Delhi University (DU) had not seen this coming.
The sale of over 4,500 application forms for the Combined Aptitude Test for English (CATE) has stumped the English Department, which had initially anticipated and prepared itself to conduct the examination for roughly 2,500 applicants.
In wake of the great rush, the department has had to increase the number of the examination centres from four to 10 for the test scheduled on June 17.
This year, the entrance examination is the single channel to secure a seat in English (Honours) at 12 DU colleges. It is the first time the university is conducting a common test for the course. Delhi College of Arts and Commerce, Kamla Nehru College, Hindu College and Indraprastha College are those affiliated to CATE.
“Till Friday our sales had crossed the 4,500 mark and we still have a day left for the form sales to close. Keeping the last day rush in mind, we think the final figure can possibly touch 6,500,” said Tapan Basu, associate professor of English at Hindu College.
So the university has arranged for additional three centres at North Campus — Hindu College, SGTB Khalsa College and Indraprastha College — and another three at South Campus — Maitreyi College, Sri Venkateswara Collage and Motilal Nehru College.
“We have also made extra seating arrangements in the original four centres. Arts Faculty (North Campus), Arts Faculty, DU (South Campus), Zakir Hussain College and Maharaja Agrasen College together have created an additional 800 seats for the test,” added Basu.
The idea of securing admission in English (Honours) at some of the best colleges irrespective of one’s Class XII performance is clearly a hit with the students, which has consequently led to the great rush.
The 12 participating colleges will give 70 per cent weightage to the CATE score and 30 per cent to marks scored in Boards.
“I read a lot and am quite interested in literature. I have scored 72 per cent in English in Class XII. If admissions were entirely dependent on marks then I could not have dreamed of getting admission in good colleges like Hindu. But now I stand a chance,” said Vipasha Singh (17), a candidate.