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VoiceTAP Careers and Colleges Series – North Campus vs South Campus (Delhi University)

By on May 26, 2009 in On A Whim | 17 comments

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The ‘colleges’ bit of VoiceTAP’s careers and colleges series was kicked off yesterday with the call on DU – North Campus vs South Campus. Experts on call were Natasha Bhan (BA Eco Hons from Miranda House, currently working as an analyst with ICF Consultants), Arpana Chaturvedi (B.Comm. Hons graduate from SRCC), Anita (second year student at Lady Shriram College), and George (second year student at Bhagat Singh). But before starting off with this contentious debate I thought it would be good to give a short guide to Delhi university admissions. This was something which was not covered in the call – well, the expectation was most of the VoiceTAP users tuning in would be Delhi students. Anyway, if you are a Delhi student or from outside, this short primer should help you get started.

Delhi University North Campus and South Campus location

Delhi University North Campus and South Campus location

Basic Guide to Admission Process in Delhi University

University of Delhi has a rich history behind it. It started in the 1922 and has grown today to a university which has more than two lakh students on its rolls. With so many colleges, filling up forms for each one used to be a big headache earlier. To simply this procedure, Delhi University adopted a common admission form which students can fill up. The catch here is that two colleges – St Stephen’s and Jesus & Mary College. Most other colleges also have their own individual forms, in case you don’t want to use the common application form. Download a specimen Delhi University common application form for undergraduate applications here (PDF, ~1.3 MB). This is an OMR form so in case you are not familiar with filling these up you can practice with this dummy copy. The list of colleges and courses on the second page of this form is also a handy quick reference to information regarding which college has which course.

The next thing that you need to do is to get the common admission form. These will be sold at at all colleges using that form starting from 1st June 2009 till 15th June 2009, which is also the last date to complete the submitted form. You should also go through the prospectus – click here to download complete Delhi University Undergraduate Admission Brochure 2009 (ZIP file approximately 12 MB in size, containing PDFs of the DU information brochure in parts). You can download this from the University website too (that’s where I got it from), but their server is notoriously unreliable; when I was downloading the speed was extremely slow and the download often got disconnected (not due to any in my connection).

Aspirants living in Delhi have the option to get first-hand knowledge from university officials and student volunteers during the open days, which started today. Click here to download Delhi University Open Days 2009 schedule to see which is the college closest to your place holding an open day. Note that this is about college admission in general and not the specific colleges as such, so it’s not held at all colleges. DU has also set up helpline numbers which you can call for any assistance.

Admission is done on the basis of Board marks. Students of Boards outside Delhi / ICSE are also accepted, but your percentage may be scaled up or down (depending on whether the board you gave you exam in generally give inflated scores or lower scores) to make it equivalent to CBSE. This done on the basis of an equivalence table that a university has. Apart from that, many colleges also admit students through their extra-curricular quota and sports quota. A small fraction of seats are reserved for these two, and each university which offers these hold their own tryouts to see how good candidates are. So if you haven’t got that good a score but are good at some extra-curricular activity (most colleges only consider debating or dramatics) or at some sport then you still have a chance of making it into a top college. Do note that competition is fierce in the tryouts. St Stephen’s and JMC have their own form, so criteria for admission at those places is different; Stephen’s for instance has interviews too. For some courses such as BA English (Hons), an entrance exam is going to be held from this year onwards. More details for this will be available from the college you want to join.

When people use the term ‘Delhi University colleges’, they are generally referring to colleges in North Campus and South Campus. West Campus (which consists of DU Faculty of Technology colleges DCE and NSIT) and East Campus (which has University College of Medical Sciences) are considered ‘separate’ because admission to these is on the basis of their own entrance exam. I’ll stick to North and South over here. Here’s some basic information on them.

North Campus

DU North Campus map

Delhi University North Campus map - click on the image to see full-size map

North Campus is the ‘original’ location where Delhi University started functioning. North Campus is a dense cluster of colleges with practically all colleges right next to each other. The list of colleges (with link to their official website) is as follows: St Stephen’s, SRCC, College of Business Studies, Hindu, Hansraj, Delhi School of Economics, Kirori Mal, Daulat Ram, Miranda House, Ramjas, Indraprastha College for Women, Rajdhani, Shivaji, Satyawati, SGTB Khalsa, Lady Irwin, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee. Pardon me if I’ve missed out any.

