We have all seen and heard about the protests that have gained momentum over the mass failing of Delhi University students.
Is this an excusable act or a mere fault of the overburdened professors? We would side with the first probability, because education imparted at the “Best University in India” has been bastardised to unfathomable levels and here’s a firsthand account of one of hundreds of students whose future was jeopardised due to the eerie, rancid unprofessionalism at the University Of Delhi.
HRD Ministry Head Ms. Smriti Irani ensured swift action on 7th June 2015, and sadly, it never saw the light of the day.
The story died out in the media shortly.
Our correspondent Aastha Jain dug up the issue, and here is a detail of the events.
Apaar Sharma, we stand with you and salute you.
** The following has been sourced from Apaar Sharma’s Facebook timeline.
An open letter to the family and friends of the Sociology professors of Delhi University who failed us last year.
In June last year, the newspapers like The Hindu and The Indian Express reported about the mass failure of more than 400 final-year students of Delhi University in an interdisciplinary paper, Sociology. I was one of them.
I was a student of English Literature in Shivaji College and out of 60 students in my batch only 3 had passed in Sociology when the results were declared on 27th June. Ninety-five percent of the students had failed including the toppers of our class.
The three students, who had passed, all scored the minimum passing marks, 30 out of 75.
It was shocking to see so many students failing in a single subject. 260 students of various Honours courses (like: Political Science, Maths, English, Geography) had opted for Sociology in Shivaji College out of which 250 were failed.
Likewise, 102 out of 120 students of Laxmibai College, 38 out of 50 of Janki Devi Memorial College and 20 out of 25 of Keshav Mahavidyalaya were also failed.
Such improbable result implied that either all the students had pre-decided not to study in this subject and fail or that a few professors of the Sociology Department did not want us to pass and failed us on purpose. I don’t need to tell you which one seems more likely in this scenario.
We called our professors in the college and they said they would write to the University about it. We went to the University and were asked to fill the re-evaluation forms.
It was the time of entrance exams and interviews for various post-graduation courses in most universities in India and we urgently needed the revised results in our hands to appear for them.
The re-evaluated result is declared months after filling the form. If we waited for it, we would have jeopardized our admissions in the master’s course.
We went to the Department of Sociology but the Heads of the Department were on vacation. A senior professor in the Department of Sociology advised us to meet the Vice Chancellor. Everyone was making us run from pillar to post without providing any real solution.
We emailed to the Vice Chancellor, the Chief Justice of India and the Prime Minister to take cognizance of this grave injustice but no one extended a helping hand.
We decided to go on a protest seeking the revised results within a week’s time.
We marched to the Dean’s office which had been cordoned off by the police, shouting slogans at the top of our voices and sat outside it for hours, in the afternoons even as the temperature reached as high as 40 °C, when in fact we should have been preparing for the entrance tests and interviews.
In the evenings, I returned to my room, exhausted from taking part in the protests. My throat hurt and my voice became hoarse from shouting slogans all day. My body ached and I wanted to cry because a feeling of despair consumed me that nothing right was happening.
After three days of continuous protests failed to make the Dean come out of his office, we hindered the process of new admissions in the University by blocking the way of the applicants who wanted to go inside his office and only then the Dean emerged.
Malay Neerav, the Joint Dean of the Student’s Welfare and Media Co-ordinator of Delhi University, assured us that the results will be re-evaluated on the priority basis within a week. This happened in the evening of 30th June.
He also said that the University will provide a letter saying that the revised results are in the process to anyone who needs it to secure admission in a post-graduation course in some other university.
We heaved a sigh of relief after days of nightmare. A little hope awakened in us again.
But a week went by and the University did not roll out the revised results. We realized that the University had made a fool of us and had curbed the protest so it could carry out the admission process without any hassle from us.
A friend, who had aced her written examination and interview for a post-graduation course in National Institute of Fashion Technology, approached Malay Neerav for the University letter which would explain that the revised results are still in the process but she was denied this letter.
She couldn’t help but cry in the Dean’s office as the man before her refused to give her the letter he had promised a week ago. She had to withdraw her admission from NIFT as she couldn’t produce the revised result during the verification process at NIFT.
The University finally rolled out the revised results two weeks after the Dean’s declaration on 30th June. They had passed only 6 more students from my batch, so the final result was 9 passed out of 60. They had once again failed 85% of the class.
The media wasn’t following the case anymore; the protests were long annihilated by the false promises and the University formally ended the case with this re-evaluation.
Many of my friends who had cherished the dream of becoming professors and who had burned the midnight oil studying the bulky books of The History of English Literature weren’t even eligible to write the entrance test for the master’s degree. They had to take up jobs in call centres and start-ups.
I got admission in Asian College of Journalism in Chennai on the condition that I provide the graduation degree before mid-February. I filed a petition in the Delhi High Court against the University and joined the college in July last year.
My dad calls me every night and in the last eight months, he hasn’t talked about anything much except the case – how he has filed another RTI, what did the University reply to his last RTI, how my lawyer is arguing well in the court, when is the next date of hearing of my case and so on.
The next hearing of my case is on 12th February and if it is not resolved in this hearing, I will not be entitled to get my degree in journalism. In April, when my classmates will dress in formals for their interviews for the placement, I will stay behind in my hostel room because I will not be allowed to sit for it.
I cannot even explain how frustrating it is that our lives have shrunken around a single issue and now it has begun to define us.
I haven’t written any poetry or a piece of fiction since I came to Chennai.
One of my friends, who was a regular on the social media, has not uploaded a single status or photo on Facebook in these eight months. It may seem innocuous or even ludicrous but it has deeper psychological implications.
Another friend has hidden her profile photo and status on Whatsapp, as though she’s trying to vanish herself.
Social media is used as a medium of self-expression and my friends have lost this ability. They are insecure and lack confidence.
In December last year, I was back in Delhi for my holidays and was meeting my friends in a cafe, we were talking about college and suddenly we were reminded of the bitter ending. All our reunions and celebrations are marred by disappointment now.
One student got so tired of this strife that they attempted suicide and was in ICU for almost a week.
I’m telling you all this because you should know that the examiners who checked our copies and failed us even though we had written ample to pass, are not just respectable professors in an elite university – they are also murderers of our careers, our ambitions and our dreams.
They have blood on their hands. They are responsible for a 21-year-old who tried to kill self and struggled between life and death in a hospital ward.
They are responsible for hundreds of students who stayed out of college this year and for the depression that many of us are dealing with every single day for the last eight months.
I am telling you all this because this discourse should also reach your breakfast tables and dinner-time conversations. You should ask them, on our behalf, why did they do this?