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DU’s quota conundrum

DU’s quota conundrum
It is not only students – belonging to Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBC) – who get relaxation in cut-offs for admission to under-graduate programmes at Delhi University (DU). Besides, the university offers concession in admissions to candidates with special needs. Foreign students, too, get relaxation in admissions.

As constitutionally mandated, the university reserves 15 per cent of the total seats for SC, 7.5 per cent for ST and 27 per cent for OBC candidates. 

According to the University rules, the SC/ST seats cannot be given to students from other categories, even if they remain unoccupied. This year, sources in the university said, that close to 2,000 seats in SC, ST and OBC categories are yet to be occupied.

Besides, the university has earmarked some seats for students with special needs, children of armed forces and Kashmiri migrants. Seats reserved in these segments are known as ‘supernumerary seats’.

For differently-abled candidates, three per cent of the seats is reserved in each course. Similarly, five per cent of the seats is earmarked for children and widows of defence personnel. Wards and widows of defence personnel, killed/ disabled in action and those who died in peace time, are eligible for the relaxation.

Then, there are sports and extra-curricular activities (ECA) quota. Each college has to reserve not more than five per cent seats for each course under the ECA and sports quota. 

The sports, for which university admits students, are  –badminton, baseball, chess, cricket, hockey, softball,  squash, shooting, table tennis, tennis and athletics.

There are two categories under which the university admits candidates on the basis of sports quota. First is direct admission i.e., without trials. Under this, the candidates should have participated or represented the country in international competitions such as Olympics, Commonwealth Games and others. 

Under the second category, applicants have to clear a mandatory practical test also called trials. Trials carry 50 marks and sports certificates furnished by the aspirants weighs another 50. 

This year, the university selected students under the sports and ECA quota centrally. Earlier, colleges used to select students under the quots invidually. “Once the students get admitted to colleges, there is no evaluation and monitoring of their performance,” said Sandeep Kumar, a researcher in the Department of Physical Education, DU.

For admission under ECA quota, applicants can appear for trials in 11 segments such as dance, choreography, vocal, instrumental, theatre, creative writing and others. 

In the just-concluded admissions, a centralised ECA admission committee, consisting of experts from the National School of Drama, Sri Ram Centre for Performing Arts and Indian Council for Cultural Relation, judged the candidates. Students have to go through two levels – preliminary and final trials.

In addition, five per cent supernumerary quota is given to foreign students and Kashmiri migrants. This year, many seats in the Kashmiri migrant category have remained unoccupied. “These seats are over the normal seats in each course. So, there is no problem if the supernumerary quota seats go vacant,” said JM Khurrana, Dean of Students’ Welfare, DU.

St Stephens College, being a minority institution, does not follow DU’s centralised admission rules. It reserves 50 per cent of the seats for Christian candidates. The college also provides supernumerary admission under sports quota and children of working or retired employees of the college and those who opt for Urdu as an optional language in BA programme.

Of the remaining 50 per cent seats in the non-Christian category, 17 per cent are assigned to SC/ST, three per cent to differently-abled and remaining 80 per cent to the general category.

The admission rule-book
  •   15%, 7.5% and 27% seats reserved for SC, ST and OBC categories, respectively
  •   This year, close to 2,000 seats under SC, ST and OBC categories are vacant
  •   Supernumerary seats: The university has earmarked seats for students with special needs, children of armed forces, Kashmiri migrants, foreigners and under ECA/ sports quota
  •   3% seats is reserved in each course for disabled students
  •   5% seats are reserved each for children/ widows of defence personnel; Kashmiri migrants,  foreigners and under ECA/ sports category

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