HRD minister Smriti Irani’s assurance to Parliament that students from Jammu and Kashmir who have won the Prime Minister’s Special Scholarship (PMSSS) will be admitted to colleges of Delhi University in 2015 has drawn a mixed response from the students and their parents.
A majority of them still don’t find the minister’s statement reassuring because of their “harassment and humiliation” by admission authorities in various colleges in Delhi last year, when they went to the Capital for admissions. They say the ill treatment meted out to them is making them think twice about returning to Delhi and “begging” for admissions.
Mangal Das Bhagat, father of PMSSS winner Kanchan Bala, who was refused admission to Sri Venkateswara College, says, “We were virtually on our knees before officials of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), University Grants Commission (UGC) and DU colleges but no one listened to us. Each student spent about Rs. 40,000 to Rs. 50,000 on accommodation in Delhi and on inter-city travel for about 15 to 20 days. Some had nowhere to go so they spent nights in gurdwaras. Despite all our efforts, the colleges sent us away and the students lost an academic year. Can the government compensate us for all the humiliation and harassment?” However, if Kanchan got an offer from Sri Venkateswara College, Bhagat said she was interested in considering it.
Rachana Lakha, mother of Anmol Lakha, who was denied admission to Daulat Ram College, says, “After my daughter was refused admission, I admitted her in a private college in Jammu so that she could save an academic year. But if we get an opportunity in a reputed DU college, I will ask her to opt for it.”
However, some students like Khan Junaid Ul Islam, who was allotted St Stephen’s College and Azhar Javed, who was given a provisional admission certificate for Kirori Mal College, say they don’t intend to return to Delhi.
When AICTE was asked if students who were refused admission in 2014 would get new provisional admission letters for 2015, a senior official said, “the Students will have to reappear for counselling and get a new provisional admission certificate. The selection criteria will remain the same; it will be based on Class 12 marks. However, these students will have to compete with a fresh batch of students who will pass out this year.”
“According to the scheme, two seats under the supernumerary quota have been created in each college across the country and every year students would be shortlisted based on their Class 12 marks. Again, if two seats per year per college is the norm, what happens if these two seats go vacant in one academic year in a college? Will the college compensate and give four admissions in the following academic year? It seems unlikely,” the official added.