DU considers skipping sports trials this year; admissions under some ECA categories unlikely
The Delhi University (DU) may not conduct trials for sports quota admissions to undergraduate courses this year given the situation wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic, university officials said, adding that the admission under this category will be granted based on merit certificates.
The university is also considering stopping admissions under certain extra curricular activities (ECA) for the academic session 2020-21 as there is no recognized body to issue certificates for the same.
In DU colleges, 5% supernumerary seats are reserved under these two categories collectively in each course. Every year, the colleges submit a list sports and activities for which they need students to the admissions branch. Under the sports quota, candidates have to appear for trials in their preferred discipline. While the trials carry 60 marks, another 40 marks are allotted based on merit certificates. Under the ECA quota, trials are conducted at two levels until last year, carrying a weightage of 75 marks. The remaining 25 were allotted based on merit certificates.
The DU offers admission under the sports quota in 27 disciplines including archery, athletics, cricket, football, badminton, hockey, swimming, wrestling, tennis, judo, and basketball, among others.
Under ECA, there are 14 recognised activities — creative writing, dance, debate, fine arts, music, music instrumental (such as tabla, harmonium, sitar, dholak, drums, guitar, and sarod), theatre, NCC, NSS, and yoga, among others.
The candidates are first shortlisted on the basis of merit certificates earned over the last three years. Those shortlisted, have to report at different venues for centralised trials.
However, this year, due to the social distancing norms to control the spread of Covid-19, the admissions department is considering skipping the trials under the sports quota and giving admissions on the basis of certificates.
Shobha Bagai, the head of the University’s admission department, said it’s easier to ascertain the authenticity of sports certificates than ECA certificates. “It’s a huge risk to call candidates to the campus for sports and ECA trials this year. Also, it will not be possible for students to travel from different states to appear for the trials. So, we are considering if admissions can be given on the basis of certificates issued by authorised sports bodies. In the case of ECA, there is no such system, and students sometimes submit certificates issued by residents’ welfare associations (RWAs) or local bodies. It becomes difficult to ascertain the authenticity of such certificates since we do not have any list of recognised bodies for ECA unlike sports. Therefore, we have to see if for a year, we can forgo admissions under ECA,” she said.
Bagai said since these seats are supernumerary in nature, it will not affect the total intake of courses. “Also for some ECA disciplines, we can try to see if a candidate can upload a video of his/her performance to obtain the admission. All these are being considered. We need to discuss these issues with our statutory bodies before taking a decision,” she said.
DU has already announced that it will shift the entire admission process online the coming academic year.
A senior official, requesting anonymity, said some admissions can be made under ECA disciplines such as National Cadet Corps, a tri-services youth organisation, and the National Service Scheme (NSS), a social service organisation for youths.
Pankaj Sinha, a member of the university’s sports council, said the university should wait until July before taking a decision.”There is a possibility that things will return to normal by August and we may be able to conduct trials for sports admissions then. We can call students in small batches for the trials to maintain social distancing,” he said.
Several teachers said instead of conducting centralised trials, DU should ask colleges to conduct their own trials. “It will help in maintain social distancing. The administration should not forgo some ECA categories since many students who are not academically strong rely on their talent to secure an admission,” Rajesh Jha, a member of the executive council, Delhi University, said.