Is DU being reasonable?

July 7th, 2012

It is that time of the year that Class XII passouts eagerly wait for — the Delhi University cut-off lists for admission to its colleges. Every year, it is quite a sight outside the DU campus with eager students and parents waiting for the cut-off list to be put-up.  This year, though there was no 100% cut-off shocker, a 99.25% cut-off was equally shocking. With several bright students being turned away due to the high percentage requirements, one needs to ask whether DU is being reasonable in its cut-off requirements.

Delhi University is the most sought after by students who wish to pursue a career other than engineering or medicine. The array of reputed colleges including St Stephens, Hansraj College, Hindu College, Miranda House, Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) and Lady Shri Ram College have been a dream destination for most aspirants. Added to this is the fact that DU colleges make it to the top 10 best colleges list of ‘leading business magazines’, which makes it fashionable to say that “I am getting into the Number 1/2/3 college in India”.

The trend began in early 2000s when more and more magazines started publishing the best colleges list. The number of applicants in the colleges increased leading to an automatic increase in cut-offs to ensure quality students apply. Every year, the cut-offs started increasing–beginning from 91% to 93% to 97%. Last year, SRCC had put a 100% cut-off for non-commerce students. Media reports also showed how one student qualified for it, though further details on the same were not available.

This year, the situation is equally worse. With more colleges joining the 95%-plus cut-off category, admissions to DU is only getting tougher. The cut-off criteria where a student scoring 94.95% is not eligible, but one with a 95% is eligible seems a ridiculous proposition. What about the students from certain state government boards, where it is considered impossible to score above 85%? Are they not worthy enough of DU?

Industry experts say that if the colleges really want to ensure that the quality of students is upto the mark, why not have an entrance examination. They could have a 75% eligibility for the entrance exam and then screen candidates. Though it will be a tedious process given the number of candidates who apply for DU, the process would atleast give a fair chance to more number of students. “They could maybe have an online exam, with tough questions to sieve out the best candidates,” say a Delhi based education industry expert.

For now, till the new reforms are introduced, getting admission into the top DU institutes seems like a Herculean task. The second and third lists also do not offer any respite for the students since the cut-offs ranging between 93-96%. The only option is to keep waiting for further lists till the process is competed on July 10.

DU’s message seems to be very clear-If you are among the top students (Top here means only those students scoring 95% and above), you are welcome to “try your luck” at our admissions. Others: Don’t even bother to apply!

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