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Monday, October 25, 2021

The DU surprise: Even off-campus colleges have sky-high cut-offs

Deen Dayal Upadhyay College, for example, released 100% cut-off for Computer Science this year, up from 96% last year. This is not an exception.

Written by Aranya Shankar | New Delhi |
Updated: October 2, 2021 11:00:15 am
Over 2.87 lakh students have applied for Delhi University's undergraduate courses, down from 3.53 lakh applications last year. File.

In the first cut-off list released by Delhi University Friday, it was not just the top-tier colleges, but also off campus ones that saw skyrocketing cut-offs, especially for BA Programme courses.

Deen Dayal Upadhyay College, for example, released 100% cut-off for Computer Science this year, up from 96% last year. This is not an exception. The cut off for English has gone up from 94% to 98%, B.Com (Hons) from 97% to 99.5%, Botany from 92% to 96% and B.Sc Programme Life Sciences from 91% to 94% at the college.

Its BA Programme cut-offs have shot up from 91% to 96% this year. “This has been done for a number of reasons. One, our NIRF ranking improved so that affects the perception of the college. Second, we also wanted to be more cautious this time because we know a large number of students have scored 95% and above in various boards. For BA Programme, especially, we increased the cut-off because we ended up admitting 180 students for 16 seats. Especially in Covid times, we cannot take such risk,” said DDU Principal Hem Chand Jain.

According to the admission process, DU has to admit any student who clears the cut-off.

At Deshbandhu College, too, there is a considerable spike in cut-offs. The college is demanding a 97% cut-off in 10 subjects, including Economics, B.Com (Hons) and various BA Programme combinations.

This is a huge jump from last year for these subjects. Most BA Programme cut offs last year were in the 86-88% range, with the highest cut-off (90%) for BA Programme combinations of English + Political Science, and History + Political Science. This year, there has been a 7 percentage point jump in these two combinations and 9-11 percentage point jump in other combinations.

Even the cut-off for Economics and B.Com (Hons) has increased significantly from last year, when the college had asked for 95.5% for Economics, and 95.25% for B.Com (Hons).

“In BA Programme last year, we ended up admitting four times the number of students. We had thought there will not be much demand for the course, but we had to over-admit. This time, we were told around 75,000 applicants have scored 95% and above, so we had to be careful,” said Deshbandhu Principal Rajiv Aggarwal.

He pointed out another reason why even off-campus colleges are keeping their cut-offs high – there is no data with the colleges on how many students are interested in applying to them and in what courses.

Until a few years ago, students would have to select courses and colleges they are seeking admission in when they filled their application. Now, the form auto selects all options, to ensure applicants don’t miss out on any college or course of their choice.

“Without this data, we can’t but be careful. All colleges will have to be. Last year, we admitted around 200 students for 80 seats in our Political Science course. We don’t know how interests will change so we need to keep it high,” said Aurobindo College Principal Vipin Aggarwal.

At Aurobindo, the highest cut-off was for B.Com (Hons) at 98%, up from 94% last year. B.Com and Electronics are at 96% now. Last year, the cut-off for these subjects was 93% and 91% respectively.

Similarly, at the Delhi College of Arts and Commerce, BA Programme cut-offs have seen a jump of 7.5-8 percentage points. Even English has gone up from 94% to 98.5% and B.Com (Hons) from 96.5% to 99%. At Satyawati College, the cut-off has increased to 98% and 98.5% in Economics and English, from 95% and 94.5% last year.

“Our faculty members wanted the cut-off to be higher than it is because we can always reduce in the second list, but we decided to keep it at this. All colleges have exercised caution,” said Satyawati Principal Nirmal Jindal.

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