South Campus

Delhi University college locations map

Delhi University college locations map showing North Campus and South Campus colleges - click on the image to see full-size map

South Campus was set up by DU in 1973 to cope up with the high demand for seats. Colleges falling under South Campus are lesser in number and spread out over a wider geographical area than North Campus. The list of colleges falling in South Campus (with link to official site) is as follows: Sri Venkateswara, Lady Shri Ram, Jesus & Mary, Kamala Nehru, Gargi, Maitreyi, Delhi College of Arts & Commerce, College of Vocational Studies, Acharya Narendera Dev, Motilal Nehru, Ram Lal Anand, Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Dyal Singh, Deshbandhu, Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma. I hope this list is complete, pardon me if I’m wrong.

North Campus vs South Campus

The debate on whether North Campus or South Campus is better has raged for a long time. On both sides we have alumni and current students of both who forward in support of their side. VoiceTAP decided to lay down some basic facts by speaking to the students themselves. I would have given a comparison table, but the the topic is just to broad to compare in a tabular fashion. Having said that, colleges in North Campus are considered to be ‘more prestigious’ by many people; South Campus does have a colleges which are also considered prestigious such as Sri Venkateswara, LSR, JMC, Kamala Nehru, etc. Many say that the fact that North Campus colleges are so close together also helps in inter-college bonding between students – more of a ‘university’ atmosphere so to say. At both campuses you’ll find enough places to hang out.

Traditionally, South Campus has been considered to be better in this aspect but Delhi Metro’s extensive network in north / west / east Delhi has meant that a lot of commercial development has taken place in those areas too. You know have lots of malls, shopping complexes, and cineplexes – all within easy reach because of the Delhi Metro – in the North Campus. In South Campus there has already been such commercial development since a long time, but with the Delhi Metro starting by next year in South Delhi too, I guess this distinction between hangout joints will be blurred further. Prices are also slightly cheaper in North Campus because of the multitudes of eating joints / shops catering to the college-going crowd.

Certain courses like journalism are only available in South Campus colleges – this is the case mostly with girls-only colleges. Otherwise the list of courses available and their contents are standard across all colleges, since they are all under University of Delhi. The difference lies in faculty, your college batchmates – and for later on when you near graduation, how good the college placement cell is at its job. An important piece of advice given in the VoiceTAP call was that if you are sure about which course you want to go for, then go for whichever college you’re getting the course in. However, if you’re not sure of which course you want to take up then it might be a better idea to join a better college. The latter is also true for cases where a student might want to do a degree like an MBA after graduation where the bachelor’s degree won’t matter, so in that case too choosing college over course would be a better idea. (I’m sure I’ll repent typing this out in my blog post because I’m certain that a lot of students will convince themselves that they are not convinced about which course to take up – when they actually do have an idea and got swayed by a college brand name.)

Accommodation within a college is available in hardly any colleges. The best way to go about whether college accommodation is available is to go through the details of a college as listed in this complete list of DU colleges and then look up within that – scroll to the bottom of the page for each college profile. College accommodation is harder to find for boys than girls because demand is much more. ‘Paying guest’ accommodation is available near almost each and every college so this is probably where most students seeking accommodation will end up in. Staying alone in PG is a costly proposition; it makes sense to find some room-mates to split the cost of rent, bills, etc. When you go to buy your college forms you’ll find lots of PG accommodation hostel people handing out pamphlets with details, so that could be your starting point for a search. You should also get in touch with student union volunteers for guidance regarding this matter.

Infrastructure for sports – and for everything else in general – is considered by most to be better in North Campus. Stephen’s and Hindu have strong sporting traditions. As for other extra-curricular activities, again, North Campus is considered to be better and also performs better. To be fair, the fact that there are so many colleges close to each other a) makes it easier for students to participate in events b) promotes a strong sense of competition between those colleges. Stephen’s for debating / quizzing, Miranda / Kirori Mal for dramatics, LSR for choreography etc are well known in their fields. Having said that, competition to get into South Campus clubs can be intense too, and South Campus is certainly not lacking in talent. It’s just that the level of energy isn’t the same because of the spread-out campus.

For those who were unfortunate not to make in to the college of their choice, transfers between colleges can take place after the first year is over. Of course, a certain minimum percentage is required – and not all colleges accept transfer students. Details regarding this can be obtained from the DU helpline or at volunteer help counters when you go to buy forms from a college.

