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Miles away from target

There are no short cuts to admission in top Delhi University colleges. But that’s not how overzealous parents think when it comes to gaining entry through the sports quota, reports Ajai Masand.

other Updated: Jun 22, 2009 23:36 IST
Ajai Masand

There are no short cuts to admission in top Delhi University colleges. But that’s not how overzealous parents think when it comes to gaining entry through the sports quota.

In two blatant cases of how the country’s faulty sports system is abused, marksmen, who, by virtue of participating as wildcards in this year’s national championships in Thodupuzha, are seeking admission in St Stephen’s, little realising that they do not even come close to the cut-off set by the college.

“The problem is more pronounced in shooting trials where we have to contend with marksmen with wildcards. We have specifically mentioned the cut-off score at 85 per cent, which means a shooter should have shot a minimum score of 510 out of 600 in the national championships. But we have marksmen who have shot just 400-plus scores, this despite the fact that we announced the cut-off quite some time back,” says SK Chakravortty of the Physical Education department, St Stephen’s.

A senior sports official of another college says: “The moment you try to drive sense into them, they start coercing you to accommodate their ward. In this age of right to information, we cannot even think of doing such a thing.”

“We have relaxed the cut-off by one per cent. In the nationals, anyone shooting below 86 per cent is penalised Rs 3,000, but I’m not sure if these shooters have paid the fine,” said Chakravortty.

“The problem emanates from the plethora of wildcards distributed by the federations. The non-performers should not be even given participation certificates. The federations should realise that these certificates carry no weightage in college admissions. We only give weightage (15 per cent) to those who bag medals at the national and international level and another 15 per cent for the trials,” he said.

“Stephen’s is one of those colleges which videotapes each and every trial and calls qualified Sports Authority of India coaches,” he says.

“Sports administrators, being either politicians or senior government officials, gift their wards wildcards and then come knocking on our doors…the nationals have become a tool for admission seekers,” says another DU sports official.