In an admission season of many firsts for Delhi University (DU), a centralised system of sports trials was followed, with different trials being held in the various colleges. However, the preceding fitness trials were no longer centralised but, also held in various colleges with applicants being allowed to appear in any college and use the same certificate everywhere.
An astounding 10,238 applications poured in this year for the 5% seats that the university allots for sports and ECA category. Currently, applicants from 43 disciplines are welcome, including, those from exotic sports like kayaking and canoeing.
Controversy had ensued prior to the sports trials with the High Court demanding DU to explain its sports admission process, after a petition was filed by NGO Child Health Organisation, calling for a centralised and transparent recruitment system. Moreover, 50 aspirants were barred from fitness tests on the very first day of trial as their certificates were deemed ineligible, with many of them blaming the University for not informing them earlier. However, according to grievance committee member, Dr Tarun Routhan, “Many applicants hadn’t checked the status of their admission on the varsity website. Almost 300 doubts and issues were addressed by the grievance committee within the 3 day allotted grievance period. Since the fitness tests were already underway, the issues of the barred candidates couldn’t be solved.”
Indoor sports persons had to clear one fitness test as opposed to two for outdoor players. At being asked about the fairness of this system, Dr Amita Rana, Head of Sports and Physical Education Department at Miranda House, maintained, “A basic level of fitness is expected of every applicant regardless of the sport. Even a player of chess needs enough stamina to perform for prolonged periods.”
At Miranda House, where 31 students were admitted this year, Dr Rana shared some grievances about the new system. According to her, the colleges weren’t given any funds by the University for arranging the centralised trials. Moreover, off-campus colleges have to wait until the latter lists to fill in their seats. Currently, almost half the seats are still vacant in such colleges, while popular colleges have already closed admissions. Also, colleges have to blindly admit students on the basis of the marks given by the judging panel. They cannot personally assess the performance and ability of the applicants.
The centralised system was met with mixed responses, and some aspects need to be altered for the admission process of 2017. The new sports recruits of DU will now be expected to participate in National and Inter-University Games and attend regular practices.
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