Despite the cut-offs starting at 99 per cent this year, most seats at Delhi University were taken before the second and third lists were released. This puts a question mark on many deserving students. Where do they go, asks Yashna Shetty
Securing 97 per cent in the Class XII board examination, Anusha (name changed) was one of the school-toppers. She was eagerly waiting for Delhi University to release its cut-off list, hoping that she might get admission in English literature at a top college under the very first list. Finally, when the first list was out on June 27, she was shattered to see that the marking criteria to almost every course started at a whopping 98 per cent.
With the DU cut-offs rising as high as 99 per cent this year, the question about our flawed education system comes to the fore, where even the bright students would find it hard to get admissions. As the cut-offs keep increasing each year, one can’t help but wonder how students can score high in subjects like Social Science and English, which are dependent on relative understanding and interpretation. The increasing marks slab requirement for the university means that a growing number of students is compelled to opt for private universities.
There are over 2.58 lakh applicants competing for around 63,000 seats this year and out of this, 23,000 seats were filled after the first cut-off itself. On July 3, when the second list was released, most of the seats were filled and admission to top colleges had been closed. While Hindu College had the highest cut-off for Political Science starting at 99 per cent, Lady Shri Ram, on the other hand, for the same subject started the list at 98 per cent and 98.75 per cent for Psychology. Jesus and Mary College’s cut-off for Psychology started at 99 per cent.
For Anusha, there wasn’t any way that she could qualify for any of her dream colleges. She managed to secure a seat in Hansraj College. “Despite getting 97 per cent, it was a struggle getting into colleges of the university. It made me feel below average,” she says.
A parent, whose son is currently studying in a private university, questions, “How does one manage to score 99 per cent in subjects like English, Social Science or even Sociology? Despite my son getting a decent percentage, he can’t even dream of getting into DU after one look at the cut-off list this year. Going abroad is too expensive. So the only option that is left is to apply at private colleges and universities, which is again not a very economically viable option.”
Nandita Narain, professor at St Stephen’s College and former president of Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA), feels that students from across the country are attracted to DU because it is “a combination of a lot of things — for instance, the fees are within affordable limits and lecture timings are very flexible and workable. It also provides a good extra-curricular exposure through its various cultural societies.” She says, “Over the years, I have seen students always preferring DU over private universities. The prime reason being the quality of education. Despite many problems such as the government cutting down funds for infrastructure, we haven’t gone below a certain level of expectations.”
However, talking about how the system of marking needs to be looked upon again, she says that the solution is not in changing the way we mark the students for their boards. “We need more government-funded universities to offer admissions for deserving students. Good quality and affordable government universities should be made and promoted. There should be more of investment in educational institutions as education is the most important thing to invest in right now.”
Narain thinks that there is no uniformity and proper system that the CBSE is following, “which is why students are scoring higher marks in even Humanities and Science. The absurd marking system of CBSE has forced us to introduce entrance examinations and prepare such high cut-off lists. I agree that it isn’t fair for the students. But there’s only much we can do.”
“The marks required each year and for every course at Delhi University are getting higher,” feels Sana Singh, a student of International Affairs at OP Jindal Global University, Sonepat. Her initial plan was to get into DU but that seemed to be the stuff of dreams. Not surprisingly, she opted for a private university at a phenomenally higher fee as compared to DU. Sana tells us that the cut-off for Psychology at LSR was around 98 per cent last year. She says, “I was getting a better offer at a private university where I could even choose elective subjects offered by various other courses such as English literature or Designing.” She feels that taking up an elective subject helps a student broaden his/her horizons. “I am not bound to a stringent curriculum,” Sana adds.
She says, “Another advantage is that the student also gets an opportunity to study at a well-reputed university abroad for one semester.”
If we talk about drawbacks, studying at a private university, beyond the expense, is seen as more of a comfort pad than a credible thinkpad as it comes with air-conditioned classrooms, world-class infrastructure, hostel for students, a low student to teacher ratio and many international tie-ups to prestigious foreign universities. Anusha feels that a central university’s degree is of more worth as compared to a private university’s. “A lot of exposure is involved as well,” says she.
The admission procedure for DU is said to be very cumbersome and includes waiting in queues for long hours in the heat, which sometimes ends up in being asked to go home and come back the next day. Whereas the private university’s admission procedures are said to be much easier and smoother, one of the disadvantages of having a higher fee, of course.
Both private and central universities come with their pros and cons. Private universities seem to be more promising in the future but the hefty price that comes with them will always be an issue. Although these universities claim that most of their students are on some scholarship or have taken loans, many students prefer Delhi University due to the low fees and most importantly, the name.
Tuesday, 09 July 2019 | Yashna Shetty | in Vivacity
You might also like
- Come next time July 9, 2019
- Market tanks in Budget distress July 9, 2019
- K’taka independents foil salvage bids July 9, 2019
- Special focus on infrastructural development in Kedarnath- CM July 9, 2019
- Under pressure Pritam refuses to quit on his own July 9, 2019