English (Hons) applicants with commerce background have very little reason to cheer this year. In a bid to provide a level playing field to applicants from all streams, most of the Delhi University colleges — which till last year had an entrance test for English — have decided on differential cut-off marks for science, humanities and commerce applicants for their first list. And the high qualifying percentage for the Commerce category reiterates the colleges’ hesitance in absorbing these students for the English (H) course.
Take a sampler. While humanities and science background applicants to Kamla Nehru College need to score 87 and 89 per cent (best of four) respectively, commerce students are expected to have a minimum of 92 per cent.
In the case of Hindu College, applicants with commerce in Class XII should have at least scored 98 per cent. This is eight and five per cent more than the requirement for humanities and science students, respectively. The first cut-off list of Lady Shri Ram College gives four per cent negative weightage to commerce students in comparison to arts and science students, who need a minimum of 93 per cent to be eligible for admission to this course.
The cut-off for commerce students applying to Miranda House and Gargi College, too, is quite high. While for the former, a commerce category student should have scored a minimum aggregate of 94 per cent, The latter requires one to have 92 per cent.
“Our past experience tells us that commerce graduates are not really geared up to study English (H). This is partly why their cut-offs are higher,” said Asha Kohli, convener of admission, Kamla Nehru College. “The cut-off marks for the commerce candidates is more as these applicants are high scorers and definitely have an edge over others,” Ashma Sharma, teacher in-charge, Hindu College.
In fact, Hansraj College — which did not have an entrance test previously and had just one qualifying percentage for all streams till 2007 — has also adopted the differential cut-off rule from this year. The cut-off marks for humanities, science and commerce are 85, 87 and 89 per cent, respectively.
“For the last four to five years Hansraj has just had one cut-off percentage of 88 per cent for all streams. But with the commerce students scoring very high in English and over all, we decided to go for different cut-offs this year. Moreover, we would prefer to take in more humanities candidates,” said Mithuraj Dhusiya, teacher in-charge, English department, Hansraj College.
However, it’s not just humanities candidates, which are being preferred by top colleges for English (Honours). Those who’ve shown an interest and aptitude for literature at the Board level by opting for Elective English also have an edge over the rest.
While Ramjas College (which had an entrance test last year) is giving 10 per cent positive weightage in the aggregate cut-off to candidates with 60 per cent and above in elective English, Indraprastha College for Women is awarding two per cent positive weightage to applicants with a minimum of 75 per cent in the same. LSR, as announced earlier, is willing to provide a concession of two per cent in the aggregate cut-off for students with 80 and above in elective English.
“We have provided this extensive margin for students with Elective English because we are aware that not too many candidates nowadays opt for this subject. In fact there are some good schools in the Capital, which only teach Functional English. So the idea is to get in as many candidates with an interest in literature,” said Devraj Mukherjee, teacher in-charge of English admission, Ramjas College.
The cut-off marks for English (H) in Ramjas is 85 per cent for arts, 86 per cent for science and 90 per cent for commerce. So, say, a humanities student with 63 per cent in elective English will be eligible for admission to Ramjas with even with a best-of-four aggregate of 75 per cent.