At Delhi University (DU), the academic edge of male students stands severely blunted in face of tough competition from their female counterparts.
The varsity’s 86th convocation ceremony held on Sunday morning was a strong endorsement of this perception.
A whopping 88 gold medals of the total 126, which recognise excellence both at the graduate and post graduate level, were awarded to female students. And the scene was even better in the prize category as boys could bag only 23 per cent (that is 11 out of 48) of the prizes.
Even the maximum number of prizes and medals this year went to a female student. Ambica Anand an MSc (Statistics) student of Hindu College won three gold medals and two prizes for being the overall MSc topper of the varsity.
The achievement of leaving the boys way behind in the academic race in fact provided Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee — the chief guest — with an opportunity to take a dig at the state of affairs in Parliament.
“Only 37 of the total members of Parliament are females. But I am glad to see that things are much different at Delhi University where the female achievers outnumber the men,” said Chatterjee.
The teachers, in fact, said that girls performing academically better had almost become a norm at the varsity. Last year the girls had won 90 of the 119 gold medals and 37 of the 48 prizes.
“Even last year the maximum number of awards was registered by the female student community. They work harder than the boys and obviously deserve the accolades. However, I do feel that this could partially also be because usually parents in India force their boys to go engineering and other vocational courses and so we don’t have many in academics,” said DU vice-chancellor Deepak Pental.
Despite having outshone the boys, the girls were modest about their achievement.
Twenty-three-year-old Anand of Hindu College, currently doing her MPhil in Statistics from DU, said: “Examinations have never been a big deal for me. In fact I was more nervous to step on the podium and collect my awards then when I was during the exams.”
Apart from recognising the best of the best students in the varsity, the ceremony also marked the awarding of 346 PhD degrees.
However, no PhDs were awarded from the economics department.