DU gets highest-ever applications for undergraduate courses

Aug 31, 2020 11:53 PM IST

New Delhi: The registration process for admissions to various undergraduate, postgraduate, M Phil/PhD courses at Delhi University ended on Monday with 353,153 applications -- the highest ever --for around 70,000 undergraduate seats, the incharge of DU’s admission data said.

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Sanjeev Singh, head of DU’s Computer Centre, said this is the highest-ever applications received by the university. In 2019, 258,388 students had applied while 278, 544 applications were received in 2018.

According to data provided by the university, for postgraduate courses, over 146,996 applications were received while for MPhil/PhD courses, 21,699 applications had been submitted till Monday evening.

The highest number of applicants are from Delhi (142,526), followed by Uttar Pradesh (66,657), Haryana (50,701), Bihar (21,151), and Rajasthan (14,485). Of the 353,153 applicants, as many as 285,128 are from CBSE affiliated schools.

Gender-wise, 181,484 males applied this year compared to 171,681 females. Six candidates are for the ‘Other category’.

Under sports category, maximum number of applicants selected football (1,627), athletics (1,621), basketball (1,420), and cricket (1,092). For extra-curricular activities (ECA) category, NCC (3,876) and NSS (1,796) topped the list.

Though registrations have now been closed, students will be allowed to upload their documents such as marksheets and certificates on the DU portal in the second or third week of September. As per the university’s admission branch, the cut-offs might be declared by the first week of October.

The registration portal was open between June 20 and July 31 for all courses. While registrations for entrance-based courses had closed on July 31, DU had extended the deadline for admissions to merit-based courses till August 31.

Dean (Admissions) Shobha Bagai said a number of factors could have led to a sharp increase in the number of applications this year. “This time the registration portal was open for ten weeks instead of the usual three weeks. Additionally, the process was initiated before several other universities and students must have applied to ensure their academic year,” she said.

Bagai also said that lack of clarity over entrance exams such as Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), or Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) could have also prompted students to apply at DU to “keep their options open”.

“Due to the uncertainty in the wake of the pandemic, more students must have applied, leading to an increase in the number of applications. Besides, many students who had planned to go outside India might have changed their mind and applied at DU. But these are speculative reasons and a proper analysis needs to be done to explain the increase in the number of applications,” she said.

Vivek Shukla, 18, a JEE aspirant said, “I am appearing for JEE but I have also applied at DU to have a second option. There is so much uncertainty around everything this year. If I could not clear JEE, I will take admission in any good honours course.”

N Sriya, 18, a NEET aspirant, said there was uncertainty if NEET would be held or not this year. “Though if I don’t clear NEET, I might consider dropping a year. But applying to DU gives me a scope to apply for other courses if I change my mind. Several other friends who are appearing for JEE have done the same.”

Manika Sharma, director of The Shri Ram Schools, said some students had been going to other countries for pursuing higher education, but in the wake of the pandemic many have also applied to at DU as a backup.

“Since there is a lot of uncertainty, students would want a backup option. Safety protocols will also be important in the coming year and many families would like that children remain closer home [instead of being in a different country] which could explain the surge in applications,” she said.

Also, in the wake of postponement of CBSE board exams and the subsequent delay in results, DU extended the admission process for over two months this year.

Former academic council member Pankaj Garg said the number of applications could have also increased because of students filing multiple registration forms. “Repeated counselling by the university during the open-day sessions discouraged students from filling up multiple registration forms. This did not happen this year as the counselling events were done over the web and university officials did not focus much on this aspect,” said Garg.

“Another reason could be the timing of the admission process. Students from other states could apply more easily since their results were declared while registrations were open,” he said.

Manoj Sinha, secretary, DU Principal’s Association, said, “Increase in the number of applications has a direct link to cut-offs and chances of cut-off percentage going up is high.”


    Kainat Sarfaraz covers education for Hindustan Times in Delhi. She also takes keen interest in reading and writing on the intersections of gender and other identities.

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