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Home / Education / Covid effect: St Stephen’s College may do away with written test, conduct online interviews this year

Covid effect: St Stephen’s College may do away with written test, conduct online interviews this year

The decision to do away with the written test component was taken by the college’s governing body (GB) on Tuesday, its chairperson Bishop Warris Masih said. A detailed official statement is, however, awaited.

education Updated: Jul 01, 2020 10:20 IST
Fareeha Iftikhar
Fareeha Iftikhar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
St Stephen’s College, New Delhi
St Stephen’s College, New Delhi

In a shift from its usual admission process, Delhi University’s St Stephen’s College is considering doing away with the written test component for enrolment to its undergraduate courses and may switch to online interviews this year in order to maintain social-distancing norms amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The decision to do away with the written test component was taken by the college’s governing body (GB) on Tuesday, its chairperson Bishop Warris Masih said. A detailed official statement is, however, awaited.

St Stephen’s College, being a religious minority institute, has its own admission process and reserves 50% seats for Christian students. After releasing cutoffs for its undergraduate courses, the college conducts tests and interviews, which together have a weightage of 15 marks. The remaining 85 marks are decided on the performance of candidates in their class 12 exams.

In a statement published on its official website on Tuesday evening, the college said the admission process this year will be completely online. It, however, did not specify anything about the scrapping of the written test and conducting online interviews.

St Stephen’s offers around 450 seats in 11 undergraduate courses, including BA (Hons) in English, History, Economics, Philosophy, Sanskrit, BSc (Hons) in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry, among others.

“It will not be possible for the college to call students for the written test to the campus. So, the governing body has decided to do away with it. It has also been decided not to conduct trials for admissions under the sports quota. The interview component will be held online and it will carry 15 marks and the rest of the 85 marks will be given on the basis of class 12 performance. The college will soon release a detailed notification,” Bishop Warris Masih,

A teacher representative in the GB confirmed the development. “It’s alright to scrap the written test component considering the prevailing situation but it will be a nightmare to take virtual interviews. St Stephen’s shortlists at least 5 to 7 candidates for each seat for entrance and interviews every year. It won’t be possible for the teachers to take so many interviews online. It will be an injustice to the candidates who do not have proper access to the internet. The teachers’ representatives opposed virtual interviews,” the faculty member said, requesting anonymity.

Another teacher representative said the interview component should also be removed for this year. “DU’s admission committee has also advised doing away with the interviews. Online interviews will create a lot of confusion and panic among students,” said a member, who wished not to be named.

Delhi University’s admission committee has already decided to do away with the interview and group discussion components for admission to various postgraduate courses, including MBA and MBE. “The suggestion was for the departments. The committee did not send any such recommendation to the colleges since they generally do not take interviews for admissions in undergraduate courses. St Stephen’s is an exception,” said Arun Attree, a member of the university’s admission committee.

Despite several attempts, St Stephen’s principal John Varghese did not respond to calls and messages sent for a comment on the decisions taken during the GB meeting on Tuesday. When contacted, the college’s admission tutor Mahesh Gopalan said, “All details will be outlined in the prospectus that will be released in a day or two.”

The college website meanwhile on Tuesday evening said the admission process this year will be online. “All candidates must register at the University of Delhi’s registration site before the official deadline. All candidates must register at St Stephen’s College using the official application form clearly indicating their DU registration number. The prospectus will be available on the college website soon.”

“The application forms will be available online in the college website a few days after the prospectus has been uploaded,” it added.

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