Admit cards for CATE could not be downloaded from website

Glitches and goof-ups continued well into the fourth day of mission admission at Delhi University on Thursday. Admit cards for CATE (Combined Aptitude Test for English) could not be downloaded from the website, many complained of errors in the information bulletin and students' organisations had a field day out-shouting each other at the Arts Faculty where large crowds of students could be seen trying to sell their information bulletins and prospectus after submitting their pre-admission forms.

“There were several hours of nail-biting panic when we started calling all the numbers listed on the DU website and could not get any information about CATE,” said Shahlima, who was calmly filling out applications at St. Stephen's College around 12 noon. She and her brother had landed in the university and someone had told them that they could physically collect their admit cards at the centres where they had submitted them. “Thank God, there was no such thing as an online form, it would have been madness.”

The payment gateway for online applications, after endless promises of “tomorrow it is going to work” was finally in place, but was only met with more suspicion. “As if, we are going to trust that thing now,” said Mrs. Agarwal who had forced her daughter to come to the North Campus. “It does not matter whatever the university is saying, we need physical proof that we have submitted the form and after hearing so much about the trouble people had with filling their online applications, it would be stupid of us to sit at home and fill, submit, download or whatever online,” she added. Her daughter refused to agree with her mother. “It is not like I am dying to get into DU, I am here only because of you,” hissed the daughter at her mother.

She added that it was a big bother to come all the way to the North Campus and she would rather be somewhere else.

Some said that last year's cut-off lists provided in the information bulletin did not match the information they had collected last year and one college complained that their course was not even listed in the information bulletin but refused to say anything further, stating that they had “clarified” things with Dean of Students' Welfare and did not want any trouble.

“We are going on an indefinite hunger strike until they make online applications absolutely free,” declared a poster in the Arts Faculty under which members of the National Students' Union of India sat on make-shift divans. They are all dressed in white and ask passersby to join their “signature campaign”. “ All you have to do is to take this felt-pen and sign on that board which we have erected here for the well-being of students like you,” said one member, thrusting pens at every student passing by along with a “booklet of information” that promises to answer any admission query that you may have.

Not to be outdone was their nearest rival behind a similar counter minus the hunger strike costumes and settings -- the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad. “We protested yesterday, that is why the university has made available forms without prospectus for Rs.20, it was earlier compulsory to buy the form with the prospectus for Rs.100,” said ABVP secretary Rohit Chahal, adding that free drinking water was another achievement of the protest and next on the agenda was a protest for more photo-copying machines at the Arts Faculty.

By 12-45 p.m. hoards of students could be seen selling the information bulletin near the Arts Faculty gates.

“We need the information bulletin only until we fill our forms, once we are done we are selling them to other students for half the price. That way they can buy only the form at the counter and save lots of money. We are only helping the students, especially the poor ones,” said a boy.

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