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The A's and Q's of DU admissions

Hindustan Times, with an aim to help students fresh out of schools invited them to a series of counselling programmes. For those who could not make it there, we reproduce the most common questions raised by students and the answers.

delhi Updated: Jun 06, 2007 13:55 IST

Hindustan Times, with an aim to help students fresh out of schools and eager to enter colleges pick the right institution and course, invited them to a series of counselling programmes where the best in the field of academics answered their admission-related questions.

More than 5,000 students and parents attended the sessions held over four days, May 28-31, at Siri Fort auditorium. for those who could not make it there, we reproduce the most common questions raised by students and the answers.

How many seats are available in Biotechnology in Delhi University, like M.Sc.?
In DU, this course is called Plant Molecular Biology There are 10 seats. Outside Delhi, you can even pursue Pharmaceutical Sciences. You can also take up Bioinformatics, an upcoming field. List the career prospects for Biotechnology students.

Can I only go into research or also into teaching?
Nowadays, many companies are coming up that absorb such students. Biocon, for example. Many companies have begun delegating a section to Biotechnology, even some pharmaceutical companies. So there are a lot of options available to students pursuing Biotechnology Post-Biotechnology, they can go into Genetics, Molecular Biology Biochemistry, and so on.

Teaching is always available. There are many institutes that offer Biotechnology courses, B.Sc. as well as M.Sc. Teaching at these institutes is an option. But of course, you have to either clear the UGC Net, do an M.Phil. or a PhD.

Are there any colleges in DU that offer courses in Biotechnology through an entrance test?
In Venkateswara College, B.Sc. Biotechnology is available, and they admit students through an entrance test.

I'm from the science stream with Biology and Maths. Eventually, I want to research in human genetics.What course should I study at the undergraduate level?
We don't have Genetics at the bachelor level. But students who do Microbiology or Biochemistry get into Genetics at the Masters level.

I'm a science student. I had Biotechnology as one of three main subjects in school. I have secured 84% in PCB and 87% in PCM. What courses can I go for in DU, and what will be my career prospects?
You can apply for B.Sc. Biochemistry or Microbiology. The career prospects for these courses are very good. Even during graduation, Biochemistry students get summer placements in the pharmaceutical industry.

I have secured 100 marks in Maths, 98 in Chemistry, 95 in Biology and 89 in Physics in class XII. I have interest in both Maths and Biology. Which subject would be suitable for me Maths Honours, Biochemistry or Microbiology?

You should opt for Biotechnology It is an upcoming field, and a perfect blend of Science and Maths. Some people opt for B.Sc. Microbiology, and then go for postgraduation in Biotechnology. You can also opt for Maths Honours, and go for IAS, Computer Application, Statistics, etc.


What are the avenues after one completes a course in Microbiology?

In the food industry, there is demand for food technologists, essentially people with a background in microbiology. So every hotel has a microbiologist appointed to look after the safety of the food it serves. Food science also has microbiology as a subject.

After completing this, you can go for a one-year course in diabetics or do a masters degree. This would open up doors in the nutrition field, which includes the food industry and hospitals also.

Which colleges offer Microbiology?
You can approach Swami Shraddhanand College, at the Institute of Home Economics. There are four-five colleges that have Microbiology (Hons.).

For a complete list of colleges, please see the bulletin of information, which will be available from June 1, 2007, at various information centres.

What are the subjects offered in Microbiology?
What are my chances to get into this course with 88%? Which is the best college? Is Microbiology better or Biochemistry? Can I pursue Biotechnology at the M.Sc. level?

Subjects: To find out subjects and other such details, you'll have to look at the syllabus. Both Microbiology and Biochemistry are more or less on an equal footing. Biochemistry is a core subject for any biological pursuit, because it deals with the chemistry of live processes.

Microbiology is only available in four colleges in Delhi University, and so is Biochemistry With 88%, you should be able to get your course - if not in the first list, then in the second.