Further Reading

Bottom Line

North Campus or South Campus – whichever one you opt for or end up in (depending on your way of looking at it) – both offer exciting academic, extra-curricular, and ‘other stuff’ opportunities. What you do with that is up to you. You’ll be studying the same things whichever college you join, extra-curriculars is something you can take the initiative for (if it’s not strong in the college you join) – and the best thing is that with Delhi Metro coming to South Delhi by next year, geographical barriers between the two will be effectively reduced. Best of luck with your admissions!

PS – Want to share the link to this page with you friends? Use this short URL for remembering easily –!

PPS – Do check out VoiceTAP website for college vs college comparison calls that have just started. These will have more in-depth discussions done on two colleges at a time. It’s a free service!

PPPS – If you have any interesting link which you feel would be beneficial to DU aspirants, please leave them in the comments below! These could be forums, blogs, websites giving comparison, information on accommodation..anything at all that could be helpful to others.


  1. Ankit

    May 26, 2009

    Post a Reply

    dude, dont mind but your blog is sort of weirdly boring now with all these voicetap posts. It used to be better earlier with only tech and personal posts.

      • Ankit

        May 26, 2009

        No problem , this is one of the regular blogs i visit.

  2. Prateek Vijayavargia

    May 29, 2009

    Post a Reply

    @Ankur – These VOICE Tap Posts are quite informative man…Keep them coming! I would rather say, Anuj’s OLD posts are sometimes boring, maybe u can have a separate page for them!

    • Ankur

      May 29, 2009

      Post a Reply

      These VoiceTAP posts will soon be reborn in a new avatar. Watch out for developments on that. Um yeah, Anuj’s posts are kinda philosophical, but they can be thought-provoking at times which is why I promised to republish them.

    • Naman Bagga

      May 31, 2009

      Post a Reply

      Yeah, these VoiceTAP posts are very informative and can be very useful for students. They also make your blog a proper Education blog. Keep them coming.(Just wanted to give my feedback on this)

      @- “I’ll see what I can on not posting these here. ” Sounds interesting

  3. Madhu

    June 5, 2009

    Post a Reply

    In the Common Pre Admission Form for DU, Ser No 4 of the form states ‘Name of Exam. Board’. After this one long box is provided and 8 options of various boards are given with the numbers from 1 to 8 written in them. The options are not a problem and one can chose what one wants and darken it, BUT what do you write in the long box given on top of these options?
    Do we repeat the name of the board e.g. CBSE or ISC (All India) OR should we write the name of the exam such as ‘AISSSCE’. CAN YOU PLEASE HELP

  4. PARTH

    June 17, 2009

    Post a Reply

    hey! plz tell me everything one should know about delhi college of arts and commerce and plz also tell me about B.A (H) POLITICAL SCIENCE FROM THE SAME.

  5. Madhu

    June 17, 2009

    Post a Reply

    Amazing how things pop up out of the blue to trouble you!
    In the Centralised pre admission form there is no limit on the number of colleges one can apply to.
    Consider the following: The top 50 students of the CBSE board apply for admission to a particular course in ALL DU colleges, say BSc Maths (honours). Since their marks are the highest in the country, (say BFS being 96%), they all make it to the first cut-off list of all the DU colleges!
    If all the colleges have only 50 seats for this subject, it stands to reason that NO other names will figure in the first cut-off list of these colleges. In other words the admission system will get stymied!
    Am I right in this line of thinking?

    • Ankur

      June 17, 2009

      Post a Reply

      That’s true. This is also the reason why first cut-off is generally high, and then starts falling drastically with each subsequent list.

  6. savar

    July 7, 2009

    Post a Reply

    hey..the information is nice but it is still not clear which of them is better …itz clear that hang out placs r equal ..if can plz specify about the crowd in colleges …or which campus has better crwd???

    • Ankur

      July 7, 2009

      Post a Reply

      Crowd is good in both the colleges. In North Campus you can mingle around freely with students from many colleges while in South Campus you’ve hangout places for the friends you have in your own college.

  7. Arpit G

    August 23, 2009

    Post a Reply

    What is the scope of Electronics and instrumentation engineering?I’m doing btech in this degree frm bits pilani goa campus.Kindly tell me about its placements and packages.

  8. Vanitha Vaidialingam

    April 20, 2011

    Post a Reply

    The DU helpline link is not working. Whom do I approach regarding Trasnfer from a college in North Campus to a college in the South Campus for Political Science?


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