Last year it was 99.25 per cent and the year before that it was 100 per cent. Cut-offs in Delhi University seem to have reached the highest possible limit, but this year the competition to get into a good college might just get worse for the average student. With only a day left for Delhi University’s colleges to declare their cut-offs, a slight tweaking of admission norms might force lesser-known colleges or colleges known for lower cut-offs to increase their cut-offs to the same level of the best colleges who, in turn, are not set to lower their cut-offs.

“We have to be very careful while declaring cut-offs, mostly because we have to admit every student who meets the cut-off. If we make the mistake of declaring slightly lower cut-offs, then we will have over-admissions and that is the biggest problem we can create for ourselves,” said Hindu College principal Pradyum Kumar. His college declared the highest cut-offs last year.

“We have a sanctioned strength of 752 and in spite of all our cautions, we usually admit about 900 to 1,000 students. But, this is manageable,” he added.

Cut-offs are usually declared taking into account the number of applications received and past experience. This year, students were allowed to indicate only his choice of subject and not the college while submitting the central university application form. Now according to the data given to the colleges, if the subject indicated is available in the college then it will be assumed that the student is interested in applying to that college, and the cut-offs will have to be declared on that assumption. The number of students applying for a college automatically goes up. Therefore, if a student with 99 per cent marks applies for a History (Honours) course, then every college offering History (Honours), even the off-campus colleges with substantially lower cut-offs, will have to assume that this student is interested in joining their college and declare their cut-offs accordingly.

Shri Ram College of Commerce, infamous for the 100 per cent cut-off it declared in 2011, came down slightly to humble 98.5 per cent for its coveted B.Com (Honours) course last year, but there is no hope of the college decreasing its cut-offs even more. “Some colleges take into account withdrawals, students who take admissions after their first list usually want to go to some other college after the second list and so withdraw their admissions from the college. However, we cannot take such factors into consideration because there are usually zero withdrawals and our admissions are full in the first list or second list,” said SRCC principal P. C. Jain.

Ramjas College with a sanctioned strength of 1,339 was forced to over-admit students last year. “We took in about 2472 students,” said Ramjas principal Rajendra Prasad, adding that this was in spite of going through precautions and setting a fairly high cut-off. “We do not have the option of taking interviews and rejecting students, we have to take in everyone who meets our cut-off,” he added. Ramjas College had set 98 per cent for its B. Com (Honours) and 97.5 per cent for its Economics (Honours) course.

“This time we also have to declare different cut-offs for SC/ST and PWD, unlike the earlier years when these admissions were centralised,” said Hans Raj College principal V. K. Kawatra.

Other worrying factors are the higher number of students scoring above 90 per cent in the CBSE boards and the number of applications to DU which have doubled since last year.

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