2.5 point handicap puts science stream aspirants at disadvantage

  • Shradha Chettri, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jun 26, 2015 15:39 IST

Science students, who were traditionally known to hold an edge over those from other streams thanks to a lower cut-off, lose their advantage this year.

Delhi University this year has introduced a 2.5 percentage point disadvantage rule, which implies that a student will lose 2.5% of his marks if he/she opts for a subject that they have not studied in Class 12.

So on Thursday, the first day of admission to Delhi University, this new rule left many students — who were already shocked by the university’s high first cut-off — in a lurch.

“I am from the science stream and wanted to pursue a degree in Political Science (hons) in DU. But this 2.5% disadvantage rule has ruined my chances,” said Neha, an aspirant at Venkateshwara College. On Thursday, the general trend was students from the science stream wanting to pursue Economics (honours) but missing out due to the high cut-off.

Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) and Lady Shri Ram College (LSR) both declared the highest cut-off for Economics (hons) at 98.25%.

The rule, if worked out in numbers, implies that a science student wanting to pursue Economics (hons) should technically have obtained 100.75% in order to be able to bag a seat in either SRCC or LSR.

JM Khurrana, Dean of Students Welfare (DSW), however clarified: “The university has made it clear that there is no 100 percent cutoff. No advantage has been listed.”
“I am a science student and wanted to study Economics (Hons). I would have easily qualified if there was no disadvantage but with the 2.5 cut, my percentage is working out to 96.25 per cent,” said Sumi Verma, an aspirant from Lucknow at Hansraj College.

School principals too felt that this kind of restriction should not have been imposed.

“I do not think this is rational. Students should be given freedom to decide on what they want to do,” said LV Saigal, Bal Bharati School principal.
Further, this disadvantage increases to up to 5 per cent if a science/commerce student wants to opt for BCom or BA programme courses.

Justifying the criteria, Ravinder Vig, professor at Gargi College said: “There is a disadvantage for those who swap their stream. I am a political science teacher and every year we get some students who have no idea about the basics. It becomes difficult for them to cooperate and eventually lose interest in the subject. So this eligibility criterion is a must.”

With inputs from Aditi Juneja and Hephzibah Lakhanpal

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