Students from all over India apply for admission to Delhi University (DU) — one of the prestigious universities in India. However, I feel the process offers a raw deal to Delhi students. I feel sad to see that thousands of Delhi students are not able to get admission in their own city where their parents have lived for years. In this context there is an urgent need to change the admission process.
I feel entrance tests need to be conducted for every course in DU. This is based on four facts. First, there have been an increasing number of cases relating to fake degrees, fake mark sheets and fake colleges, and no process is in place to verify all admission seekers.
Second, we have been hearing about large-scale cheating in board examinations, especially in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The students using these means are bound to get more marks than others.
Third, 70% of the students in DU colleges are from other states. In other words, a large number of students passing the CBSE exams from Delhi are not able to get admission in Delhi.
Fourth, every state has its own education board and there is a wide divergence in terms of courses, examination systems and procedures. Thus, the qualification for students will also differ.
Given these, how are the marks secured in board exams a valid criterion for merit while securing a seat in DU?
The graduate courses of DU received a record of 290,000 applications this year. The university has 54,000 seats, which means for every seat in a DU college, there are a minimum of five to six applicants. The problem is that the number of seats has remained same for the last five years.
Isn’t it a grave injustice to the people living in Delhi, who have made this city their home, who have contributed to the development of city but can’t get their children admitted to colleges in Delhi? Many talented students are being forced to pursue their degree through correspondence courses or through private colleges outside Delhi where they have to pay a hefty fee.
For years I have been raising this issue and now all the political parties agree that Delhi students should get preference in DU. They should get a concession of 4% during admissions to DU colleges.
Why does the Delhi government not reserve 85% of seats in its 21 colleges affiliated to DU for Delhi students, while the IP University, Netaji Subhash Institute of Technology, Dr Ambedkar University and the IGIT have reserved 85% of the seats for Delhi students?
Of the 54,000 seats in DU colleges, after reservation, only 17,000 seats are left for the general students. Out of this if 70% are taken by students from outside Delhi, what would be left for the Dilliwalah!
I also understand the concerns of students from other states who want admission to DU colleges. Why don’t we take an initiative to open franchise/branches of good colleges like SRCC, St Stephens and Hindu in other states of the country — much like the Delhi Public School, which has opened branches in different states and even outside the country.
This would ensure that students don’t have to run around for quality education. Also, an increase in the number of good colleges will ensure that students can study in their own respective states. This will also reduce the expenditure on higher education for parents and, most importantly, it would give us a large number of young people who are well-educated and can secure India’s future.
Vijay Goel is Rajya Sabha MP and former president of Delhi University Students Union. The views expressed are personal.