iconimg Sunday, August 02, 2015

Ummang Sharma Bajpai, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, June 11, 2013
The race has begun! The Delhi University forms are out and many of us have already submitted them. We are now applying to a new and improved DU: one with an international standard four-year degree. There are many amongst us who are applying for courses that didn’t exist before, and others who were prepared for a test that has ceased to exist. Even the process of filling in the forms is different! It is but natural to feel a little confused, if not utterly flustered. Much like you, all of us here at the Campus Journalists’ editorial meeting are also trying to keep up with the dizzying pace of change. And we all have our own views about the array of modifications. 

Among other things, there is the introduction of the bachelor of management studies or BMS, a completely reinvigorated course which may be a great option for those wanting an MBA for post-graduation.

There is an entrance test one must clear, which will be held on June 26. The degree in psychology has also been redesigned and is now, in fact, a BTech. Finally, there is the bachelor of journalism and mass communication (BJMC) - another welcome addition. 

As the saga of the admissions process commences, we are plagued with dilemmas and queries. And in this epoch of change that surrounds us, it is only these questions that bear resemblance to previous years; perhaps providing a sense of comfort being that “something old”. Yet again, we try to pick a course that suits us. Once again, the age old debate of college vs course surfaces. Once more, we anxiously await and anticipate the cut-off lists.

The DU four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP) has received a lot of feedback — unfortunately, mostly negative. The biggest grievance is that it’s unclear and that it’s all happening too fast. But before hitting the Like button on an Anti-FYUP hate page, we must ask ourselves — what exactly is wrong with it? Do the positives outweigh the negatives? Have we tried to comprehend it at all?

This week, the campus journalists will try to answer these questions. Every CJ has researched a topic and dissected it to measure the pros and cons and finally form an opinion. We have tried to cover as many fields and issues as we could, including commerce without math, English without CATE, and journalism without CJET — elucidated upon by Jasmine, Ali and myself. Vritti decided to go on field and record the experiences of people who filled the forms for admission; Geetika tells us about her own experience with e-submission. Kritika scrutinises the admission criteria, while Prem talks about the dilemma of science students.

We always ask for reforms and we all demand change. Yet, now that it’s happening, apprehension has engulfed us all. For change is an uncertain thing. It’s hard to let go of something we are so used to. But it’s the only way to move ahead. So with an open mind and clear perception, let’s attempt to take this in our stride and make the most of now!

As Andre Gide once said, “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” So here’s to new beginnings and moving ahead. A toast, to change! 

EDITOR’s LIST

It was great fun to convene the meeting and lead such an impressively sincere and dedicated group.

1. Setting up the edit meet

The editor of the week usually gets to sit on a special chair - its specialty: it's a bit higher than the other. But it feels pretty good!

2. Theme of the week

We brainstormed for a good topic, and decided upon “Mission Admission”, flavored by “Change”!

3. Tasks set out

Blogging about our form-filling experience and researching our topics.

4. The most disciplined journo

Each one has worked very hard, so it’s a hard pick. Ali and Jasmine were the early birds who honoured my crazy deadlines!

5. Work I did this week

Pretending to be a King as I ordered around for submissions and rewrites!

6. ...and next week’s editor is

Geetika Ahuja, who will lead our expedition through the north campus!

Ummang Sharma Bajpai, The Indian School

Getting a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from DU was close to impossible, especially for guys, with only IP College for women providing the degree. Everyone else gave the common journalism entrance test (CJET). Till last month, DU wasn’t really on my list as they didn’t have the stream I wished to pursue - mass comm. However, DU’s latest move, to introduce BJMC (Finally!) changes everything! There’s a new course, no entrance test  and an exciting new avenue that has opened up for me. The course is great for aspiring journalists as well as those who want to go into film and TV! But what about those who spent money on coaching for CJET? And worse still, what about the cut-offs? Dependent solely on the Class 12 result, I wonder if a 90% is good enough!

Premanshu Tripathi, Kendriya Vidyalaya, JNU

The dilemma of a cricket captain to play three spinners or seven batsmen on a subcontinent pitch is not nearly as confusing as the trouble faced by a science student who has done well, to pursue various options. What about one who has been dreaming all his life of getting into a good north campus college and has the score for it, but also makes it to one of the IITs? Adding to the dilemma of the students is the pressure from parents, who want their “laal” to have a BTech from IIT, so that they could boast about him! The academically blessed have, in the past, succumbed to the pressure and fallen prey to the bait of securing a lavish life, ending up doing something they have zero passion for. I feel that if you have too many options — just listen to your heart and think of what makes you happy. Just for once forget about the fat pay packages and live your dreams!

