Delhi University: 100% cut-offs and standards of merit

Delhi University: 100% cut-offs and standards of merit
Delhi University: 100% cut-offs and standards of merit
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Alankrita Anand| The News Minute| July 1, 2014| 01:30 pm IST

Every year, when the University of Delhi declares its ever-high cut-offs, the many hopefuls wait with bated breath. This year the university received 2.5 lakh applications for 54,000 seats. That puts its acceptance rate at 21.6%.

Three years back, when the cut-off at Shri Ram College of Commerce touched the maximum of 100% for B.Com Honours, the college and the university earned criticisms from many people and organizations. Kapil Sibal, the then HRD Minister, called the cut-off irrational. But the college managed to fill 288 seats out of the 314 general seats. (The 100 cut-off was for students from the general category).

Clearly, there are students who are meeting these cut-offs. In fact, the cut-offs are set after going through the 12th board exam results of CBSE, ISC and the various state boards. Over the last 10 years, there has been a phenomenal rise in the marks awarded. The students aren’t necessarily growing smarter. Ten-twelve years ago, 90% was a marker of excellence, five years ago, it was 95% and three years ago, Indian Today published a cover story which read- “95% and nowhere to go”.
Read the India Today report here.

This year, the cut-offs are higher than last year for most courses; this has been the trend for quite some years now. While the most ‘sought after’ colleges have little to offer to those with less than a 95%, popular courses like B.Com Honours and Economics have the highest cut-offs with most colleges offering these courses in the 96-99% bracket. Hindu College has kept its general cut-off bracket for B.Com Honours at 97.25-99.75%.

Among the humanities courses, English and Psychology have once again seen high cut-offs and History and Political Science have seen a hike in many colleges.

But it is the Computer Science cut-off that has once again come as the biggest shocker- 3 colleges, namely, Acharya Narendra Dev, Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma and Shyama Prasad Mukherji have declared the higher end of their cut-offs as 100%.

Until two years back, admissions to the English and Journalism courses used to be held on the basis of common entrance tests; these were scrapped and as a result, colleges pegged their cutoffs as high as 98.5 for Journalism and 97.5 for English. The cut-offs for English have remained as high if not higher this year while the cut-offs for Journalism have come down by a mere two points in most colleges.

If the students are scoring the 95-100% and most colleges are filling all their seats by releasing two-three cut-off lists, who is at fault? What is our measure of merit? The (very) few seats reserved under the Sport and ECA (Extra Curricular Activities) quotas aside, it is about blurting out what’s been learned over twelve years, if not two, in a matter of three hours.

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