Postgraduation: You can do M.Sc. in Biotechnology There is a centralised test after graduation at about 21 centers across the country Jawaharlal Nehru University has a separate test.

Colleges: It will not be very fair to say which is the best college.

The faculty is very good in all of them. Gargi offers Microbiology, so do Venkateswara, Shraddhanand and Ram Lal Anand College. Microbiology is also available as a course at the Institute of Home Economics in South Extension. Deshbandhu, Venkateswara, Shivaji and Daulat Ram offer Biochemistry.

What's the scope for Biomedical Sciences?

It's an upcoming subject, very much in demand. And if you have an aptitude for biomedical subjects, you certainly have a very bright prospect, especially if you go abroad.

In the Science stream, biomedical sciences or applied sciences courses are good. There is Applied Electronics Science also.

There are several Applied Science courses. So these are better in comparison to pure sciences courses.

I have secured 75% in PCB and 80% in PCM. I want to pursue B.Sc. Biochemistry. What are my chances?
Generally, for Biochemistry, PCB is taken into consideration. With 75% in PCB, the chances of getting into Biochemistry are dim as cutoffs are higher.

But you will definitely get into any Physical Science course, as the evaluation is on the basis of PCM percentage. If you are interested only in Life Sciences, you can get into Zoology or Botany Post graduation, you can pursue Life Sciences.

What is better, Biochemistry or Biotechnology?
Delhi University has no B.Sc (Hons) Biotechnology course. They only have B.Sc (Hons) Biochemistry Many Biochemistry students qualify in the joint entrance examination for Biotechnology which is coordinated by GNU.

Biochemistry is very good, and in fact, all the papers that are re- quired for the Biotechnology M.Sc entrance examination are taught in Biochemistry

With 70% marks in Commerce without Maths, which are the good colleges I can apply in under sports quota?
It depends on how good you are in sports and whether you have certificates at the national level.

Some colleges have sports trials even before the first cutoff list is released. So you could look at colleges that are conducting their sports trials now. You can then figure out which is the best college you can get into. Purely on merit, you could consider evening colleges, or the School of Open Learning.

Which are the colleges that recognise Taekwondo under sports quota?
You will have to check the website of every college or look through the prospectus.

Is horse-riding a part of the sports quota?
No. None of the colleges in DU conduct trials for horse riding.

If I have won debates and competitions in advertising and marketing at the interschool level, do they hold any value under the ECA quota?
Definitely But it varies from college to college. Debates are considered in every single college.

I'm a national-level black-belt holder in Taekwondo and boast of an international certificate from Korea. For the last five years, I've been adjudged the best dancer in my school?Can I get into a good college under sports or ECA quota?
For sports, DU has very clear-cut guidelines.

Any student who has participated at the internationallevel is given a concession of 15%, 14% or 13% depending on the year of participation. As far as ECA quota requirements, it depends on the individual college's focus. You must write on top of your form that it is to be considered under ECA quota.

And you must fill up a separate form in the general category also whenever you are applying under the sports quota or ECA quota. I have scored 91 marks in Psychology and want to pursue B.A. Psychology. But colleges like LSR and JMC have a higher cutoff percentage. Can ECA quota help?
It all depends on how good you are in ECA. In addition to that, there are very few seats, which are distributed across various courses. Sometimes, it is also categorised into dance, music etc., which is college-specific. I'm a good painter, but have no certificates.

Can I get admission under ECA quota?
You will have to go to each college and explore. Most colleges will take a test by asking you to paint something. Some colleges will insist on certificates, but some are open-minded about this. So you have a good chance if you are a really good painter.

Check the prospectus, and then interact with the faculty who will be available from June 1 onwards.

You could also speak to the principal. You will have to fill up the ECA application for every college. Some colleges have a prescribed for- mat. Some just ask you to write an application on plain paper.

Can I opt for two ECA quotas at a time?
Some colleges may have this option. One can apply for two ECA quotas, but it all depends on the committee board. You may have to go to different colleges, and find out whether you need one form or two forms.

