Sharply criticising a prestigious Delhi University college for declaring an unbelievable 100 per cent cut-off for a particular course, Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal on Wednesday said it was sad that the cut-offs were “irrational” and “exclusionary.”
Mr. Sibal was referring to the Shri Ram College of Commerce on the North Campus which has declared a 96-100 per cent cut-off for admission to B.Com (Honours) in its first list. The Delhi University's admission cut-offs for under-graduate courses, which were declared on Tuesday evening, are at an all-time high.
“It is very sad that a college has declared a 100 per cent cut-off for applicants from a certain stream. I have heard that another college has declared a 99 per cent cut-off,” Mr. Sibal said at a press conference where Delhi University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dinesh Singh was also present.
Attributing the high cut-offs to “systemic and policy issues,” Mr. Sibal said: “Is a student with 97 or 98 per cent incapable of studying Commerce compared to a student with 100 per cent? Only one student in this entire list has 100 per cent marks in the Science stream and he may never take Commerce.”
The Minister criticised the treatment meted out to students on the basis of their academic background. “I ask the Vice-Chancellor and colleges to take note of the high cut-offs,” he said and asked the university and its colleges to fix rational cut-offs for admission.
Empathising with parents and students, the Minister added that “this irrationality” would be taken care of.
Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dinesh Singh said: “Cut-offs will fall in the four more lists which are still to come. The high cut-offs are owing to the excellent performance of students in the school leaving examinations. Last year, there were 200 Central Board of Secondary Education Class XII students with more than 95 per cent, this year there are 800. Also, colleges are being a little cautious in the first list to avoid being over-flooded by students.”
Terming the high cut-off an aberration, Prof. Singh said: “The colleges decide their individual cut-offs through their staff councils. We may have to take a look at this and alter the university statutes. The university is not for too much centralisation.”
When contacted, Shri Ram College of Commerce Principal Dr. P.C. Jain said: “The number of performing students has increased, but there is a dearth of centres of excellence. Hence, students throng to the few existing institutions. Education, performance and competition has improved but the fault lies with the system which has not provided enough capacity.”