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Cut-offs rise in St Stephen’s, Humanities take max hit

While officials said the significant increase in the number of high-scorers prompted the rise in cut-offs, students are worried the trend may influence other DU colleges too. Shaswati Das reports. Aiming for the sky

india Updated: Jun 21, 2012 01:10 IST
Shaswati Das
Shaswati Das
Hindustan Times

The St. Stephen’s College percentage cut-off list is out, and has left most students of Humanities disappointed.

While the cut-off for Economics (Hons) has seen a 0.75% increase in comparison to last year, History (Hons) has taken a 3% and Philosophy (Hons) a 6.5% jump.

“I was really hoping to make it to the History course, as I secured 92% in my Class 12 Board exams. But now I’m really worried that if this list becomes a trendsetter for other colleges, I’ll have to let go of History as an option altogether,” said Ananya Mahapatra, a DU aspirant.

College authorities said that it was imperative for cut-offs to spiral upwards since lowering the margin would have disturbed the ratio between the number of seats and the number of applicants.

“The ratio of the number of seats to that of applicants called for an interview is 1:5. This means that for 30 seats, we invite 150 students. If we had lowered the cut-offs, then the ratio would have been lopsided. This also means that the cut-off for commerce students for English (Hons) had to be maintained at 98%, as lowering it would have meant calling more students for interviews,” said Karen Gabriel, associate professor of English, St. Stephen’s College.

Officials added that the number of high-scorers had also gone up significantly, which prompted the rise in cut-offs.

“The number of students who have scored in their late 90s has gone up this year. Even though there has been a marginal increase in the Economics (Hons) cut-offs, there has been a massive jump in other courses. The cut-offs for Humanities are higher as there have many perfect scores in subjects such as sociology and political science,” said Sanjeev Grewal, professor of Economics, St Stephen’s College.

Philosophy (Hons) is the course that has seen the maximum jump from last year. For Science students, the cut-off now stands at 91% — which is a 7% jump from last year’s 84%, while for Humanities students, the jump is 6.5%. Officials attributed this jump to a drop in the number of seats from last year’s 20 to 10, this year.

"It is unfortunate that the cut-offs are so high, but we do not have an option. While we were admitting 20 students in programmes earlier, we now have just 10 students. We had written to the university about increasing the number of seats permanently, but the final communication is still awaited," said Vijay Tankha, head of the Philosophy department, St. Stephen’s College.

First Published: Jun 21, 2012 00:01 IST