Are Delhi CBSE students given preference?
Some of the DU colleges have reservation. This means that they give a weightage of 2-5% to encourage more girls students to join. That means providing a better opportunity to a girl child, to co-ed courses. As for the query on preference, DU is a central university. All students from Plus 2 equivalent to CBSE Plus 2 are given equal opportunity


A female student has scored 72% aggregate and her best of four is 75%. Her father is in defence. Will she be entitled for the girl's quota as well as defence quota?

Thats a prerogative of the college; only some colleges relax the cutoff percentage. Secondly, she will be eligible for the defence quota only if her father was killed in action or was permanently disabled on duty, not otherwise.

I want to become a Chartered Accountant. What do you recommend?
Join the School of Open Learning. In DU, we insist on regularity in the form of internal assessment. We have 5% marks for attendance.

Anybody who has 85% or more attendance gets 5% marks, and anybody with less than 67% attendance loses 5% marks. So when you pursue the Chartered Accountancy course, you will encounter problems related to attendance as well as examination dates.

The Institute of Chartered Accountancy holds the examination twice a year - in November and May. When the student has to appear for the November examination, he begins to miss classes a fortnight earlier.

So he loses attendance for one month. Losing attendance for one month out of seven months or so brings him down below 75%.

Often, we see that they are not able to fulfill the minimum eligibility condition to appear in the examination.

The second problem is bigger Our B.Com. (Hons) or B.Com. examinations for the regular stream are held in April, whereas for open learning, the examination begins after May 15. So if you are pursuing Chartered Accountancy course, you can take your CA exams from May 1 to May 12, and then take your B.Com. examination from May 15 onwards.

So students who want to become Chartered Accountants can join the School of Open Learning, preferably the B.Com. (Hons) course because the syllabus is very similar to that of the courses in Institute of Chartered Accountants.

I want to do CA after graduation. What should I study at graduation level?
B.Com (Hons), BBE (Bachelor of Business Economics) or even Economics (Hons). BBE is available in eight, or perhaps 10, colleges now.

These 10 colleges hold a combined entrance examination for students. They both are good courses. Eco (Hons) is a traditionally well-established, fundamental course.

BBE is more of an applied course. There is also BIS, BAFI and BFIA-which is Bachelor of Financial and Investment Analysis. This is available only in Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, CBS. They have an intake of 40 students, after conducting an entrance examination.

Can I pursue B.Com (Hons) along with CA? My aim is to pursue MBA.
You can pursue either CA or MBA. You will not be able to finish CA by the time you complete your graduation, and you have to join MBA immediately after your graduation.

Common Preadmission Test is the first stage for Chartered Accountancy. Many colleges have centres for this. It is equivalent to an addon course. Once you clear that, there are many other formalities, which you may or may not be able to do simultaneously with graduation.


The admission to graduate courses is based on the percontage of marks, calculated on the best four out of five subjects, which includes English. But on the Internet, we have seen that some colleges have different criteria for calculating the cutoff list for B.Com (Hons) course. Is this true?

DU rules mention one language plus three best subjects. Now, it so happens that most of the students who come to DU colleges are from the CBSE board. And in the Commerce stream, there would hardly be any student who takes any language other than English.

So now the rules look as if it is English plus the best three subjects, rather than one language plus the best three subjects. Now, there could be students who have studied Hindi or Sanskrit or any other language as an additional language. So if a language other than English is to be included they deduct 2%.

The medium of instruction in Delhi University colleges, in Honours courses particularly, is English. So a student who has not studied in English medium or if he has scored less marks in English and he is seeking admission on the basis of some other language then he should have scored much higher in the remaining three subjects, so that to some extent it can be compensated.
The cut-off aggregate based on language plus three is not the only criterion.

It is a major criterion, but it is not the only one. There is one criterion, which gives weightage to a subject. So a college could have 75% cut-off with at least 75% in the subject.

