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A Different Approach

Given the long study hours, there are very few students at Lady Irwin who manage to get time off for some fun and frolic. What they stand to gain from it, however, is a better chance in the job market once they graduate Vimal Chander Joshi Reports

education Updated: Oct 14, 2009 10:22 IST
Vimal Chander Joshi

Located far away from the Delhi University campus — both geographically and ideologically — is a college near Mandi House that we know as Lady Irwin. It’s different in many ways.

Where studies are concerned the programmes here — BSc (home science) and BEd (special education) — are not usually offered by other Delhi colleges. Looking at that abundant greenery and the few buildings scattered over the sprawling 16.5 acres campus, you would find it hard to believe you are just minutes away from the crowded and polluted ITO crossing.

Also, unlike other DU colleges (in most, classes end by 2 pm) classes here begin at 8.30 am and go on until 5 pm, leaving the students with very little time to catch a movie in Connaught Place.

“Our programmes are multidisciplinary, which you don’t find in other colleges,” says Anupa Siddhu, director of the college. They don’t have a principal — again a unique feature.

Famous for:
Its job-oriented programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.


BSc (pass/honours) home science; BEd (home science); BEd (special education); MSc (home science) and PhD (home science). Home science programmes are conducted in five specialisations. These are, food and nutrition, human development and childhood studies, fabric and apparel design, development communication and extension and resources management and design application.

Extracurricular activities:
The college has 11 societies, the ones related to dance and fashion being the most popular. Recently, one of the students managed to bag the first runner-up position at the AIIMS fest, Pulse. Likewise, the college has won laurels in fashion, music and debating. “It’s challenging to manage studies and extra-curricular activities as our classes go on till late evening but we still do it,” says Maanwi Sehajpaul, president of the music society and a final-year student of BSc (home science) specialising in human development. “We won the first prize in Western (group) song category at the recent fest of Maulana Azad Medical College. We are now planning to participate in the BITS Pilani fest this year.”

The campus is spread over 16.5 acres and has red-brick buildings and courts for tennis, badminton, basketball and volley ball. For practical classes, it has 27 labs, set to increase to 32 soon, claims Siddhu.

Among other noteworthy things, there is an enabling centre run for the children with special needs. It was started as a college project more than two decades ago but now doubles as a laboratory for the students of child development who can study and understand the behavioural patterns of children with special needs.

There is a hostel for 200 students for undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Found on campus:
“I joined this college because I wanted to study food and nutrition in a good college. And Lady Irwin is probably the oldest and the best institution where this subject is concerned,” says Mridusmita Sanan, final-year student of BSc (home science) with specialisation in food and nutrition.

“The canteen and its surroundings are quite shoddy,” says Kanika Aggarwal, previous year student of MSc (home science) with specialisation in fabric and apparel science.

“Vehicles ply throughout the day on the road along the canteen. We should get a better place to sit and relax so that we aren’t forced to move to Nathu’s in Bengali Market every time whenever we are free.”

The college had just 11 students on the rolls when it was started in 1932, offering a one-year certificate course in home science. A year later, with more students applying, an urgent need was felt for a hostel and one accommodating 60 students came up the same year. In 1950, the college became affiliated to Delhi University and offered BSc (home science) as its first degree programme. This was followed by the introduction of a BEd programme two years later.