Delhi University admissions: Fewer applications under sports quota; officials cite difficulties in getting certificates issuedUpdated: Jun 29, 2020 21:02 IST
Delhi University till Monday — five days before its registration process for admissions to various undergraduate course closes — had received only a handful of applications under the sports quota.
While some officials cited difficulties in procuring merit or participation certificates amid the Covid-19 pandemic as a reason behind the drop in applications, others added that a change in criteria for admission under the sports quota has also discouraged aspirants.
In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, Delhi University this year has decided to skip the trials that are held for admissions under the sports quota. The candidates will be given admissions based on their merit and participation certificates only. In DU colleges, 5% supernumerary seats are reserved under sports and extracurricular activities (ECA) categories collectively in each course. This year, the university has decided to scrap admissions under ECA categories, excluding NSS and NCC, owing to the prevailing situation.
According to data shared by the university’s admission branch, the number of applications received this year from aspirants opting for popular sports, such as athletics, football, basketball and cricket, is not even 30% of what it was last year, as of Sunday. For instance, the overall number of applications received under the sports quota from aspirants choosing football was 1,578 last year. However, only 317 applicants have applied under the discipline this year till Sunday evening.
Similarly, the number of applications in athletics, basketball, cricket and volleyball stood low at 360, 344, 248 and 227 respectively, till now. Last year, the number of applications in these disciplines were 1,297, 1,223, 1,001 and 940, respectively.
Pankaj Sinha, a member of the DU’s sports council, said that candidates are facing difficulties in getting their participation and merit certificates issued. These certificates are to be uploaded along with the applications. “The offices of schools, universities, federations and sports academies are closed for more than two months in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to this students have not been able to get their merit and participation certificates issued. This is a major reason as to why many could not apply to DU as of now. It’s mandatory for the candidates to upload certificates with their applications. We do not allow letter heads or any slips. We are sure that the number of applications will increase in the next few days,” he said.
Sinha said that around 700 students seeking admissions in postgraduate courses under the sports quota have also applied for the issuance of their certificates from the University’s council itself. “We have received many applications from the candidates requesting to extend the dates of registration so that they can get some more time to get their sports certificates issued,” he said.
Several sports teachers in colleges across the University said that the changes in the criteria this year can also be a reason behind low applications. Mukesh Agrawal, assistant professor in physical education in Maharaja Agrasen College, said, “Every year we get so many students who either did not get opportunities to play above the zonal level or avoided participation in competition in order to focus on their studies after class 10. Many students last year did not have winning certificates but they performed well in the trials. This year, these students will get affected. Many students might not apply in the category thinking they won’t get admission.”
For applying under the sports quota, candidates have to submit merit or participation certificates of the preceding three years. This year the certificates dated May 1, 2017, to April 30, 2020, will be applicable.
Himanshu Panwar, 18, a resident of Haryana’s Hisar district, said that the latest certificate he has was for the year 2018. “My parents did not allow me to participate in competitions after class 10 and that’s why my last win was at the state-level in Judo in the year 2018. I was banking on the trials since they carried 60 marks till last year. There are no trials now. I am still thinking about what to do,” he said.
Benu Gupta, associate professor in Physical Education at Kirori Mal College, said, “It’s possible that the students are unable to procure original certificates of the tournaments that had happened immediately before the lockdown was announced. In such cases, the administration should consider the letters issued by the concerned authorities.”