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DU’s new calendar with shrinked semester and short mid-sem break upset students

The new academic calendar of Delhi University which was announced this week is being vehemently criticised for cutting down the semester from the usual six months to three and half months and squeezing the mid-semester break from 15 days to four days.

Nitin Anand / Sudhanshu Mishra |

The new academic calendar of Delhi University which was announced this week is being vehemently criticised for cutting down the semester from the usual six months to three and half months and squeezing the mid-semester break from 15 days to four days.  Students and academic staff allege that the new calendar would put further pressure on the students and the teachers when the session is already delayed due to late CUET results.

According to the newly released academic calendar for the 2022-23 batch, the first semester will commence on November 2, 2022, and the classes would disperse on February 16, 2023, giving only three and half months to complete the syllabus. With nine days of the preparatory gap, the exams schedule starts on February 27 ending March 15. The next semester begins on March 20, 2023, after a four days semester break.

Students are up in arms against the administration saying the new calendar would, on one hand, enhance the anxiety as the session has already been delayed while also putting undue academic pressure. ” With cutting down of the semester break from 15 days to 4 days, no student would be able to visit their home town”, added the students who have been anxiously waiting for the session to “finally” begin.

Muskan Gautam, a second-year student at Kirori mal College, lamented her experience and said, ”Being a Covid fresher wasn’t really a good start to the once-in-a-lifetime experience of being a first-year undergraduate at Delhi University. The semester started in late November and before I knew it I was giving exams in early February 2022. Without any preparation or motivation, I scanned my 15-pager answer sheet, which truthfully didn’t have the best content”.

Although there is a mixed response among the faculty members to the new calendar all share the concern of enhanced academic pressure. According to Dr Sunil, Assistant Professor at DU, “The delay in admission leads to contracting the duration of the semester and thus will put extra workload on students as well as professors, making it difficult to cover the prescribed syllabus”. He, however, appreciates the short duration between the semesters. “It will streamline the existing delays in the admission process from the last two years”, he said.

Expressing displeasure over the new academic calendar, Ayush Nirala, who is preparing to get enrolled at Delhi University said, “It intends to take away the leisure time given to students after every semester. Leisure is an essential component of a healthy mind and body. The University should amend this academic calendar and make sure that the students  are not penalized for the delays caused by the University in admissions.”

Dr Prabhanshu Ojha, assistant professor at the Hindi department of Hansraj College said, “Covid has impacted everyone and everything, with education getting the worst affected.  It is only on the college administration and students to make things back to normal. With offline classes, the importance of dialogue can surely fill up the gaps”.

Several senior professors oppose the calendar saying it will lead to disruptions and will put pressure on students as well as teachers because the syllabus that should cover a year is now being completed in a span of 9 months. Admission gets delayed due to the conduct of the Common University Entrance Test (CUET).

A short semester break of four days seems to be the big talking point. Bhanu Pratap, currently enrolled in the second year of the Delhi School of Journalism (DSJ) said, ” For the outstation students, the break between the semesters is the only time we get to spend with family and friends, but the new academic calendar leaves no chances for us to visit our home town”

Virat, a resident of Kanpur, who wishes to study at Delhi University, says,” For the last two batches, students were having online classes from their homes in their first semester however, this time situation is normal but short breaks would leave no time for outstation to visit their hometowns. but I am excited about studying in the country’s capital.”