Delhi University is ready for first day, no show; classes will be online – Times of India


NEW DELHI: As a school student, Raunak Ranjan Thakur dreamt of college life in terms of fashionable clothes and student politics. The 17-year-old is now on the threshold of a BA Programme course at Motilal Nehru College, but there is no need for him to worry about what his sartorial choices in college should be. The Covid-19 pandemic has closed colleges, and classes, which begin on Wednesday, will be online.

“When there is no college, what is the point of new clothes? With the video off, I can even attend my first day of college in my home clothes,” Thakur ruefully told TOI. “I don’t know which of my many plans will now come true. From the first year itself, I had decided to become part of the students’ union so that when I reached the third year, I could fight elections. Now, everything appears futile.”

Thakur and his friends, who had gained admission in other colleges in South Campus, had also planned to explore Satyaniketan, the locality close to the institutional area, on the first day. “Can you imagine Satyaniketan is just 10 minutes’ walk from our college?” Thakur said, leaving unsaid the fact that their planned expedition will have to wait for another day.

Tanmay Khandelwal, a new BCom (Hons) student at Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), had similarly made elaborate plans for the first day of college with his friends. Forget such plans, he hasn’t even been able to meet his friends for some time now. “I have visited the SRCC campus but exploring the different colleges here would have been something else my friends,” Khandelwal said. “Now I don’t even know when our orientation will be held.”

For students who were to travel to Delhi and DU from other states, Wednesday is an even bigger disappointment. Haseeb Khalid of Kashmir, who has newly joined Venkateswara College, said, “Unlike school, college would have been about parties, friends from different parts of India, a mix of different cultures. When everything is online, it is a bit disheartening.”

Khalid’s cousin, Bazila Jaan, who will pursue BA Programme at St. Stephen’s College, was philosophical. “What can we do? I had so much expectation of the first day, but now we can only pray that the college opens soon,” she said. Her college completed the orientation on Monday itself with an assembly and introduction of the faculty.

Vismaya Vishwanath of Kerala is eagerly awaiting the Sri Venkateswara College orientation on Wednesday but is already a part of an unofficial class group on WhatsApp. “Thanks to this group, I have already made new friends,” said the BCom student.

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