Getting into Delhi University just got tougher, a two-fold increase in the competition to be exact, with the final application figures on the last day of mission admission on Wednesday totalling 2,49,661 at 5 p.m. This is almost double the 1, 3500 applications received last year for the 54,000 seats which haven’t increased, even by one, this year despite talks of “new courses,” “re-appropriation of seats,” and other similar insinuations that may have led the average student/parent to believe that the seat availability might increase.

“More than half the applications were submitted physically this year, 1, 26,704 to be exact, and this is despite slashing the price of online forms by half, even the forms sold physically were double the sale of online applications” said Dean Students’ Welfare J.M. Khurana.This information could be seen reflected in the North Campus which has resembled a beehive on the verge of bursting, since the beginning of mission admission on June 5.

However, the last day on Wednesday had the additional company of the usual last-minute suspects like panic-stricken students with their parents and friends in tow, unaccountable salesmen handing out pamphlets ranging from institutes offering criminology courses to restaurant brochures and even a van selling religious paraphernalia.

This time around the university had decided to keep open the counters till 4 p.m. instead of shutting it on the dot at 1 p.m. with a lunch break of one hour. Afternoon blues, however were driven away by the shouting and chanting ruckus by student organisations like the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad.

“At the beginning of every admission season during the open days, we tell students not to wait till the last minute, but invariably there is always a rush on the last day with students unnecessarily getting panicky. Some even wait for the last hour,” said Pragya, a student volunteer for the university’s admissions helpdesk for many years now.

Likewise, the sales counters at the arts faculty saw a sudden surge in the crowds post 2 o’clock but sported a deserted look at about 12 p.m. with students sitting cross-legged inside the tents made to accommodate queues or lounging about talking or walking about the campus. The guards who were there for crowd management also looked lost and randomly took to rudely chasing people off the place where the “Queues”, were supposed to be, with frequent high tempers and raised voices making up for the lack of numbers.

“I came here on Monday but was late so I was sent back, I am not the sort of person who goes late anywhere normally,” said Shanhabi Kahn, a Science aspirant from Aligarh. He said that the 4 p.m. deadline was an added boon for out-of-towners like him who found it difficult to get the exact information. Applying online was also a fool-hardy exercise, he felt.

“If I come here I get to see the city and the college where I will have to spend the next four years of my life. If I sit and apply from Aligarh, I will feel Delhi and DU is too far…unreachable.”

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