New Delhi, Delhi India (PressExposure) February 22, 2011 -- They were told the battle was being waged for their "own good". But undergraduate science students of Delhi University (DU) have now discovered that they were the biggest casualty in the protracted standoff between the university's administration and teachers.
There are a total of four theory papers in each science subject under the semester system. An analysis of the results of science students in the North Campus - comprising 18 colleges - shows that the majority of those who failed were from colleges worst affected by the teachers' stir.
While students of Miranda House, St Stephen's, Hansraj, Kalindi, Daulat Ram and Bhagini Nivedita - colleges largely aunaffected by the stir - have passed in most of their theory papers, the marksheets of students at Kirori Mal, Ramjas, Zakir Husain, Rajdhani, Shivaji, Swami Shraddhanand and Deen Dayal Upadhyay are dotted with small, black letters ' E- R' - meaning ' essential repeat'. At Kirori Mal College ( KMC), for instance, classes for BSc courses hardly took place before November.
It was only after November 15, when the Delhi High Court ordered professors to teach in the semester mode, that classes picked up speed. Accordingly, the first semester syllabus had to be completed in less than a month's time.
KMC, predictably, has the worst results among the eight coveted North Campus colleges offering science courses. Six of the 29 students studying zoology ( almost 21 per cent) have not passed in at least two or more theory papers.
Students of life science, botany and physical science at KMC have suffered a similar fate. Over 15 per cent of the total students in each of these subjects have got an E- R in two or more papers.
Giving KMC competition is Zakir Husain College - known for its science courses. Professors of this college, too, participated actively in the agitation and the results are for all to see.
Twenty two of the 53 students in electronics first- year have flunked at least two of the four theory papers. More than 20 per cent students in botany, physical science, chemistry, life science and zoology courses have also failed in at least two papers.
"The results clearly reflect where the strikes were at their worst," a member of the vice- chancellor's team said. But the abysmal performance by a few colleges hasn't caused a furore, thanks to a huge concession provided by DU. All students, including those who have E- R in all four theory papers, have been promoted to the second semester. This, however, is a one- time exception.
"This was done at the suggestion of the committee formed under the direction of high court to resolve the semester tussle amicably. Keeping in mind the interest of the students, it was decided that everyone will be promoted this time. DU professors had locked horns with the administration last year over the semester system across 13 science programmes.
"The teachers were so confident that the annual system would continue that they taught us topics which were not part of the first semester syllabus. Towards the end of November, they rushed through the syllabus," Saumya Jaitley, a first- year chemistry student at KMC, said. While some college principals have directly acknowledged the effects of the stir on science results, others have chosen to attribute it to a host of other factors.