Tête-à-tête with a DU Lecturer

Two days back at a soiree, I happened to meet Dr. Charu Kumar, a Chemistry Lecturer at Hindu college, Delhi University. She did her graduation from Hindu college, her post graduation and then her doctorate too from the Delhi University. Though we couldn’t have a detailed conversation, I managed to take her opinion on few things and here’s what she had to say…

(Here on I’d refer her as Dr.CK)

VP – Ma’am, what is your perspective of DU; how do you see it?

Dr.CK – Well, to be honest, I really can’t comment. Things have changed in a few aspects and are still the same in many others. Besides, I have just returned to DU after a 4 yr gap during which I taught at the NUS (National University Of Singapore).

VP – What is your take on the two universities you have taught in?

Dr. CK —In foreign universities, opportunities are galore. A student asks for one thing and he is provided with ten. While here the student has to struggle a lot and in a way that struggle really hones him/her but still I’d say the infrastructure and opportunities could be better here.

VP – Is there any difference you’ve observed in the students of both universities?

Dr. CK — The comparison isn’t justified because there only few students take up college or higher studies and thus are definitely more serious. Here, thousands of students take up college; it is almost mandatory and to a certain extent that even lowers the market value of a simple graduation degree. For instance, these days you would find housewives who are MA’s and MSc’s which is good, but unlike abroad, these degrees don’t have enough value. All said and done, nothing can beat the average IQ of an Indian student.

Our students just lack a wee bit of determination; if they focus there are no limits.

VP —Do you think the current syllabus and system followed in DU is at par with the requirements of the world education ?

Dr. CK —Definitely NOT! Certain things are the same what they were when I did my graduation in 1982. It has been almost 26 years, but we are still following obsolete stuff in a lot of places. We need to change them.

VP — Is there any change in the Hindu-Stephens rivalry since your graduation days?

Dr.CK —No, that remains as it was(with a faint smile)

VP — Has the teacher student interaction changed in any way from your time?

Dr. CK —There is hardly any change. The only interaction then was in the classroom and even now it is limited to the classrooms.

VP —Anything you would like to say about DU?

Dr CK — One thing I’d like to mention is that when we studied, DU students were from Delhi; children of businessmen, politicians etc but now because of the advent of professional courses very few Delhi students study in DU and there are many who flock from other states; although this gives a varied flavour but Delhi University’s essence in some ways seems to have lost.

Compiled by

Meghna Baveja