Delhi University’s cut-offs are known to skyrocket each year. However, this year — with Lady Shri Ram College keeping 100 per cent cut-off for three subjects, and 30 courses seeing a cut off of 99 per cent or higher — a new record has been set. What led to this big jump?
According to principals, there is no single explanation. Instead it is a combination of factors — from the number of students scoring 95 per cent and above in their class XII board exam, to applications received by the university, DU’s experience with over-admission in recent years, and even the online admission process.
“Cut-offs this year were bound to be higher as many students scored well in their board exams. However, the first list is always prepared with caution to avoid over-admission. The second list will give a clearer picture,” said Hansraj College Principal Rama.
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Last year in the class XII board exams, of a total of 12.05 lakh students, 17,693 candidates or 1.47 per cent had scored above 95 per cent. However, this year, the percentage ballooned to 3.24 per cent, with 38,686 of 11.92 lakh scoring in this bracket. This is significant, as out of the 3.53 lakh applications DU received this year, 2.85 lakh were from the CBSE board.
“We also have to keep in mind that not just in CBSE, but certain state board exams — like Tamil Nadu — too score students very liberally. Since DU’s cut-offs are determined by how students score, this data is very crucial,” said a teacher involved in admissions at a prominent DU college, who did not wish to be named.
Another factor is the fear of over-admission. Since DU’s admissions are based on cut-offs, no student can be denied admission if they obtain the required percentage of marks. This has resulted in problems. Last year, with a cut-off of 96 per cent, Kirori Mal College had admitted over 250 students against 57 seats. In fact, last year, even with its 99 per cent cut-off, Hindu College had to admit students double the number of its seats in political science, and 24 colleges had closed admissions for the subject in at least one category after the first cut-off list.
KMC Principal Vibha Chauhan said, “It was decided based on collective wisdom of a large number of teachers after a four and half hour long meeting… Last year, we had a lot of over admission in political science and a little bit in history as well. The first list is dependent on previous years’ experience and it is when we’re still not very sure about the number of students and where they’re going. There is always scope for adjusting in subsequent lists.”
Hindu College Principal Anju Srivastava admitted over-admission was a concern, but said another factor was online admissions: “Online admissions are not everyone’s cup of tea. There are some apprehensions. Teachers want to be safe on that account too, as they’ve been concerned if they would be able to manage if a huge rush of students come during the first list when they are dealing with a new system.”
While only time will tell if the second list sees a significant dip and brings relief to students, some principals are more hopeful.
Miranda House Principal Bijayalaxmi Nanda said applicants should not be discouraged by the first list: “Cut-offs have been arrived at through rough estimation of applicant data we received from DU. I think applicants should wait for the second list. Colleges will have a clearer idea by then, and results of several entrance exams, including CLAT, are awaited. Students may then choose to go elsewhere. Applicants from other states might choose institutes closer home.”
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