DU firm on fitness test for sports quota | delhi | Hindustan Times
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DU firm on fitness test for sports quota

Delhi University is yet to change its mind on fitness test for those applying for seats reserved as part of the sports quota, controversies and a court case notwithstanding, Mallica Joshi reports.

delhi Updated: Sep 05, 2012 23:56 IST
Mallica Joshi

Delhi University is yet to change its mind on fitness test for those applying for seats reserved as part of the sports quota, controversies and a court case notwithstanding.

The sports council of the varsity is throwing its weight behind the test. “The test should be mandatory for applicants regardless of the sports they play. Even for applicants who play chess, the test should be mandatory,” said CS Dubey, head of the council.

Dubey’s reference is to Chetna Karnani, a chess player who moved court against the fitness test. “I have played at the national level for two years and never faced a problem. It just does not make sense for them (the DU authorities) to ask me to run and jump to prove that I am a good chess player,” Karnani says.

Clearing the fitness test, which has been introduced this year, was mandatory for applicants to seats reserved as part of the sports quota.

The test included a 1,000m run, 1.15-1.65m broad jump and a 50m dash that had to be completed within a fixed time. The 1,000m run was to be completed in six minutes while the 50m dash was to be done in nine seconds. A candidate had to clear two of the test.

Several teachers and students had opposed the test, calling it useless. Dubey, however, maintained they were important.

“It is a general test that any person who is even remotely fit will be able to pass. Even in chess, a player has to sit continuously for four-five hours. If the kid is not fit, how will she manage this? We are talking of a time when the sports minister is advocating fitness tests for school students also and attributing marks for it. The test, hence, become all the more important,” he said.

But many people have supported Karnani.

SK Chakravortty, assistant professor of physical education at St Stephen's College, said: “The issue is multi-layered. How can you have a fitness test in a country that has no national policy on fitness? The National Fitness Drive was discontinued a long time ago. Second, what is the reliability and validity of the test that you have used? Third, what is the need of the test when what you are testing in a student is not fitness but skill? These are imperative questions that need to be answered.”