DU council approves entrance test for admission to undergrad courses

Published on Dec 11, 2021 03:19 AM IST

The proposal has to be okayed by the executive council to be implemented. The council will meet next week.

Students at the Delhi University north campus. (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
Students at the Delhi University north campus. (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
BySadia Akhtar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The Delhi University’s Academic Council (AC) on Friday passed with dissent a plan to introduce a Common Entrance Test (CET) for admission to undergraduate courses from the next academic session, members of the council said.

The proposal will require the approval of the university’s Executive Council before it is implemented. The body is expected to meet next week to discuss the proposal cleared by the academic council.

The academic council, which has about 100 members, passed the agenda after a discussion on the recommendations submitted by a nine-member DU committee formed in October to deliberate on admission reforms.

The committee, headed by the dean of examinations DS Rawat, was constituted by vice-chancellor Yogesh Singh in October to suggest an “alternative strategy for optimal admissions in undergraduate courses”.

The committee examined the issue of over-admission and under-admissions to undergraduate courses and also the board-wise distribution of admissions across courses, and advocated for an entrance exam-based admission process in its interim report.

While outlining the issues pertaining to cut-offs and the variation in marks allocated by different boards, the report concluded that “neither cut-off based admissions nor admissions through normalisation of awarded marks by various boards are options which observe maximum objectivity in admissions.”

At least 16 elected council members recorded their dissent against the introduction of an entrance test. In their dissent note, they outlined that students will have to deal with increased pressure if an additional entrance exam was put in place. These members also noted that one was not sure if the CET will allow students to shift streams, like they are allowed to do under the current system which is based on cut-off lists made on the basis of Class 12 scores.

Academic council member Naveen Gaur, who was among the dissenting members, said the proposal has been passed despite the reservations by multiple members. He said the entrance will restrict the choices of students, who often switch streams after school. “The modalities of the entrance have not been decided. We don’t know how will it be conducted or what will be the weightage, but an entrance-based approach will be adopted,” said Gaur.

Another dissenter Mithuraaj Dhusiya said the entrance test will be disadvantageous to students from marginalised backgrounds. “Common Entrance Test (CET) for undergraduate admissions will lead to mushrooming of coaching institutes that will be particularly bad for socially and economically disadvantaged students and girls,” he said.

Besides the common test, the council also paved the way for the introduction of three B Tech courses from the next academic session. At least 18 elected council members recorded their dissent on the proposal.

Dissenting members said the technical courses will require special labs and therefore, high investment and sustained grants. “These courses should be offered only after the university receives grants for the same and hiring of teaching and non-teaching staff for the unit starts,” said dissenting members.

During the zero hour, members raised several demands. The elected teacher representatives from the Democratic Teachers Front (DTF) asked the university administration to intervene in the issue pertaining to the delayed release of funds for 12 DU colleges that are fully funded by the Delhi government.

“DU must ensure that funds are urgently and regularly released to these 12 colleges so that staff gets salaries and their bills including medical expenses are reimbursed,” said a statement signed by Rajesh Kumar, Biswajit Mohanty, and Mithuraaj Dhusiya.

The representatives also sought absorption of ad hoc teachers along with other benefits such as maternity and paternity leave for ad hoc employees.

The council also passed the proposal for the creation of the Institute of Nano Medicine (INM) under the Center of Excellence. At least 15 AC members recorded their dissent on the proposal. Members said that the standing committee that deliberated on the proposal raised multiple reservations which have been overlooked.

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