Breathless euphoria went hand in glove with crushing disappointment and smiling and grumpy students lined up side by side to take admissions in whichever college or course they could manage at Delhi University’s North Campus on Thursday, the first day of admissions after release of the usual sky-high cut-offs.
“I have about 96 per cent and want B. Com (Honours), or Commerce as it is called now, but I really have no chances of making it to this college or the second college of my choice. I am so disappointed,” said Rochak, who had come all the way from Chandigarh. There are no prizes for guessing which college he was referring to. “First choice is Shri Ram College of Commerce and second is Hindu College… I don’t have a third choice but looking around here I think I should have made a list before I left Chandigarh,” he said.
It was a happy day for Kanwal Agarwal. “I had a bet with my son; he made it to SRCC just like I did decades ago. I happily lost the bet. He just took admissions here for the B. Com course. He scored 99 per cent, much above my 82 per cent then.”
Admission counters opened at 9 a.m. sharp but Parul Agarwal and her brother Prakash were at SRCC counters one hour before. “He was so nervous like if he didn’t come here early, they would close the gates and not let him inside. We left our house at 7 a.m. The sort of pressure that he and his friends go through is so ridiculous. He has 97 per cent and thought he might not get a seat in a decent college,” said Parul, sitting on the steps leading out of the admission counters at SRCC.
She added: “I had around 72 per cent and wanted Philosophy (Honours) and I just went to whichever college was willing to take me, but these days these students believe that if you don’t get into one of the better colleges, then you’re sure to be a failure in future.”
A stone’s throw away at Hindu College, guilty of declaring the highest Commerce cut-off of 99.75 per cent, the corridors were chock-a-block with admission seekers and long-suffering siblings. “My brother dragged me here really early. He said there will be a long line and we might have to come again if we don’t come in time,” said Damini, waiting patiently for her brother Yash, who she said was really excited about the new four-year course. “His batch was the first to get the new CBSE grade system in Class X and now he says his whole batch is just lucky that they get everything first,” she added.
There were others who did not make the cut for the course of their choice but were still at Hindu College to take admissions anyway. “I really want English (Honours) but I have taken admission to Philosophy (Honours) because I’ve been fortunate enough to make the cut at least for this course in a nice North Campus college. I am securing the seat, if I do make the cut in the second list for English (Honours) I will cancel this admission immediately,” said Mahima, who scored 91.75 per cent.
It was the same story in Ramjas College, Kirori Mal College, Miranda House, Hans Raj College and every other college in the vicinity – students taking admissions to whichever course, whichever college to secure a seat as long as it fell within the North Campus.