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HindustanTimes Sun,28 Dec 2014
The hurdle called cut-offs
Parnika Singhal, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, July 09, 2014
First Published: 13:04 IST(9/7/2014)
Last Updated: 13:08 IST(9/7/2014)

Confusion and anxiety have been the only words in my dictionary over the past few months. Excited over the Board results, nervous about the cut-offs, and confused about the course, college and the admission process, we were relieved to some extent with the return of the three-year format and reintroduction of the programme. But our happiness did not last long for it was  overshadowed by the  sky-rocketing cut-off lists. Delhi University issued its first cut-off list after a week’s delay on July 1. It was a shocker for most aspirants while a delight for the rest.

The 100% cut-off was back. As many as three colleges have 100% cut-offs for their  computer science courses. Even speculation over the high cut-off lists could not avert the possibility of over-admission.

With psychology, English, history and mass communication being the most sought -after courses, most of the ‘good’ colleges complained of over-admissions after the declaration of the first list itself.

To add to the confusion, people were unsure if the university still followed the first-come-first-serve method and whether students should enroll the very first day. Worse was the plight of those coming from other states. They were informed by colleges that they missed out on an important document or the format of the document had  to be changed. They had to get back to their state and ask for a fresh document, return to Delhi and manage a seat within the prescribed time limit of three days (9am to 1pm).

When there is too much confusion and people are not aware of the admission procedure, they often end up having a tussle with the college faculty.  Both SGTB Khalsa College and Lady Shri Ram College had discrepancies in their online and offline cut-off lists which added to the confusion and led to  candidates wasting their time.

Moreover, with the re-introduction of additional eligibility criteria (that varies with each course and college) there is a lot of clarity required on the admission process.

In such a scenario, there are many students who may be thinking of other options such as taking up professional courses  or may also consider going abroad for further studies. But believe me, there is nothing like pursuing your bachelor’s degree from Delhi University. It is ironic that students from other countries value our education system but we tend to get swayed by courses offered  by foreign universities, especially in a scenario when the cut-offs are high and competition tough. But we will not run away….So here we are, your campus journalists, narrating our experiences of the great ‘madmission’ process.

Anwesha Padhy, Amity International School

The moment of truth

At this moment the one word that adequately sums up the emotions cluttering my mind is ‘confused’. And perhaps ‘dejected’ comes a close second. One look at the cut-off list will clarify why I feel the way I do. Having worked extremely hard for the past two years, I scored 96.5% but at this moment, it feels more like I flunked.

There was a time when anyone scoring above 95% was looked at with wonder and awe. Today, that level of respect is reserved only for ninety eight percenters.

I will probably make it to the journalism and mass communication course at a ‘good’ college but only in the second list. I know there are thousands of other students who are in my position. It is the supply-demand mismatch that threatens to destroy many promising futures. We are a country of bright minds. There is a pressing need to set up more world-class universities to accommodate all deserving candidates.

As for me, I feel like locking myself up in my room and reading my favourite book to escape this frustrating reality.

But I guess I have to face my fears. I have secured a seat in the course of my choice as a safety measure. And let me tell you it was not an easy task. Getting hold of all the certificates,  then waking up at the crack of dawn, waiting in a long queue in the sun; it was a tough task. But I managed. It’s about my future after all!

Rishabh Suri, Ramjas School

A mad scramble for admissions

The first cut-off list created quite a flutter among the Class 12 students.Mostly hovering around 90% and above, the students meeting the cut-off requirements, wanted to take admission in the colleges of their choice as soon as possible. The reason was that our parents were of the opinion that admissions in colleges were on a  first-come-first-serve basis.

What this means is that the students who fill the forms early will be assured of a seat. For instance,  if 150 seats attracted 200 students, then these 200-odd students will get admission, and the college will not accept more applications.

There would also not be any consequent cut-off lists.This fear was the reason for the huge rush at North Campus.What added to the confusion was the wrong cut-offs put up by some colleges,which made for a very stressful situation for the aspirants from far-off places.

Delhi University later clarified that this news was incorrect. Any student meeting the required cut-off at his/her desired college would get admission, no matter how many seats had already got filled up,thus reducing the mad scramble for securing a seat.

