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DU panel flags unequal undergrad admission opportunities, backs CET

🔴 Kerala board, 4 others accounted for over 90% of admissions this year.

Written by Sukrita Baruah | New Delhi |
Updated: December 5, 2021 7:25:20 am
Within the five boards with the highest admissions till the second list — CBSE, Kerala board, Haryana board, CISCE, and Rajasthan board — there is significant variation in acceptance rates. (File Photo)

Flagging unequal admission opportunities to Delhi University for students of different boards, a panel constituted to examine admission related issues there has recommended that admissions to the university be carried out through a Common Entrance Test, conducted either by the university through an internal arrangement or through an external agency.

Within the five boards with the highest admissions till the second list — CBSE, Kerala board, Haryana board, CISCE, and Rajasthan board — there is significant variation in acceptance rates.

The Kerala board, with a total of 4824 applicants to the university, is head and shoulders above the others with a 39.18% acceptance rate. The Rajasthan board has a 27.75% acceptance rate, Haryana board 18.39%, CISCE 16.63%, and CBSE, with 2,29,264 applicants, has a 16.47% acceptance rate.

Within these five boards, the committee has also observed unevenness in the mean percentages of the total number of admitted students from them. For Kerala board, the mean admission percentage is by far the highest at 98.43%. This is followed by Rajasthan board at 94.68%, Haryana board at 92.69%, CISCE at 92.33% and CBSE at 91.3%.

Observing these variations, the committee, in its report, said: “University of Delhi, being a Central University has a cardinal responsibility of ensuring absolute equality in admissions across all the Higher Secondary Boards spanning over various states and Union Territories.” 

The nine-member committee, headed by Dean (Examinations) D S Rawat, had been constituted in October to suggest “alternative strategy for optimal admissions in undergraduate courses”. The report will now be discussed in the university’s Academic Council meeting scheduled for December 10.

The committee observed that among 39 education boards, the highest intake was from CBSE at 37,767, followed by Kerala board at 1890, Haryana board at 1824, CISCE at 1606 and the Rajasthan board 1329.

These five boards constitute more than 90% of the merit-based admissions in DU’s undergraduate colleges this year till the time of the report. This data is from admissions against the first three cut-off lists.

The committee has recommended that a common entrance test be conducted either internally or through an external agency followed by declaring a list of eligible candidates for admissions in various courses of study across all undergraduate colleges and departments.

It has called this an “equitable opportunity” and a means to address other issues such as over-admissions in courses and colleges.

It has stated in its report that “as long as Undergraduate admissions in the University is cut-off based, there is no way that fluctuations, sometimes significant, can be avoided to maintain equity”.

It also wrote off the possibility of opting for normalisation of awarded marks by stating that it may be “fraught with the danger of devising a formula which may not be equitable on some scale or the other” and that it may not stand legal scrutiny if contested in court.

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