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DU mulls mix of boards, entrance for admissions

DU acting vice-chancellor P C Joshi said the university will try to move away from looking at board exam percentages to looking at percentile instead.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: February 27, 2021 10:28:47 am
Du examination, DU exam, Du entrance exam, Delhi university, Delhi news, Indian express newsJoshi said the proposal to consider percentile instead of percentage is part of the drive towards a more standardised way to calculate “merit”.

With a common entrance test for admissions to central universities on the cards, Delhi University is considering an admission process based 50% on the Central Universities Common Entrance Test (CUCET) and 50% on board exam results.

DU acting vice-chancellor P C Joshi said the university will try to move away from looking at board exam percentages to looking at percentile instead.

Joshi is part of the committee set up by the central government “to consider the issue (of) holding common entrance test at undergraduate level only from the next academic year in central universities to provide a single platform for admission”.

“The centre is coming out with the CUCET, for which several committee meetings have been held and it will be finalised shortly. Once that is done, we will be having weightage for both CUCET and board examinations with 50% for each,” he said.

Delhi University admissions are characterised by sky-high cut-offs every year. Last year, Lady Shri Ram College for Women had 100% cut-offs for three programmes, and 30 courses across colleges had cut-offs over 99%. DU officials had said that the record-high soaring cut-offs had been because around 5,500 of the registered candidates had a ‘best-of-four-subjects’ percentage of 100%.

Joshi said the proposal to consider percentile instead of percentage is part of the drive towards a more standardised way to calculate “merit”.

“We get applicants from education boards across India, of which some are conservative, some are liberal, In ‘X’ board, students of a certain competence are given 100%, while in ‘Y’ board students of the same competence are given 97%. We will try to put them on an even ground to give everyone the best chance. We are trying to evolve a mechanism to determine percentiles keeping in mind these variations, and the NTA will help us with this,” he said.

In 2020, the first cut-off list for DU admissions had been released in the month of October.

Shobha Bagai, who was Dean Admissions for 2020-21, said class 12 marks should not be considered if entrances are being held. “Students choose their subjects after class 10, but sometimes after studying in Class 11 and 12, they may feel that some subjects were not to their liking or they want to focus on just one or two subjects. With the entrance test, they have the option to narrow down, but if class 12 marks are also considered they will have to perform well in all subjects.Why have two ways of testing students and put more pressure on them?” she said.

However, Bagai said that if the Committee decides to consider both class 12 marks and entrance exams, considering percentile over percentage would be a better system.

Former Deputy Dean of Students’ Welfare Gurpreet Tuteja said such a move would bring all Boards at par and class 12 board marks cannot be eliminated. “It is the basic qualification, so that is vital. But entrance will make DU admissions a level-playing field since some Boards always give more scores. When the whole country gives the same paper, we will know where everyone stands,” he said.

Tuteja said percentile is a better marker than percentage since it “normalises different standards”. However, he said it would also be a “very difficult task” for the university to calculate the percentile of each student. “The Boards should give the percentile,” he said.

Hindu College principal Anju Srivastava said it would be a good system but only if the weightage of the entrance test was higher. “Considering the class 12 marks is not a bad idea because it keeps alive the seriousness and importance of the Board exam. But there is no uniformity of standards in the Board marking, so the entrance exam is necessary. It should have more weightage,” she said.

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