This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Saptaparno Ghosh. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

DU Offers 1 Degree For Different Subjects That You Can Take Up In Different Colleges

More from Saptaparno Ghosh

By Saptaparno Ghosh:

A few metres from the Meghdoot Hostel, in North Campus, Delhi University, lies a building. It exemplifies the University’s professed world-class infrastructure. This building houses one of the least known institutes of the University – the Cluster Innovation Centre (CIC). Inaugurated on September 3, 2011, the institute aims to act as a catalyst and facilitator for driving innovation and learning. For achieving the outlined objective, it takes help of the University’s constituent colleges and their resources for academic training.

Courses and Admission

CIC offers B.Tech. (Information Technology & Mathematical Innovations), B.A. Honours (Humanities & Social Sciences) and MSc. (Mathematics Education). All of them have an entrance exam. The paper consists of multiple choice questions related to the subject for which one is applying. There is no personal interview for admission.

So, how does this work?

It needs to be understood that the institute is by no means similar to the School of Open Learning at the University of Delhi. CIC is a regular institute, but with a different approach.

Imagine a food court where a single card gets you access to a variety of stalls and all their delicacies. This analogy can be used to understand the functioning of CIC. A student studying humanities and social sciences gets to design his or her course. The student do their first and last semester at the centre. For the rest, they choose the subject, paper and the college where they wish to pursue them. You heard that right. You can study different papers in different colleges during different semesters! One has to select a specified number of papers from the ones available in college. This points to perhaps a remarkable achievement in terms of creating an inter-disciplinary approach. The emphasis is on innovation through an inter-disciplinary understanding, diverging from the ‘discipline-specific’ academia.

The emphasis at the CIC is on skill building and learning based on exposure. The students are also made to visit places related to the module being taught. Talking about exposure, the course structure at CIC also entails a semester group project for its students. The students have to select a topic, preferably from their discipline of study and prepare a synopsis for further approval from the faculty. If it’s not approved, they are allotted a topic by the faculty instead, which is necessarily from their discipline of study. In either scenario, a mentor is assigned, who is an expert in the particular field. The projects require the students to do a lot of groundwork for primary research with very little scope to rely on secondary data.

For this initiative to be successful, it requires a good infrastructure. And that is where the University might have done its job well. CIC has a start-up incubator, which promotes students to undertake rigorous innovation activities that benefits society directly or has a commercial value. In terms of infrastructure and resources, they have access to the University library, unlike other undergraduate students of the university enrolled in regular colleges, Yes, the Central Resource Library. While for many, working on computers with a proper internet connection at college continues to be a dream, the CIC has labs with Mac computers. Beat that! A fully equipped computer lab with iMacs and an internet connection accessible round the day.

However, there could be possible limitations to this approach of education. It has been observed that teachers keep changing at the CIC, perhaps pointing to the absence of a permanent and experienced faculty to manage the complex courses and its logistics. Also, managing the meta-college and subject approach has its set of logistical issues and requires massive planning to establish fluidity. There is also the concern of clashing dates during examinations and class schedules.

Despite these assessed limitations, it needs to be pointed out that students do well. Srivedant Kar, a sophomore pursuing B.A. Honours (Social Sciences & Humanities) told Campus Watch about his project on night shelters. It was presented at CUSE (Centre for Urban Science and Engineering) and IIT-Mumbai. Delhi government has also given it permission to run as a pilot programme.

Breaking Myths: The College Life

“Yes, we have a fresher’s and a farewell too!” contends Srivedant.

CIC is like any other department of a college; they have a proper freshers’ party, farewells, departmental events and seminars. The best part is that they make friends everywhere they go. Attending other college’s fests and seminars is as easy as it may get. So, do they have friends in class? Yes, they do. The semester projects involve group activities which require them to meet regularly. “We have a funny story to discuss every time we meet: our experiences with the inefficient administration and so on,” tells Sruthi, a final year humanities student at CIC. There are instances when they have been seen as outsiders in the colleges they were attending classes in. But after being a little aware about their programme, things became better.

Students at CIC are a mixed bag. For most of the students, CIC wasn’t something pre-planned from high school. It was something new, which they found interesting and worth engaging with. And of course, people who enrolled are swayed by the infrastructure. Unconvinced of the other options available, they decided to explore the institute offering a wider scope of things to do. These are people who didn’t wish to adopt the discipline-specific approach to academics.

To understand the importance of the course and its objectives, attending the pre-admission open days shall be ideal. “We are doing what we want. It is about how we use it (the course). You need to be aware, active and into your course,” says Sruthi.


Image source: Shailesh Raval/The India Today Group/Getty Images
You must be to comment.
  1. Anuradha Mishra

    This article is very much explanatory.. and good..but how do we enroll ourselves in CIC..i mean is there some online procedure or we need to visit the faculty for the same…i feel like i should be the part of this intresting programme which is ” not a discipline specific approach to academics”..

    1. Raghaw Agrawal

      All India Entrance exam like jee is held every year.Merit list is prepared and top 40 is selected for btech as well as BA,whereas top 20 for MSc Mathematics.For these three courses ,three separate exams takes place every year.

    2. Subham Shrivastava

      To enroll here, You need to log on to where you can see a “DU Entrance Based Portal”, login there, pay the fee and sit for the Exam which is an All India Exam. Per year only 40 students per course are selected, and acceptance rate is <0.5%
      Test is given in somewhere around May-June.

      – Student, CIC

  2. Abinav

    As soon as DU admission process starts CIC admission process starts via online .
    Just visit

More from Saptaparno Ghosh

Similar Posts

By Mohit Nimal

By Hyder Ali Ashrafi

By Shraddha Iyer

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

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.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

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.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below