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English (Honours) takes back bench

The English (H) course at Delhi University may lose some genuinely interested candidates to other Honours courses like journalism, political science and history. Joyeeta Ghosh reports.
Hindustan Times | By Joyeeta Ghosh, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUN 05, 2008 10:20 AM IST

The English (H) course at Delhi University may lose some genuinely interested candidates to other honours courses like journalism, political science and history.

Fearing that discontinuation of the entrance exam in English (H) would lead to soaring cut-offs, students are shifting their loyalties to subjects other than English.

“I am applying for both English (H) and Journalism (H) course, which has an entrance exam. Though English (H) is what I intend to pursue, I am wary of the cut-off marks for English this year. I think I stand a better chance in journalism,” said Ankita Hingle, who has scored 82 in English in Class XII and her overall percentage stands at 91 per cent.

“Discontinuation of entrance test has and will effect the students who genuinely aspire to study literature. In fact, as a result they are trying to seek admission in other courses like Mass Communication, Journalism and Political Science,” said Manasvini Yogi, media co-ordinator of Indraprastha College, the first college to start the English (H) entrance test. “Last year 1,700 students sat for the 35 seats in mass communication. This year we are expecting more than 2,500 candidates,” Yogi said.

Most English (H) aspirants are weary of the cut-off and are taking precautionary measures. “I have scored 70 per cent in English, but I think the overall cut-off for English at colleges like LSR, Hindu and Gargi will go much higher. Although I was very keen on studying English, I am opting for political science,” said Madhvi Kapur, whose overall aggregate including English stands at 84 per cent.

Counselors said that students were worried about not getting through English since they felt that students not really keen on the subject but with high scores stood a better chance of making it than someone with an aptitude for the subject. Journalism is attracting more students also because with an entrance in place the cut-off is expected to be lower than English. “Many students have calculated the marks and fear they will be unable to meet the cut-off, which is expected to be high,” said Ipshita Ghosh, a student counselor at LSR.

However, colleges are going all out to attract candidates to the English course. For students with Elective English in Class XII, colleges are giving a positive weightage of two to five per cent. At Ramjas it is 10 per cent, which means that if the cut-off for the course is 85 per cent, then those with Elective English can get admitted with 75 per cent only.

Sanam Khanna, HoD, English at Kamala Nehru College rued the University’s decision to do way with the entrance test in English. “Students and teachers of English within the university agree that some form of testing is necessary since the board marks are not reliable indicators of aptitude,” said Khanna.

“As a result of no entrance test aspirants with an aptitude towards English but with low scores will lose out and end up studying other courses,” Khanna said.

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