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Nightmare at DU

Weeks after the gates to Delhi University shut for new entrants; JAM finds students are yet to recover from the ordeal.

The admissions to Delhi University may be over for the year, but the trauma of it is far from forgotten. Well what else can one expect when even 90 per cent marks are considered just about average (Thank God none us went to DU!) and could mean having to complete graduation through correspondence or an open university!

With only 49,000 seats available in all DU colleges — both south campus and north campus, and about thrice the number of students applying for these seats from all over north India and some other parts of the country as well, the cut off percentages in all colleges sky rocket.

As a result, even students who get above 90 per cent are not sure if they will make it to the college of their choice. Among such students this year was Akshat Kalra.

Akshat topped the commerce section of the Bal Bharati High School, Pitampura, in Std XII with a 95 per cent aggregate. He had always wanted to get into Sriram College of Commerce, but even with his marks, he managed the feat only on the last list! “Before the results were out, I was thinking I would touch a 90 per cent and was worried. But a 95 per cent is great. But at SRCC, the cut offs were really high and it was difficult to get in even with my percentage,” said Kalra.

Akshat was one of the lucky ones. There are hordes of students, who have scored less than 85 per cent marks that are respectable in the rest of the country — and have been left with no choice but to shift to another city or opt for an Open University course, which is not respectable enough for the Dilli junta and their parents.

Seema Taneja, a career counsellor, says, “ Students and parents have to be open-minded. You cannot blame DU. One has to understand and plan what one wants to do in their future. If you want to get into a particular college, you need to know the past percentage cut offs of that college and then compare your marks. If the college’s cut off is 85% and you cannot score that much, then you obviously won’t get through.

To explain this further, she gave an example of two clients who came to her for counselling. The first one was an average student, who scored about 75% to 80%. Hence, his parents knew that getting in through a DU college would be difficult, so with the help of the counsellor they got an aptitude test done and it showed that the boy was good for a Hotel Management course. Therefore, the boy worked hard and he got through most of the Hotel management colleges. He is now graduating as an assistant manager. The second example was that of a boy who scored 94%. He was good and needed to work harder to get into a good commerce college. This is because he knew he wanted to do CA.

She adds on, “It is the perception of the students and the parents that has to change. Everyone cannot get into DU and why should everyone? There are so many engineering students who complete their studies and then go in for an MBA in finance. What is the point of doing engineering then? Parents and students themselves, have to take an initiative to get an aptitude test done after the 10th standard. This would give them an insight into what is good for them and then prepare for it in the coming years. There is nothing wrong in going to an open university or joining another university other than DU (e.g. Amity).

There are many students who come up to me and say, “Now that we are through to DU, our parents are happy. We don’t have to think of doing anything for the next three years. Then once we graduate, we will get into some MBA.” But this is wrong. They are wasting their time and a seat. There is no point blaming the authorities as to why there are lesser colleges in DU. Parents and students need to change their perception.”

How it works
DU has a centralised application system, which means students have to fill the same form with their college preferences and about 20-30 choices can be ticked in one go. This practice misleads a lot of students where cut offs are concerned. And with all the students in North India vying for DU, the cut offs reach impossible heights.

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