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Delhi University (DU) Administration has introduced new semester system, which will overburden students and teachers studying/ teaching there and also affect the classic university culture. Ambitions and aspirations of the 2,50,000 students is at stake. Delhi University is tackling a new academic system arbitrarily enforced by the administration. Not only is the system considered inefficient, serious allegations have been on how the new system was introduced which many feel are undemocratic.

When questioned about these things the university seems to be superseding all democratic institutions by suppressing crucial information that is being demanded under the Right to Information Act. The students lose out on their extra curricular activities and preparation leaves.
The general consensus is that the new system is not efficient. A few important concerns include examination without preparation leave, lack of infrastructure improvement, two central examination pattern followed nowhere else in the world, exam dates clashing with post graduate courses entrance exams thus compromising the quality of education and costing students’ future.

As a result of the chaos, a lot of quality time is wasted in reports and counter reports, the administration needs to rollback the semester system and ensure an efficient and prospering education system:

1) Continue the system of re-evaluation & rechecking of exam papers.
2) Any academic reform should start from evaluation of the existing annual system, its benefits and weaknesses, and to devise a system which specifically redresses those weaknesses, keeping the interest of students and teachers in mind. Whether the solution will emerge from within the annual system or a different one (semester/trimester/etc.) cannot be pre-decided.
3) Ensure a sustained improvement in infrastructure and share the details with teachers and students and show transparency.
4) Improve infrastructure and student teacher relationships
To ensure that dreams of the lakhs of students who come to DU every year and create an efficient semester and education system in Delhi University. Sign and share this petition to help create a better future for lakhs of students and teachers.
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Letter to
The Vice Chancellor, University of Delhi
Dean of Colleges
I just signed the following petition addressed to: The Vice Chancellor, University of Delhi.

Prove how the semester system has boosted the efficiency of the university.

Dear Sir,

We write to you to bring to your notice the impact of the arbitrary enforcement of the semester system on the students of the university.

As was the case last year, students this year are again caught up in the series of reports and counter reports regarding the actions of the university, except that this year the worst fears of the students are coming to pass. The college handbooks, that contain the college calendar, have been duly refused to Second and Third Year students even when they produce renewed identity cards. As it turns out, according to the college calendar there is no “preparation leave” before the internal or annual examinations. Strangely, two terms out of three have been shrunk to the initial four months of college whereas the third term alone stretches for the next four months. Not only has this indiscriminate segregation disregarded the autumn, Diwali and Dussehra breaks it also ignores the fact that students have to submit two assignments per subject when not even half the academic year has elapsed! With the internals being held in November for the first time this year (although there was a rumour to this effect going around last year) it is very unfair for students to write exams without a preparation leave, especially when they have not been intimated about any change in the University ordinance which rules that two-third of the course must be covered before the internals.

Faced with the same ambiguity the teachers are taking extra classes in order to complete the course. Just increasing the number of classes hardly means that students will grasp concepts quicker; beyond a point they are in a daze and are hardly able to understand important things. What with all the assignment, huge increase in workload and no time to understand concepts, it is inconceivable how they are supposed to sit for exams without even any preparation leave. Assignments alone are enough to drive them to a nervous breakdown.

The condition of the most regular students is the worst. Either they have to bunk lectures to take out time for exam preparation, or they attend lectures, but at the cost of risking their performance in the exams. No matter how hard they try, their performance is bound to suffer, and this is hardly good for their psychological welfare, or their morale, just before exams. In this situation, with gloom, pessimism, pressure and no release, are we to be surprised if many commit suicide?

All this can be averted, only if the university were to show some care, and engage actively with students and teachers – those most affected and least accounted for. For instance post internals the students could have continued classes till Christmas so that they would not have to rush up with more than half the course before the internals, knowing that a longer winter break means a second term. Not to mention the strangeness of this business, where students will have to attend class from 2nd January, which is the peak of winters, and their vacations start on December 5, when winters are not that bad!

The situation of those preparing for post-graduation courses is exceptionally bad. They can either prepare for these, and ruin their college results completely, or prepare for college exams, and not be able to get into any institution next year. In fact the internal examinations are actually clashing with a number of MBA entrances. The arbitrary blindness of this whole deal is beyond belief! The very students who have been admitted to the university on the basis of their extra and co-curricular abilities have no time to develop or demonstrate precisely those abilities. For example, the students who take admission through a quota of theatre have to put in a lot of hard work and time commitment in the beginning to learn and master the skills. And when the exams take place so early they have to work really hard to strike a balance between academics and extra co-curricular. The more distressing factor for these students is that they can’t afford to lag in the Extra co curricular because that’s what got them into the college, nor can they afford to fail in the exams!

As for the First Year students, the bifurcated syllabus they are studying is honestly, quite absurd. What is the benefit of such an exercise? The syllabus is not properly thought through, with work being distributed unevenly across semesters, concepts not adding up etc. So, if the university speaks of “efficiency” what is one to say? The semester syllabus was brought in without even a revision of the syllabi. The handbook distributed to students by the college does not even contain the syllabi of all semesters! The dissemination of information is completely confusing us, as can be seen from the fact that the university administration sends new recommendations practically every month regarding the promotion criteria for students under the semester system. On top of that, despite the bad student-teacher ratio under the semester system, despite the increase in students being admitted (which has happened due to additional 7000 seats for the OBC and SC, ST. Source: the university is yet to respond productively. Infrastructure in colleges has hardly been improved at the rate at which it should be.

With claims about increase in efficiency, the university also says that evaluation will be quickened. What it had not disclosed was that they are DOING AWAY WITH RE-EVALUATION! So, instead of trying to ensure that papers are marked correctly, the university does away with the only way of salvaging a bad marking situation. There have been instances when students have received an increase of upto 30 - 40% mark on re-evaluation of a single paper; all students will realize what an effect such a change can make. Unless adequate time is given to ensure careful evaluation, we will be the ultimate victims of a rushed through exercise of evaluation of our answer scripts as if produced like a tooth-paste on an assembly line. It is highly frustrating to hear the university's decision to hike the re-evaluation fees to thousand rupees, and finally to do away with the system altogether from the year 2013. It shows the real intention of the administration that that it is trying its best to discourage the students from exercising their right to know how they are evaluated. When the whole country is looking forward to benefit from the Right to Information Act, the university seems to be superseding all democratic institutions and suppressing crucial information!
The fashion in which the new, “efficient”, semester system of Delhi University is being launched is indicative only of the fact the last people it cares about are the students and teachers. The University has demonstrated efficiency only in blocking people who could have exposed its tyrannical impositions over students in the present & in the years to come.
We place before you the following demands:
1) Restore the system of re-evaluation & rechecking of exam papers.
2) Any academic reform should start from evaluation of the existing annual system, its benefits and weaknesses, and to devise a system which specifically redresses those weaknesses, keeping the interest of students and teachers in mind. Whether the solution will emerge from within the annual system or a different one (semester/trimester/etc.) cannot be pre-decided.
3) Ensure a sustained improvement in infrastructure.
4) Reduce the student-teacher ratio in the university.



Shefali Saini started this petition with a single signature, and now has 152 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.