Yusra Hasan, Mater Dei School

A cauldron of confusion

As the tussle over FYUP drew to a close, the much-anticipated DU admission process finally commenced. But respite for all the aspiring candidates was short- lived due to the ‘absurd’ first cutoff list and the huge amount of confusion that prevailed over the major changes in the undergraduate programme from the current FYUP to the earlier three-year programme.

It was in such a ‘tense’ atmosphere that ‘worked up’ students  moved on to accomplish their primary aim on the first day of admissions - to secure a seat wherever they met the cut-off!

I personally had a very smooth experience and thank God for that. But my friends, even those who secured 97.5%,went to LSR to get themselves enrolled in a journalism course the cut-off for which was 96%, as displayed on the college’s website. They were informed by the college that there was an additional criteria that they would have to meet. The condition was that they should have had done a course in mass media at the school level. This was not mentioned on the website.

Apoorv Gupta, Cambridge School

Pick the best apple in the bucket

The recent infamous tussle between DU and UGC over FYUP has given more than one reason for students to worry. First of all, aspirants considering admissions in other universities were impatiently waiting for colleges to announce their cut-offs. Then came the confusion over courses and the admission criteria.

For most students, the worst part was the rolling back of courses like BTech and BMS. I myself wasn’t sure about it, but my cousin sister was excited about taking up BTech from DU. While the announcement made me finalise BTech from SRM, it certainly didn’t go well with my cousin. I am sure that hundreds, if not thousands, would have felt really bad about this sudden change that will now make them think of other options.

You’ll see many people talking and writing about what made the cut-offs higher and how politics rule over everything including the education system, but that’s no help to us.

The best solution is to stay positive, don’t panic and look for the best apple in the bucket. It’s time we finalise the name of the institute with which we intend being associated for the next four years (for life actually) and start preparing ourselves for this new exciting journey that will teach us many lessons, give us lot of experience and exposure.

Neeraj V Murali, Rishabh Public School

‘I’m waiting for the next cut-off list’

As the first cut-offs were released by all colleges, surprisingly in the evening, the hopes of many were shattered into smithereens. Coincidentally, most Delhi University-affiliated websites crashed too due to a server overload as students from all over the country were frantically clicking the link cut-offs list I 2014-2015 - a matter of life and death!

I was one of them. At that point in time I had every possible list open but ten minutes later, I was sitting dejected. Despite having scored top notch marks, I had qualified for English honours in only one college of North Campus. So disappointing! But having been advised to take what comes my way, I decided to get myself admitted to this college.

As I entered the college premises at about 8.40am, I was smugly patting myself on the back for having pre-planned things and assumed I would probably be the first one to get admitted.  I almost fainted when I saw a 200-odd crowd before me. I had joined the never-ending line of the cut-off breakers. After a long wait, I received an application form that I filled carefully and returned to stand in the queue. Though my seat does seem confirmed in one college (hopefully!), I am still waiting  anxiously for the next cut-offs to be announced; maybe there is still a seat left for me; a seat of my choice!

Parnika Singhal, St Thomas’ School

Certain uncertainty

This year has witnessed uncertainity at its best — from news of the Delhi University scrapping its BMS entrance, then re-introducing it to doing away with group discussions. After 89 days of rigorous study and preparation for the entrance exams, we finally sat for the most-awaited BMS entrance exam. While we were coming out  of the exam hall, smiling and confident that we would be selected, we came to know that BMS had been scrapped. What a waste of our precious time! There was only one course in Delhi University that was almost equivalent to SRCC and attracted aptitude rather than rote memorising and that, too, was gone. It has now been split into BBS, BFIA and BBA. Not only this but the admission process that was earlier the responsibility of FMS will now be managed by the Faculty of Applied Social Sciences and  Humanities, South Campus. This means that if any candidate qualifies for the course , he/she will  now have to go to South Campus for counselling.

To add to the dilemma of students weighing the pros and cons of course over college, struggling to resist the temptation of choosing a college for its brand, is the issue of dual admissions and original documents.

Earlier, if a  student chose to reserve a seat in a college and was lucky to make it to the next cutoff list, he/she could withdraw their admission from the first college and enroll in the next college. The university has now come up with guidelines that if a student is found to be enrolled in two courses at the same time they will  lose their seat in both the colleges. Moreover, the colleges will not allow admission without the original documents that are submitted in the first college. These may take a day or two to be withdrawn.

Regardless of all that’s been happening, there is only one thing  during these months that was certain….it was uncertainity!


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