The University of Delhi (DU) has decided to add 315 undergraduate course openings at its 63 affiliated universities, five at each institution, as a one-time measure to allow registered students who were unable to enter due to any reason related to the coronavirus.
According to a notice issued by DU Registrar Vikas Gupta on Tuesday, the decision was made at the request of the directors and members of the executive council, which is the highest decision-making body of the varsity team. The notification does not mention any specific reason why a candidate would be considered for admission to the additional positions.However, the notification says that the merit of the eligible candidate “must not exceed 10% of the last limit issued by the college.”
Admissions will be made under the newly introduced “college-university positions”. Candidates will be chosen at the discretion of the faculty and university in a ratio of 3: 2, based on notification.
The move, however, has drawn criticism from DU professors and students who described it as “illegal” and would lead to corruption.
“A committee was formed to explore the possibility of providing fewer seats to universities in view of the Covid-19 pandemic for admission to UG courses (based on merit) beyond the sanctioned force as supernumerary seats. The competent authority has approved the commission’s recommendation for five admissions under college-university places in the current 2020-21 academic session, ”the announcement reads.
The admission process to the 70,000 undergraduate places is still ongoing under the second special cut. The special campaign was launched to fill vacant seats in various reserved categories.
“The merit of eligible candidates for admission under ‘college-university places’ will normally be up to five percent and in no case more than 10% from the last limit issued by the college for the particular course for the category respective of the candidates ”, added the notification.
All DU college principals have been asked to submit the list of five candidates for later approval.
The secretary of the Delhi University Directors Association (DUPA), Manoj Sinha, welcomed the move. “The discussion about the additional seats began after universities received applications for admission from candidates who were unable to write any entrance exams online or did not pay fees to confirm admission due to financial difficulties caused by the pandemic.”
However, Nandita Narain, president of the Teachers’ Democrat and associate professor at St Stephen’s College said it would lead to illegal admissions. “The Delhi High Court, some 25 years ago, had ruled against such discretionary admissions by the governing bodies of the universities and had ended the so-called management fee. This move is an attempt to restart such practices in the name of the Covid-19 pandemic. “
Rajesh Jha, a member of DU EC, said the council did not suggest such a decision. “Elected EC members will never support a discretionary quota on admissions, which is against our basic spirit,” he said.
DU Acting Vice Chancellor (VC) PC Joshi said: “It is only a one-time action after receiving requests from directors. The idea was to help students who were unable to enter in the context of the pandemic situation. There will be no back door entry or corruption. We will personally review all cases approved by the directors. Also, it is not a mandatory decision and universities are not required to follow it. “
Members of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) held a protest on Wednesday at the North Campus against the decision. Sidharth Yadav, Secretary of State of ABVP Delhi, said: “This decision will promote corruption and is very unfair to deserving students. DU must withdraw this decision immediately and not lay the groundwork for discrimination between students. “