For girls aspiring to get admission in Delhi University's St Stephen's College next year may find it a tough job. The college's supreme council has decided to reserve 40% of the seats for men.
Though college staff members have trashed the decision, it may make a comeback for next years' admission process.
"In our meeting with principal Thampu he said the quota will not be implemented from this academic year. We may have to put up a fight next year again," said a senior faculty member, who didn't wish to be identified.
But while the council's decision has been denounced by all faculty members, some do believe that the ratio of men to women in the college is not ideal in humanities courses.
"There are courses such as philosophy and English where the percentage of male students is merely 20%, which is not ideal and will result in ghettoisation of classrooms. Reservation, however, is not a way to make deserving male candidates take interest in the course. We need to sit together and deliberate upon creative ways to deal with this imbalance," said a senior teacher, on condition of anonymity.
The proposal to reserve seats from men not only elicited negative responses from teachers but also from students, past and present.
"When it should pride itself on the way it has dealt with women students, the institution has instead taken a step backwards. If students are capable enough to make it into this college, their gender should not really be a deterrent," said Prakrit Mehra, a student who graduated from the college in 2010 and is now pursuing his masters at Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Current students, meanwhile, could not believe that such a discussion had actually taken place.
"This is preposterous! We have always felt that the college is a gender neutral environment but if this quota comes into force it will damage the character and reputation of the college," said a MA student, who did not wish to be named.