For Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe candidates seeking admission to Delhi University colleges, the competition is as tough as it is for general category candidates.
A look at last year’s first cutoff list for SC candidates reveals some high scores. For instance, the first cutoff for a popular course like BA (H) Political Science in Hindu College was 89.63. For Kirori Mal College it was 80.75. While Hindu has two seats for SCs in political science, KMC has three.
“In reserved category the number of seats in colleges is limited and, therefore, the first cutoff seems high. At this point all students are allotted seats according to their preference and marks scored in Class XII,” said Suman Verma, Joint Dean, Students’ Welfare. “For example, if out of the 6,000 SC students 200 apply for the two political science seats at Hindu College, then the cutoff will automatically soar,” Verma said.
This point is often lost on students who assume that a quota will ensure a seat in their preferred colleges irrespective of their percentage. “Last year, the first cutoff for Sociology at Sri Venkateswara College was 83.25 per cent for ST candidates. A boy who had scored 83 per cent did not qualify. But he refused to believe it until I showed him the list of candidates who had scored above him,” Verma said.
The number of undergraduate seats at DU for SCs is 6,300 and for STs 3,148. This year DU has received a little over 12,000 SC/ST forms.
Political science, history, sociology and geography are the most sought after courses by SC students, who aim to qualify for the civil services. “Another major chunk wants to study BA Programme and then go on to do a BEd,” said Verma. For boys, the popular choice is BCom programme.
In BCom (H), the first candidate to get through SRCC under the ST quota in 2007 had scored 93.25 per cent. In SC, the highest score was 91.25 per cent. Such high cutoffs also ensure that SC/ST students often do not get a course in a college of their choice, thus leading to dropouts. “For SC students the needs are different. They sometimes lack the resources to travel to colleges far off. Secondly, language can be a problem. So those who are not conversant in English don’t want to pick elite colleges,” said Verma.
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