For instance, for Philosophy (Hons) in some colleges, we lay a premium on English, because philosophy texts are very advanced. So we say 75% aggregate with at least 70% in English. Then there is the criterion of negative weightage.

There are subjects like Fine Arts, Physical Education, which colleges give a negative weightage to. So they will say cut-off is 75%, but for students with one of these subjects in the best three, negative weightage will be applicable. So if the negative weightage in a college is 4%, and cutoff is 75% , you will need 79% to qualify.

Can we include two languages in our 'best of four' subjects?

My daughter wants to do Economics (Hons). She has 96 in Eco and 92 in Maths, but her percentage dropped because of English, in which she scored 70. It now stands at 86, considering the best four subjects. Does English have to be included, and will she get her course of choice with a percentage that is not 90 plus?
If she did not study any other language, then English must be included. But she will get her course. Eighty-six per cent is good enough. You will have to look at the cut-off percentages for last year.

The bulletin of information gives you an idea and, in fact, Hindustan Times is publishing these cut-off lists everyday. The cut-off percentages, by and large, remain the same - one or two percent up or down, there's not much difference. Look at every college.

The first list is hardly ever realistic in a large number of colleges. This is because we receive one lakh applications, and it's very difficult to decide the cut-off.

If we decide a low cut-off, then the rule is that I shall have to admit all those who are above 75% and who approached me during those three days, even if I have to admit 500 students against 40 seats. That is a High Court ruling. So the first list is kept rather high to avoid such a situation. In the second list the percentages are more realistic. Your daughter will get Economics (Hons) some way or the other.

What is the need for the common Delhi University pre-admission form?
This form is useful for the public. You just fill up one form at any of the 17 centres with as many courses as you want, and your problem is over.

The problem is ours. A student fills up B.Com. (Hons) in, let us say, 20 colleges. He wouldn't visit 20 different colleges to fill up the B.Com. (Hons) form, so in the common form he will fill up B.Com. (Hons), B.Com., B.A. (Hons) Economics, and maybe as a safeguard, B.A. (Hons) English or some other B.A. programme also.

So one student through this form applies to 70 courses and he is registered in those 70 courses.

The problem begins where we have to analyse these results and declare a cutoff, when we have close to one lakh applications for 400 seats. So it is beneficial only to the public and has been done for them. There is a centralised form, but Sri Venkateswara College has come up with their own form.

Am I supposed to fill up both?

Not necessarily If you are going to take an entrance exam, you have to fill up that form separately Otherwise, you don't have to fill up individual college forms in addition to the centralized form, except in St. Stephen's and Jesus & Mary's.


Please explain the concept of migration?

Migration is done with different objectives. It may mean migration from one college to another; or migration from one course to another. Even if you change the course within the same college, it will be considered a migration.

Migrations may also be from correspondence to regular college, or from regular college to another regular college. All colleges are equally good. In the first year there is no migration.

Second year or third year migration is possible in some colleges, depending upon the availability of the seats in that particular course and depending upon the student's marks in the last examination.

The minimum percentage required varies from college to college, and from course to course.
It also depends upon the NOC (no-objection certificate) being given by the two institutions. Vacancies are only created if some students withdraw, dropout or fail.

So, there are very few such cases. Can I shift from a B.A. Program to B.Com. (Hons) after the first term or first year?
No. Can I shift from B.Com. (Pass) to B.Com. (Hons)? No, it is not permitted in DU. But one can take fresh admission in any other university However, a shift from B.Com. (Hons) to B.Com. (Pass) is permitted.


When will the B.Com. (Hons) correspondence forms be released?

From June I to August 25 without late fee. Thereafter with late fees, till the end of October.



have seen a copy of the OMR sheet in the HT supplement. How can I assume that with the two subjects I have selected, Ill definitely get into a college?

You can refer to the information bulletin available along with the OMR form. It costs Rs 30. You can apply in a college according to the vocational paper that is available there.

