The most sought-after college for humanities, Hindu College is truly driven by its new motto: Steered by the past, moulding the future

Hindu College Principal Anju Srivastava with students; (Photo: Chandradeep Kumar)

With more than 4,500 students on its rolls, Hindu College of the University of Delhi is known for its academic excellence as well as its vibrant extracurricular life. The college houses more than 60 student clubs and societies that address a variety of interests ranging from the arts, dance, painting, debate and discussion, quizzing, research and entrepreneurship. It also has a unique parliamentary system. The Parliament of the Republic of Hindu College is a oneof-its-kind democratic body of students and staff responsible for the extracurricular activities in the college.

Established in 1899, Hindu College completes 124 years of its existence this year, and is driven by its new motto of ‘Steered by the past, moulding the future’. The most sought-after institution for humanities, it offers 19 undergraduate courses in various arts streams.

Both during and after the Covid-19 pandemic, the college ensured that its students continue to receive quality education. After the pandemic, the college welcomed its students back on campus with a series of departmental orientation lectures. However, it continues to use a variety of pedagogical practices such as blended learning, flipped classrooms and audio-visual media to ensure that the innovation made possible by online teaching during the pandemic-induced lockdown continues to be followed. For that, reading material and resources are made available on the online student portal. The college also ensured that remedial classes be taken and knowledge sessions be held to address any perceived gaps in students’ learning and education.

Encouraged by the National Education Policy, 2020, the college has now entered a new era of education. It has inaugurated a state-of-the-art research centre for interdisciplinary research to facilitate industry-academia collaboration. In April, the Department of Political Science and Observer Research Foundation organised the Hindu-ORF Policy Conclave 2023 along with the ministry of external affairs and the G20 Secretariat aimed at taking the pedagogic discourse beyond the classroom. This was also to assist students understand the current socio-political affairs of the world.

The college has inked MoUs with a number of institutions such as the National University of Singapore, King’s College, London, and Shri Ram Institute, Delhi. It regularly conducts events in collaboration with them, in keeping with its core mission of providing a well-rounded education. With King’s College, an online certificate course was conducted on Global Governance of Conflict and Security in July last year. Spread over six sessions, it was facilitated by Caucus, the discussion forum and international cell of Hindu College.

Some of the courses that are always in demand and the ones that receive the greatest number of applicants are BA (Hons) Economics, BA (Hons) Political Science, BA (Hons) English, BA (Hons) History, BA (Hons) Sociology and BA (Hons) Philosophy. College principal Anju Srivastava says, “The Bachelor of Arts programme is offered in a variety of subject combinations. It’s especially sought-after because, in its very design, it provides detailed knowledge of more than one subject, which helps aspirants for later competitive exams such as the UPSC.”

Even the add-on courses are very much in demand because of the academic as well as extra-curricular exposure they provide to the students. In the last year, the college offered a number of add-on certificate courses in addition to the standard course curricula that are followed. These included courses on Fragrances and Flavours, Vedic Mathematics, Legal Studies and Behavioural Economics. Srivastava adds, “These courses ensure that our students receive an all-rounded and holistic education, which is not confined to the set syllabi and classrooms.”

The college also ensures that students are provided with exposure and experience of the most innovative kind and newly-emerging trends possible in various disciplines. In academic courses that belong to the art streams, students are taught the latest methodological trends in research, and the college regularly organises seminars, conferences and lectures to ensure that students and faculty are up to date with the latest advances in knowledge.

Currently, there is a thrust on Indian Knowledge Systems in the arts and the college has ensured that students gain as much experience of that as they can, through a variety of add-on courses such as those on spoken Sanskrit and Vedic Mathematics. In the extra-curricular domain, different student societies that focus on the arts are given encouragement as well as financial resources.

The college offered several add-on courses during 2020-2022 and also inaugurated the Relaxo Research Centre for interdisciplinary research to promote a scientific temper among students. The research centre houses more than 20 laboratories, including a gender studies centre, language lab, social and ethnographic research lab, centre for policy research, historical research lab, and climate change and Sustainable Development Goals cell, among others.

The college conducted remedial classes and guidance through a mentor-mentee scheme in which small groups of 10 to 15 students with a faculty mentor are formed for discussions and academic counselling. This scheme has been instrumental in mitigating the damage caused by the pandemic to the teaching-learning process. Classes were conducted in online as well as offline modes to ensure a smooth transition back to in-person teaching and the college conducted several skill development and career counselling workshops in the last year to bridge the gap. Many field trips were also organised. It is something the college believes in: ‘Dedication to producing complete citizens’.