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Ground Report: What Students Really Think About DU’s Online Admission Move

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NEW DELHI, INDIA - JUNE 2: Candidates filling online application forms at a cyber cafe near Delhi University on June 2, 2016 in New Delhi, India. The process of admission to over 60,000 seats in Delhi University’s undergraduate courses began on its official website The online registration process started at 12 noon and will continue till June 19. The first cut-off list will be announced on June 27 and unlike previous year, the DU will release only five cut-off lists. Students just need to log into the website, register and fill the application form. (Photo by Arun Sharma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
Photo by Arun Sharma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Delhi University’s admission process went completely only from June 1, this year. There will be no use of paper while applying for any course in DU. Even the submission of documentation and fees are to be made online. The aim is to make it simple and easy for fresher students.

Youth Ki Awaaz tried to do a reality check to understand how helpful and successful this digital initiative has been so far in the first three days of this new digital process. Outside the Arts Faculty of Delhi University, major students’ organisations ABVP, NSUI and CYSS have been offering assistance to new students and their parents in order to help them with this new online process.

“We are helping students count best of four subjects and also providing them help regarding filling forms online. We have kept laptops with Internet here and are helping them complete the form,”
said Priyanka Chhabri an ABVP volunteer sitting at the help desk.

Another volunteer from NSUI, Rohit, said that many students have queries regarding the cut-off list and courses offered by colleges. He also added, “We have last year’s cut-off list and a sample of the online application form. We give these to anyone coming to our desk for help. However, we can only assist them in some ways and cannot offer counselling as such.”

Sonu Chaubey from the CYSS help desk said that they have assisted over 600 students. He also pointed a very specific problem faced by OBC students while applying for courses. He said, “Students from OBC category are asked to submit the income certificate of their parents. Many are not aware of this. It generally takes 20 days to get this certificate, which is why we are asking students to get this done as quickly as possible.”

Another group of students who claimed to run an online page ‘DU News’ were also distributing pamphlets with information regarding online admission process for Delhi University. “We have faced difficulties during our admission process as well. Some concerned independent students have taken up initiatives via an online page to extend help to the new students while applying for DU. We don’t want them to face the same challenges again,” said Nikita a volunteer of the group.

Despite the admission process going online, all difficulties have not been solved. Students are still facing specific problems while applying for sports quota, OBC students are having trouble with income certificates and specially-abled students are also having to deal with a few difficulties. Sajdar who had come to enquire about the sports quota process spoken to YKA and said, “The people at the help desk are not giving me a proper answer and telling me that all the information is available online. Then what are they here for? I want to apply under the sports quota and I have four years of experience in martial arts at the national level. This sport is not listed on the University website.”

Kuldeep a visually impaired student of the University also felt that the current online process is not full proof for students with a disability. Speaking to YKA he said, “University authorities should have a live voice chat facility available on its website. It would have been a great help for differently-abled students. There are many columns and it usually takes two hours to fill that form online. I was applying for one of my relatives and faced the difficulty.”

Jat students were also finding it confusing to apply under the general category. “Any student who wants to apply for OBC quota has to check the central government list of reserved categories. If they are not listed in a reserved category, they should not apply under the OBC category. They all will be treated as general students,” said Priyanka Chhabri.

YKA also learnt that the University has organised a counselling session for students and parents in the convention centre. But surely it lacks co-ordination as many of the students were unaware of such an initiative.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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