FEBRUARY 24, 2021
Delhi University is considering an admission process based on the Central University Common Entrance Test (CUCET) and board results. A proposal in this regard has been sent to the UGC. If passed, it will be the most significant change in the admission process for one of the most sought after universities in the country.
What is the proposed new method of admission?
DU has proposed that admissions to the university be done on the basis of both the Class 12 marks and the CUCET. “The Centre is coming out with the CUCET, for which several committee meetings have been held and it will be finalised shortly. Once that is done, we will be having weightage for both CUCET and board examinations with 50% for each,” said Acting Vice-Chancellor P C Joshi, who is part of the committee set up by the Centre to consider a common entrance test for universities. He said in case of Class 12 marks, percentile would be considered as opposed to percentage to establish a more level playing field.
How does DU conduct admissions until now?
Undergraduate admissions for most courses in DU take place on the basis of Class 12 marks. Colleges release cut-offs based primarily on the Class 12 board performance of students, but also keeping in mind the number of applications received and the demand for certain courses. Applicants calculate their percentage based on their best four scoring subjects and can seek admission if they clear the cut-off. No student who clears the cut-off can be denied admission by any college as long as they do it within the stipulated time frame.
What was the issue with the old system and why has DU proposed to change it?
As marks scored by Class 12 students balloon each year, DU’s cut-offs have also touched unimaginable heights. In 2020, a new record was set when the Lady Shri Ram College declared a cut-off of 100% for three courses, and 30 courses across colleges had a cut-off of over 99%.
The CBSE and some state boards like Tamil Nadu have been accused by teachers and university officials of inflating marks, skewing the admission in favour of students who appear from this board. Given all this, there has been a long standing demand to shift to an entrance based system.
How has the new system been received by the university community? Are there any apprehensions?
DU is still to officially put out any notification or circular in the public domain stating that such a proposal had been sent to the UGC. However, the response to the move till now has been largely positive with some apprehensions. Shobha Bagai, who was Dean Admission last year, was of the view that Class 12 marks should be done away with as a criterion all together and only entrance be followed.
“The entrance test would have taken care of all the variation in marks between different boards… Why have two ways of testing students and put pressure on them?” she said.
Several others including principals have, however, stressed that Class 12 marks should be considered to keep the importance of the Board exams alive. “However, more weightage should be given to the entrance,” said Hindu College Principal Anju Srivastava.
There is also the question of calculating percentile from Class 12 marks. While most believe it is a better system compared to percentage, former Deputy Dean (DSW) Gurpreet Tuteja said calculating percentile for each student would be very difficult for the university.