SOL admitted over 4,800 students in one day

Delhi University’s School of Open Learning (SOL) will make it to the 2014 edition of the Limca Book of Records for admitting a record number of students in one day – in the last admission season. “The letter from the Limca Book of Records came to us last week. In the previous admission season for the academic year 2011-2012 we admitted more than 1,25,000 students in five undergraduate courses. The admission process was from June 1 to October 3. All the admissions were completed through an automated admission module and in a single day we admitted more than 4,800 students,” said Dr. O.P. Sharma, who was in charge of admissions at SOL.

“Despite constraints, we were able to efficiently serve the students and that is the most important thing,” said SOL Director Prof. H.C Pokhriyal.

However, efficiency is no mean feat especially if you have to contend with 40-plus temperatures, high humidity levels and even higher tempers, insist the officials.

“We had a detailed plan and trained the staff members before the show could even begin,” said Aditya Prasad, a Campus Centre Law student whose group was in charge of crowd management.

“We all had transistors and a code word for emergencies, ‘Kati Patang’. There were people to oversee that the queues outside each window were uniform,” he pointed out.

Task number one involved making proper entry and exit points at the gates itself.

“We had measured the area inside the campus and had planned the number of people to be allowed on a square foot basis. There was this scary moment, when people lined up outside were trying to push inside and our guards were pushing them back physically,” he said, adding that the institution had requested for 50 Delhi Police personnel but the local police station had sent just two constables to help out.

There were also other arrangements that had to be made. “We had fire tenders on standby; doctors and nursing assistants were in attendance and we even had a psychological intervention plan that was to play soft soothing music. There was a help-desk and water stall. However, the final two days were overwhelming, especially the last day, July 31, when the record number was admitted. Even the principal’s office was made into an admissions window; we started at around 9 and had to wind up by 4-30 p.m..”

But the effort paid off and the SOL managed to not only enrol a record number of students but also found its name mentioned in the record book.