The DU admission challenge: How high cut-offs are reducing students’ subject, college choices
Campus Politik

The DU admission challenge: How high cut-offs are reducing students’ subject, college choices

The unreasonably high standards set by the first merit-based list has left students with fewer choices.

By Arushi Gupta

Published on :

After the release of the third cut-off list on June 29, the possible subject/college choices open to students hoping to get into Delhi University have reduced considerably. This is because the Delhi University’s first merit-based cut-off list, released on June 18, had set unreasonably high standards for aspirants seeking admissions to undergraduate courses in top-tier DU colleges this year.

According to the Press Trust of India, more than 25,000 seats (nearly 45 per cent of the total seats) have already been filled following the release of the first two merit lists. A total number of 2,78,544 applicants have registered for nearly 56,000 seats at the University.

In this scenario, students who have been unable to score above 90 per cent in the 12th Board examinations, might not get to study in the choice of their top-tier college.

report by Hindustan Times states a total of 12,737 students across the country have scored 95 per cent or above in this year’s CBSE 12th Board exams. This number is up by 2,646 as compared to last year. Even with such high marks, there are only a few who will have the opportunity to pursue the course and college of their preference, while several others would be able to do little but look for alternatives. The reason for this, perhaps, lies in the vast pool of students with high scores aiming for selected few colleges.

Amongst the prestigious colleges in DU, Lady Shri Ram College had laid down a minimum requirement of 98.5 per cent for admissions into this year’s Bachelors of Arts program in its first cut-off list. Merit requirement for courses like Economics and Psychology had in fact increased by a value of 0.25 per cent in comparison to last year’s cut-off. Meanwhile, excessive demand for a limited supply of seats heightened the significance of even such marginal increase. Admissions to only the economics course offered by the college remain open with a minimum score of 97.75 per cent. Admissions for students belonging from the ‘General’ category have closed for all other courses under the Arts stream in the third cut-off released by Lady Shri Ram College for Women.

Ojasvini Trivedi, an aspiring psychology student, talks about a probable reason behind this fierce competition for admissions to the best colleges of DU. She says, “I applied to DU with an inclination to pursue psychology from LSR. I scored a 95% but after the release of the first and the second cut-off, I struggled. These cut-offs aren’t for humans. I’ve finally submitted my papers for admission to Jesus and Mary College because the percentage requirement for JMC was relatively lesser for almost all courses. It is also a well-known college so my parents are also happy.”

Hindu College, known for its department of Political Science, also increased the minimum marks required in this year’s admission. In the second cut-off, it closed its admission for its vantage course along with a closure of admissions into BA History (Hons) and BA Programme. The new list showcases a closure of admissions into 14 courses out of a total of 18 courses offered by the college. The admissions to many courses still remain open at Ramjas College however the lowest stipulation remains at 95.5 per cent for History (Hons). The open courses also include economics, English and political science.

St. Stephen’s College of Delhi University has stated a minimum 98 per cent for admission into Bachelors in Economics.

A minimum of 75 per cent in mathematics has been mentioned as the “rider” or an obligation for admission into the course. Being an autonomous body within the University, Stephen’s College not only issues a merit list but also shortlists the students further on the basis of personal interviews. This further limits the scope of admission for many applicants.

For those who were inclined towards a bachelor’s degree in the field of commerce and business studies, this year’s cut-offs have been relatively less harsh. Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), one of the most sought-after colleges for such students, retained the requisite marks from last year.

A former student from the Shri Ram School Aravali, Arjun Verma, said, “Each year the cut-offs are high. It’s not surprising anymore. Thankfully, the cut-offs are more realistic than last 2-3 years. With a 91 per cent score, I can only hope, I get into a good college. As a commerce student, my only other alternative is studying for chartered accountancy.”

The second cut-off witnessed a minimal decrease of 0.25 per cent in the merit requirement for pursuing Economics and by 0.4 per cent for admissions into Bachelors of Commerce at SRCC. The admissions have now closed for both the undergraduate courses available at the college

A former student from the Shri Ram School Aravali, Arjun Verma, mentions, “Each year the cut-offs are high. It is not surprising anymore. Thankfully, the cut-offs are more realistic than last 2-3 years. With a 91 per cent score, I can only hope I get into a good college. As a commerce student, my only other alternative is studying for chartered accountancy.”

Among other institutions, Sri Venkateswara College had prescribed a minimum requirement of 97.5 per cent in its first cut off list for seeking admission in Bachelors of Commerce. As matters stand now, following the release of the third cut-off list, the minimum percentage required has only reduced by 1 per cent. Further illustrating the how student choices — in terms of college and program preference — become restricted despite high scores.

While it can be argued that these high cut-offs are simply a result of high marks obtained by a large number of students in Board exams, it also raises questions about the grading system. Perhaps, a uniform grading system could be a useful way forward.

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