What's in a name? Apparently, a lot, as it can even cost you admission to your desired college.
When 17 year-old Nanki Singh, went to seek admission into economics honours at Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College (SGBT Khalsa College), a Sikh minority institution, college authorities told her she would not be considered as a minority applicant.
The reason? She does not have 'Kaur' in her name. "Though there is no minority quota in SGBT Khalsa College, students of the Sikh minority are given a relaxation of marks. The Sikh religion stipulates that a Sikh girl must have a 'Kaur' and a Sikh boy must have 'Singh' somewhere in their names," said Principal Jaswinder Singh. "If a student does not have the required name, then they must file an affidavit that they are changing their name. To have Kaur in the surname is a must for any girl seeking relaxation in admission cut-off at SGTB Khalsa," said Jaswinder Singh, principal, SGTB Khalsa College.
The college prospectus does not mention a clause on the name.
"We find it amusing that the college would have such a rule, as we are followers of the Sikh religion and a minority," said Komal Sidhu, Nanki's mother.
"Our daughter has never used Kaur in her name. All her certificates and passport say Nanki Singh, which is also a Sikh name,” said Komal Sindhu, Nnaki’s mother.
“College authorities suggested we file an affidavit to change our daughter's name, but to get a name change in the passport and several other documents is a cumbersome task. So, we have now given up trying to get her in the college.”