(This story originally appeared inon Dec 24, 2020)NEW DELHI: TheDelhi University administrationhas stirred a controversy by introducing “college-university seats” above the sanctioned strength just a few days before the admission process is to end.Principals,teachersandstudentsare calling it an introduction of the “management quota”.
While principals are concerned that the order will result in undue pressure on them, teachers fear it will lead to unethical practices.
A circular issued by university registrar Vikas Gupta said, “On the request of principals of constituent colleges of the University ofDelhiand elected executive council members, a committee was constituted to explore the possibility to provide a few seats to colleges in view of Covid-19 pandemic for admission in UG courses merit-based. The competent authority of the university has approved the recommendation of the committee for five admissions under college university seat in the current academic session 2020-21.” DU has also approved ward quota for teaching and non-teaching staff in postgraduate admissions.
An elected teachers’ representative said this had come as a big surprise. Out of the five, three names will be given by the college and two from the university. The only criterion for selection is that the merit of the shortlisted candidates shall “ordinarily” be up to 5% and in no case beyond 10% of the last cutoff issued by the college. These names will have to be sent to a committee set up by DU.
A principal told TOI, “When you are in a position of power, there is a lot of pressure. From the point of view of the public, it is not equality.” Another principal said, “The discretionary thing is disturbing. This will be transferred into a management quota, which never existed in the university.”
A letter by four academic council members from Left organisations said, “This policy compromises the transparency and probity in the admission process. Candidates with lower cutoffs will be allowed admission by the administrators at different levels. The honourable high court of Delhi had categorically ruled against such discretionary admissions by the governing bodies of colleges and, thus, had put an end to the socalled management quota.”
However, dean of colleges Balram Pani said it was not a management quota. “In the pandemic situation, some students have missed the opportunity by 0.5%. No matter what the enrolment, it is just five seats in each college. This will also be done transparently.”
Academic and executive council members say they have not been taken into confidence on the issue. “We oppose any type of discretionary quota in DU’s admission process, which is in gross violation of the principles of merit,” said Rajesh Jha, an executive council member.
However, there are some like Aryabhatta College principal Manoj Sinha who say “discretion” should be allowed” in certain circumstances.
ABVP and AISA have demanded scrapping of the order.