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On the path to Delhi University

Here’s all that you need to know about the DU admissions process reports Vimal Chander Joshi

education Updated: May 05, 2010 09:31 IST
Vimal Chander Joshi

Numerous doubts, apprehensions and queries must be haunting the minds of thousands of young people, both from the Capital and outside, keen to study in Delhi University (DU). We asked DU officials for answers to some of the most common questions asked by students:

Are vocational subjects approved by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) taken into consideration while calculating the best-of-four-subjects’ percentage?
Yes, but with conditions. Only one vocational subject will be counted for admission to the honours programme, while the limit can be extended to two in the case of other programmes. For example, if you have financial marketing management as one of the vocational subjects in Class XII, you can choose one vocational subject (say) introduction to financial markets along with English and two elective subjects for entry to the honours programmes.

Vocational + English (or any other language) + two electives = best four for honours programme
In other programmes, you can take the liberty of considering two vocational subjects. In that case, best four can be computed in the following manner:
First vocational + second vocational + English + one elective = best four for a non-honours programme.
Please note that DU doesn’t offer ‘pass’ programmes any more.

I am keen to take admission in BA (Honours) in English and haven’t done well in Class XII. What can I do?
Don’t worry. Around a dozen colleges fill their seats through entrance tests and if you are genuinely interested, you should be able to get through as marks in the Class XII Board exams have little bearing on the admissions process.

I am apprehensive of writing an entrance test because these are conducted only when courses are considered ‘hot’. I am sure my chances of clearing them are bleak given the competition. Please help.

You are right. English Honours has become a hugely popular programme. But if you are well-versed in English literature to some extent, then you have good chances of qualifying. The test is basically meant to keep off those who don’t know what Shakespeare is known for. In the test you might be quizzed on the book that won Salman Rushdie the Booker, etc.

Do I need to fill only one centralised form for applying to any number of programmes in any number of colleges?
Yes. You may apply for any number of courses in any DU college. This also reduces the element of risk, because if you don’t get into the college of your choice, you’ll have other options available too.

There are a few exceptions, however, which require you to apply separately. These include admission under sports and extra curricular activities’ quotas, or disabled students’ quota. Also, a separate form ought to be filled for courses for which admission is through tests, such as in Bachelor of business economics, Bachelor of mass media and mass communication), Bachelor of business studies, BA in journalism (English or Hindi).

And remember, three colleges — St Stephen’s, Jesus & Mary and SGTB Khalsa — only accept separate and not the centralised forms.

Should I give preference to a course or college? Is it wise to choose a preferred programme from a B-list college instead of a not-so-hot one from an A-category college?
What you wish to study matters the most. Choice of college is certainly an important consideration but one must always choose course over college. Your career path will depend on the subjects you have studied in college. If you want to do MCA and are planning to study maths or computer science in college, then never choose zoology simply because a top campus college is calling you. Never lose sight of your ultimate career goal.

I have scored badly in chemistry. Can I use computer science instead of chemistry in calculating my physics-chemistry-maths score?
Yes you can, but only to gain a seat in BSc physical sciences or BSc (applied physical sciences — computer science).

I have scored badly in biology. Can I use biotechnology instead of biology to calculate my physics-chemistry-biology percentage?
Yes, you can for almost all the programmes.
Can I use computer science instead of maths in PCM?
Yes, but only in BSc (hons) in biological science. Remember, that you will have to show the best four for admission to this programme. The fourth subject can either be biology or biotechnology

What will happen if I don’t get into any good DU college?
All colleges are more or less the same. Each college is under Delhi University, which invariably ensures high standards of faculty, administration and infrastructure. The procedure for faculty selection is consistent across all colleges. All of them receive grants from the University Grants Commission (UGC), barring a few run by the Delhi government.

At the end of three years, you will receive a degree from the university, which won’t even mention the name of the college. Always remember that the college is known for its coveted DU tag. Don’t feel disheartened in case you get admission to any out-of-campus college. Score good marks in the first year and then try to migrate to a better-known campus college in the second year.

What will happen if I don’t make it anywhere in the university?
Don’t think on those lines as of now. However, even if this happens, you can join the School of Open Learning (SOL) where there is no restriction in terms of the number of seats. You can enrol there and then apply to a nearby college for “sitting” – a provision where you can attend classes in a DU college even though you haven’t got admission there (provided the principal gives you permission).

The degree you get from the SOL is the same as what you’ll get from any DU college. In this case also, you will have the option to migrate to a good college in the second year, provided the college has a vacant seat available.

Excerpts from an interactive session held in Delhi University sometime back between university officials and teachers from various schools in and around Delhi