Alighting at the Vishwavidyalaya metro station and moving behind the structure, past one of the plentiful lovers’ points in North Campus, onto the Cavalry lane and an eerie house on your left side seems like the perfect setting for an M. Night Shyamalan thriller. The decrepit structure’s architecture bespeaks its colonial legacy and is bound to give you a scare. For the ones’ who can’t seem to get a hold of their curiosity, stay in touch with sanity and don’t trespass! Move down the road and post an intersection, you will come across a huge complex standing in stark contrast to the unnerving house you left behind. This complex was built for the 2010 Commonwealth Games and was used for hosting Rugby Sevens’ among other competitions in the multipurpose stadium. Presently, the complex houses one of Delhi University’s newest initiatives, Cluster Innovation Centre. The complex was set up by the former vice-chancellor, Prof. Dinesh Singh with a stream-lined objective of promoting innovative methods of research in undergraduate study as well as fueling industry-academia linkages for the collective good of society.
The CIC presently has 3 regular courses. B.Tech. (Information Technology & Mathematical Innovations), B.A. Honours (Humanities & Social Sciences) and MSc. (Mathematics Education). All of them have a separate entrance exam. The paper consists of multiple choice questions. The focus is on the routinely emphasized, seldom realized interdisciplinary approach which finds an interesting expression here. The students of B.A. Honors Humanities and Social Sciences spend their 1st and 6th semesters studying 5 core papers each at the CIC campus. From the 2nd to the 5th semester, they are required to opt for papers which are to be studied in different colleges of Delhi University depending upon the availability of the subject chosen in the college. The subject choices need to align with the stream chosen by the student for his/her degree. There are currently 4 streams on offer namely – Journalism, Art and Design, Historical Tourism and Counselling. While the B.A. Honors course is offered under the Meta college concept, M.Sc. in mathematics education is offered under the Meta University concept being conducted jointly by the University of Delhi and Jamia Millia Islamia.
The infrastructure is perhaps one aspect where CIC got it right. Wi-Fi and air conditioning are omnipresent, well for the most part, but, still, that’s something to be grateful about. The fully functional computer lab is another useful facility. The paradigm sounds stimulating for students willing to embrace this inter-college mobility and relish an individualistic approach to one’s own degree which one has the freedom to design the way he/she wishes to and yet, it’s not a fool-proof formula owing to a few problems that students at CIC have faced until now. The logistics of the whole course are manifestly prone to problems. Semester results are seldom released on time and the delaying period often set them apart from the rest of the university results by over a month or so. The faculty is perceived by the CIC students to be appointed on a rolling basis as is gauged from the frequent appointments. Because of the scattered nature of a batch of Humanities students, most of them find it unable to sustain cultural societies which are an integral part of any student’s graduation days.
The experiencing of mingling with a different crowd in a different college every semester is an awry task since socializing isn’t everyone’s strong suit. However I do genuinely feel that random conversations with your peers soon evolve into routine dialogues and more often than not, even though you may feel a little out of place at the start of a new semester, after a month or so, amongst the multitude of options, one begins to identify their chosen few and from there on, it’s all for the better. Obviously, a place is only as good as the people you know in it. So for any particular person, Dyal Singh College may be better than Hindu and that’s where personal experiences very often differ from popular perceptions. This is what CIC students get to experience as part of their graduation.
For those looking to apply, applications open in mid-May and the entrance tests are held in the 3rd week of June. Sample Question Papers can be found on the college website.