Delhi University’s first cut-off list this year has followed the conventional trend, touching over 98% for certain courses. But there is more to it than meets the eye - the additional criteria laid down by the university means that the cut-offs have crossed even 100% for some courses. A ‘penalty’ imposed on students who change their streams means they have to show 100%-plus scores.
Students applying for the economics (hons) programme at Shri Ram College of Commerce, Hindu, Hansraj, Kirori Mal and IP College for Women who did not have economics in Class 12 have to score over 100% in the best of four subjects to secure a seat. At Lady Shri Ram (LSR), applicants need to have an aggregate score of 100.5% to bag a seat in the psychology (hons) programme. Those from the science or humanities stream seeking admission to the BCom (hons) programme at Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma (ARSD) College, LSR College and College of Vocational Studies (CVS) need 103% as the aggregate score. For calculating the best four percentage for BA and BCom programmes, one language (core/elective/functional) and any three elective subjects can be chosen. A disadvantage of up to 5% on best four percentage will be imposed if there is a change of stream.
Similarly, at Hindu, IP College, Miranda House and LSR, those opting for the BA (programme) will be at a disadvantage. One of the reasons that take the cut-off beyond 100% is the 2.5% penalty that applies to those candidates who change their stream while seeking admission to a particular course.
For those applying to BSc (hons) computer science at the CVS and IP College, a perfect score of 100% is required if you had science without computer science in Class 12.
Though colleges are preparing for an admissions rush, the reasons for the cut-offs crossing 100% is not just hidden in the admissions policy. “If the Boards are giving such high marks, there is very little that the colleges can do. The 2.5% penalty rule was announced just a month back which is unfair to students who want to change their stream. The students should be informed about and prepared for such rules right from the time when they are in Class 11. It is unfair to suddenly spring up such rules when options are not available to students. If the cut-offs are lower, the admissions will be slower. We have to go down cautiously in the subsequent cut-off lists. We are constrained by the number of seats and no provision for entrance exams or interviews to further screen students, therefore, we are heavily dependent on Class 12 marks to select students,” says Kanika K Ahuja, media coordinator and psychology professor, LSR.
Ahuja says that the high cut-offs for courses like psychology can be attributed to factors such as the number of applicants, demand for the subject, pool of students who are applying and number of seats. “It is challenging to try and fathom how many students are actually going to join a particular course out of the total number of applicants. This year, the admission form does not require a candidate to fill his course or college preferences,” adds Ahuja.
The story is similar at other colleges too. According to VK Kawatra, principal, Hansraj College, “Various Boards are giving unrealistic marks to students which is leading to such high cut-offs. It is not a true indicator of a student’s potential. High parental expectations are also leading to additional pressure on students.
Students are getting marks that they don’t deserve. Such high marks can be given in a few subjects but not all. Also, now everyone is eligible to apply for all courses which makes the cut-offs go beyond 100%. Last year, nearly 1,700 students got 100% marks and over 6,700 secured above 90%. We are getting twice the number of applications for every course which is a great risk as it can lead to over-admission. This, in turn, will lead to infrastructure issues, faculty shortage and the UGC grants proving to be insufficient. The time table will also be drastically affected. We can admit only about 5% extra students in a given course. The student-teacher ratio will be distorted. We have to still keep the admissions open even when seats are full.”
Kawatra says that students can expect only a 0.5% to 1% drop in the subsequent cut-off lists. However, there can be some respite for students in the subsequent lists. “There is no need to panic. The penalty clause is to provide more opportunities to same stream students first. The cut-offs will be more realistic in the next lists. The situation of more applications and fewer admissions is mote because of relatively higher cut-offs in the first list. Other stream candidates have hardly been admitted in the first list,” says Inder Jeet Dagar, principal, CVS.
What takes it beyond 100%
# Experts say that the high cut-offs for courses like psychology can be attributed to factors such as the number of applicants, demand for the subject, pool of students who are applying and number of seats
# Various Boards are giving unrealistic marks to students which is leading to such high cut-offs. It is not a true indicator of a student’s potential, say ­principals
# Also, now everyone is eligible to apply for all courses which makes the cut-offs go beyond 100%