Colleges under Delhi University (DU) find themselves in a weird if not precarious position. The university colleges, with no prior experience in the matter, are having troubles setting cut-offs for applicants from the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe categories and those who have applied under various disability categories.
The university had decided to decentralise the admission process for these three categories from this year onwards. Aspirants for the reserved category this year, therefore, would be assigned colleges and courses by the university as they earlier had to go through an arduous process to get their college or subject changed.
While students are now free to change their preference from this year, the colleges understandably have no past experience to refer to, while deciding the cut-off mark for admissions.
Compounding the problem is the fact that applications for one particular course will reach a college that particularly offers that course, giving the authorities of the cradle no idea about the actual number of applicants who might be interested in joining the college.
"In such cases where the actual number of interested candidates is not very clear, we look at the past three years' cut-off. In this case we do not even have that. All colleges will tread with caution and declare high first cut-offs," said the principal of a north campus colleges.
According to the university, they too cannot help colleges in the matter.
"The way we did admission under the reserved categories usually is very different from how colleges will be forced to carry out the process this year. We would assign colleges to aspirants. They then will have to choose and no one knows how that will pan out," said a university official.
The colleges may be worried about the new process, but organisations working with the reserved category students are very happy with the new admission policy.
"The decentralisation has given a lot of choice to applicants this year. They can change colleges without having to worry about the long-winding process," said a member of Youth for Social Justice, an organisation that works with students from reserved categories.