Delhi University reopened on Wednesday to thousands of first-year students stepping into a new phase of their lives, and police personnel mounting strict vigil to check ragging.
Almost all colleges opened at 8 am, and most planned orientation courses for students on the first day.
"I am very excited to be a part of Delhi University because I am starting a new phase of my life, from school to college," said a cheerful Vibha Singh, a first year student of Kirori Mal College.
Strict anti-ragging arrangements were in place in the North and South campuses as men and women police officials, in uniform and plain clothes, spread across.
Policemen patrolled the campuses on foot and motorcycles to check harassment of freshers.
Police also conducted surprises checks in buses.
"The university is geared to ensure peace and harmony while welcoming the newcomers. We are working in tandem with the law enforcement agencies to ensure that incidents of ragging are addressed strictly," said Gurpreet Singh Tuteja, deputy dean of students' welfare.
For the students, the nervousness of the first day and fear for ragging was replaced by a warm welcome as they stepped in.
"I was definitely nervous, specially about ragging. But the atmosphere is friendly and seniors are cooperative," said Neha Gupta, a first-year student in Miranda House.
Gurmeet Singh, the university proctor who is looking after the law and order situation in the university, said the administration's main concern was to smoothen the procedure of induction for the new students.
"Our immediate task is to facilitate the smooth induction of thousands of students into the campuses and its affiliated colleges. The university has geared itself to ensure peace and harmony," said Singh.
"Special care has been taken to avoid harassment of students on the basis of caste, sex or religion," he said.
Around 54,000 students started their graduation courses in several colleges of Delhi University on Wednesday. Almost 5,000 seats have been added this year to keep up with the growing number of applicants.
Huge anti-ragging hoardings came up in the north campus.
The semester system pushed the academic session ahead by five days to July 21, breaking a 30-year-old tradition of the varsity always opening July 16.
The semester system is only for science students as of now; commerce and humanities students will follow the annual system.