Ramjas College, Delhi

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By GET THE LOWDOWN ON THE INSTITUTE OF THE WEEK RENU NEGI Supreme Court advocate Rajpal Singh has mixed feelings about his Ramjas days As told to Renu Negi
  • Published 18.05.05
Vital Statistics
WHAT IS IT? A top Delhi University college
WHO’S THE BOSS? Dr Rajendra Prasad
HOW TO GET IN? Applicants must have passed the Senior School Certificate (Ten Plus Two) of CBSE or an examination recognised as equivalent by DU. Admission depends on the student’s percentage of marks and the college’s cut off marks.
WHERE TO STAY? Ramjas has a boy’s only hostel.
HOW CHEAP IS IT? The fees are Rs 3,000-4,000 p.a. The hostel costs Rs 1,500 per month.
WHERE IS IT? North Campus, Delhi University, Delhi-110007. Phone: 011-27667447. Website: ramjascollege.edu

Back in the Eighties, Ramjas College, in the words of principal Dr Rajendra Prasad, was notorious for its ?rowdy? crowd. That was then. Now, it is regarded as one of the finest colleges in Delhi University. ?After St Stephen?s College, we are number two,? says Prasad, rather proudly. Even independent observers agree that these days Ramjas is a great place for ?holistic learning? ? the principal?s favourite expression.

Slow but steady

The change has come gradually, says Prasad, at the helm of the college for the past 20 years. At Ramjas, every student?s performance in tutorials and in mid-term tests is carefully monitored through computers. More importantly, they are encouraged to participate in the college corporate life. ?Every day there is a seminar or some other extra-curricular activity in the college. We encourage teachers to take students to them,? says the principal. Then he adds: ?We are taking teaching beyond classrooms. We are preparing students to face the forces unleashed by globalisation.?

As part of this grand scheme, the college has set up a school for foreign languages which offers part-time language programmes in French, German, Spanish, Italian and Russian. There are plans to introduce more languages such as Persian, Arabic, Japanese and Korean.

That apart, Ramjas also offers a few trendy short-term courses on topics such as India in the era of globalisation, human rights and emerging world order, environmental management and law, communication and personality development, gender analysis and interrogation, women and empowerment, etc. Apart from regular graduate and postgraduate programmes in various subjects of science, arts and commerce, it also offers courses in both BA honours and MA in music.

More in the offing

There?s much more in the offing. And Prasad offers a peepshow into the future. He says, ?A memorandum of understanding with European and US universities for exchange of students and faculty is in the pipeline.? Even physically, the college is all set to improve. It will have a second seminar room, new classrooms and more tutorial rooms.

A red coloured building surrounded by huge green trees, Ramjas college was founded by the great educationist Raj Kedarnath in 1917. Situated in the North Campus, it is also open to students with physical disability. The institute has its own air-conditioned auditorium. ?Ramjas has the best of facilities backed by the latest in modern technology,? says Prasad. And, the general view is that its faculty is both erudite and friendly.

Good food

The institute has its own cafeteria-cum-canteen. ?We get good food at cheap rates. Students from other colleges also hang out here. At the canteen, we get to interact with them and have fun together? says Vicky, a second-year student. The college also offers hostel facilities. Unfortunately, it is only for boys. ?However, there is a proposal to convert a portion into a girls? hostel,? says the principal.

For a college that has produced top actors such as Manoj Bajpai and Shekhar Suman, it has a decent film club and a good dramatics society. What comes as a pleasant surprise is its placement cell. The college placement cell helps a student get summer placements and also provides them with information on the job scene. Clearly, these are good times for Ramjas College.

Old memories

I did my bsc in 1985. The environment was friendly. Teachers and students mingled freely. It was great a exposure for me because I was a shy teenager.

I vividly recall our physics professor R.S. Mittal. He was a dedicated teacher who bridged the gap between theory and practice. He was also a great human being always ready to help out students both personally as well as professionally.

I remember the students suffered much due to a long strike because of some dispute between the staff and the administration. Many principals came and went in our time and it only added to the college’s problems. Even the infrastructure was hardly as good as it is now. But on the brighter side, Ramjas has an alumni association which organises events regularly. It helps us share memories.