So you should know which options are available in each college. Once you know that, maybe through the information bulletin or through the prospectus, you will be able to circle the appropriate subject.

If somebody is pursuing any course from a private college, will it be possible for that person to pursue any correspondence course through DU, or any other course?
As per rules it is not possible to do two full-time courses simultaneously However, one can pursue a certificate course in any language along with a regular course.

Does correspondence carry the value that is associated with regular colleges?
The notion that a regular course is better than a correspondence is still doing the rounds. Correspondence courses are equally good.

Those students who want to take up jobs right after class XII can pursue their graduation through correspondence, which becomes an added advantage.


What is the procedure to be followed by a foreign student to apply in Delhi University?
The candidate has to register in the office of Dean Foreign Students Advisol who will allot the college and course and issue a slip to the candidate. This is taken to the principal of the college concerned.

One has to fill in an application form, and mention all activities that one has participated in, on the basis of which the candidature is considered. But, in order to qualify as a foreign student, one's school leaving certificate and last qualifying examination should be from a foreign country.

What is the reason behind keeping many entrance tests, when a centralised test could be an effective solution?
Yes, centralised tests could solve all the problems. An entrance examination is part of the admission procedure and the selection process.

The Ministry of HRD is seriously considering having a centralised test for all business schools.
Even after having a full-fledged examination system such as the CBSE, the only reason for having many tests is the ever-increasing competition among the students.

What documents should we carry while filling up the pre-admission form?
We require your marksheet, provisional certificate and the Class X certificate to verify your date of birth. If the student belongs to a reserved category, the relevant certificate should also be there.

If you are taking admission under the ECA quota or any other, that certificate should also be attached along with your form. Finally, when you take admission, more formalities would need to be completed - you will require original certificates along with photographs and fees.

I want to take up English (Hons). I have done well in English all my life, but in Class XII, I scored only 47 marks. With that, I can't even qualify for the English (Hons) entrance exams, if the college has a minimum cut-off for English subject marks. Is there any alternative?
There could be colleges that only ask for aggregate marks, and not prescribe a cutoff in English. But you will have to check out the college websites for this. At least 30% weightage has to be given to the aggregate.

This is a rule of the university.

Earlier 15% weightage was allowed for the interview, but that also has been cancelled. Some colleges have interactive sessions where they tell the student what English (Hons) is about and find out if the student can cope with it, and they might try to advise the student to explore a course in which he is a better fit.

You could explore taking admission in the School of Open Learning for the first year.
And if at the end of the first year you are able to get above 55%, then you have a very good chance of migrating to a regular college in the second year.

I have studied Commerce, and I have not scored well in my Class XII exam. But I have scored 95 in English, and my best four in main subjects - Economics, Business Studies, Accounts and English-is 77%. But if I exclude Business Studies and include Physical Education, then it becomes 81%.

Will I be eligible to sit for entrance tests in various colleges for English (Hons)?
Most of the colleges have a cut-off even for entrance tests, as it is very difficult to evaluate 700-800 scripts in a period of two-three days.

With 77%, you can appear for the entrance tests of almost all colleges, and the rest would be dependent on your performance. But it is college-specific as some colleges give negative weightage to Physical Education. Cut-offs are generally higher for Science and Commerce than Humanities.

I am from the Commerce stream, and I have scored 73%. Could you tell me about the eligibility criteria for the entrance tests for English (Hons)? What are my other options?
The cut-off for science and commerce stream is 75%, with at least 65 marks in core English, 60 in elective English or 75 in functional English.

There is a possibility of getting admission into History (Hons), Philosophy (Hons), and Political Science (Hons), which is again dependent on this year's cut-offs.

What areas are tested in English (Hons) the entrance exam?
Different colleges may have different criteria. However, there are certain basic things such as reading comprehension, writing skills, analytical ability, aptitude for creative writing, and general awareness about literary things, literary events, etc that the student can expect in these exams.