Vritti Gandhi, Holy Child Auxilium School


Despite the scorching heat daring everyone to step out of their cozy homes, there were many who accepted the challenge and set off to buy the centralised DU form offline on  June 5. An excited Prerana Nair, happily looking at the form, says, “I can’t wait to see what lies ahead.” The form for St. Stephen’s that was made available online had students racking their brains, preparing the Statement of Purpose. Apoorva Mahendru, another DU applicant, says, “The change in the form pattern definitely has an upside. No rushing off to colleges and draining yourself of all energy!”. Despite the controversies regarding FYUP, many students thronged the colleges. For them, for us, there still is a glimmer of hope that maybe this change won’t be a downer after all

Geetika Ahuja, Summer Fields School

Back in 2000, the end of the tumultuous boards would spell an even bigger ensuing battle. Students and their parents armed with umbrellas, sunscreen, water bottles and a pile of documents would set out to face the cutthroat competition, running from pillar to post to collect forms for each college. Cut to 2013. After snoozing my alarm a thousand times, I finally woke up, switched on my laptop and filled a single OMR which would enable me to seek admission in any DU college. Minutes later, I gave in to the welcoming arms of my bed again. Applying to the country’s premier university is that simple. Uncer-tainty galore, I’ve applied to all humanities courses. This includes an ironic sounding course called BTech in humanities. Sounds interesting!

Tarana Faroqi, Sardar Patel Vidyalaya

The big dilemma. The life-changing decision. Confusion is at its peak. So is BCom at Shaheed Bhagat Singh better or SRCC’s stats? The label of the college is what defines your status in the society.

A good college would also have good infrastructure, facilities, tasty food in canteen etc. Some compromise on the course just to be associated with the name of the college. Others compromise on the brand of the college because of the facilities. The knowledge and skills imparted matter a lot, too. Some of the best professors are in not so famous colleges .

So, it’s advisable to think wisely before coming to a conclusion. Personally I think a perfect combination of both the two – college and course - is the best choice

Jasmine Bhalla, St Thomas’ School

When I took up commerce in Class 11, I didn’t foresee the dreaded decision to render maths compulsory for commerce students in order to get into DU. Even though maths had always been my nemesis, I decided to take it up brushing aside the warnings of those who had already bore this drudgery because getting into DU was on my wish list. Now DU once again cancelled the requirement of math for BCom and other commerce courses, which is surely a breather for some, but it remains another one of those decisions with no real positive impact on students like me. Studying maths all the time and losing focus on other subjects only to realise that it is no longer mandatory.... I don’t know how it could have got any worse. I look at my Board results and lament that had maths never been compulsory in the first place, I definitely could have performed better

Chaudhary Ali Mardan Khan, DPS, Indirapuram

It seems impossible to muzzle the verbal flay of the Delhi University’s steps. The corollary of the recent changes is the effusion of the insecurities, in the form of debates and “oh-my-future-is-ruined” posts. Yet again, the spotlights turned with the news of obliteration of CATE, but for good or for bad - it is for you to decide. Arguably, the CATE syllabus was boundless, literature in itself is as vast as all the oceans combined, whose absolute knowledge is only a copyright of fables. Paying heed to this, I am sure CATE’s absence is beneficial since the board’s performance did play a major role. So, instead of seeing this change with the same jaundiced eye of FYUP, it’s imperative to alter the perceptions and for once commend this bold stride

Kritika Narula, St Margaret Senior Secondary School

Delhi University’s FYUP creates a déjà vu. Similar things happened in 2009, when the universe conspired to get CCE (Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation) implemented. Reducing performance to three-hour long exams defied the very purpose of CCE. And why? To score enough for admission into university that emphasises, again, on holistic training. Paradoxical. Although FYUP provides a creative platform, the admission process is disgruntling, for it hardly assesses our creative prowess by exclusively bringing board marks and cut-offs into the scene. How well we run, can never be the criterion for assessment of our driving talent, does it?