Jha of Maharaja Agrasen College.

Radha Ramanujam, a first-year Economics (Hons) student at Lady Shri Ram College, said: “Our seniors asked willing students to dance and sing. Nobody was forced.”

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