An undergraduate admissions guideline has once again been the source of confusion, disappointment, and despair amongst the aspiring students. The varsity is putting into effect a deduction of 2.5% for the inclusion of languages such as Nepali, Tamil, Malayalam, Odia, Kannada, and Marathi in the Best of Four percentage, as they are not counted as academic subjects.
A DU aspirant came to secure her seat in the University for Honours in Geography from Darjeeling and was able to successfully get her documents verified. She was told to check the online portal and pay the fees after 4 pm. However, she soon received a call from the college officials that she is not eligible for admission as the inclusion of Nepali in her Best of Four would attract a deduction of 10 marks; thus, leading her to wait for the fourth cut-off list.
Despite being listed in the Eight Schedule of the Constitution, an official explained that these regional languages are not counted under the Modern Indian Languages (MIL) list of the varsity. Thus, their inclusion would lead to a deduction of marks from the percentage.
The language imposition is also echoed in state boards, wherein students often opt for their native language as an elective subject. The Indian Express quoted a student from the Kerala Board who had to modify the permutations of his subjects in order to successfully secure admission in Hindi College in the second list. He said, “I scored above 90 in Malayalam but still faced a deduction. So I added English, History, Political Science and Economics instead.”
The varsity, however, rationalises this deduction policy as a lack of departments concerning the aforementioned languages. “The course admission committee of each department decides eligibility criteria on what can be included in the ‘best of four’. That is approved by the admission standing committee. I have nothing to do with this,” says Ashutosh Bhardwaj, OSD Admissions.
However, the need to update the MIL list has been recognised by the varsity’s faculty which is necessary to conform to the ‘central’ aspect of the University, and cater to the plethora of students who come from several backgrounds. “To maintain the central character of the university, DU can make these changes. Banaras Hindu University, also a central university, includes Nepali and has several other language departments,” said Saroj Giri, a political science teacher at DU.
Previously, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has also written to the University to allow the inclusion of Home Science, Legal Studies, and Informatics Practice in the best of four without any disadvantage. Sanam Khanna, an English lectures Kamala Nehru College, urges the boards to write to the varsity. She says, “The university just has to get an amendment in the executive council and say that languages listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution also need to be included in the university admission process. If not this, the state boards, CBSE and others should write to the university.”
The matter was further discussed in the executive council meeting of the varsity, which took place on July 3rd. Rakesh Jha, a member of the Council, remarked, “During zero hour, I had said it is important to allow students to include modern Indian languages in the ‘best of four’. Not allowing this will discourage students from opting for these languages during their Plus Two.”
Every academic year, the University of Delhi undertakes most applicants for sixty programmes through a merit-based mechanism. The admissions are conducted on the basis of the best of four percentage secured in the Class XII Board examinations. The criteria for calculating the Best of Four percentage varies across courses; the similarity being regarding the inclusion of one language in the said percentage. The permitted languages which can be included in the BoF are: Hindi, English, Persian, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Urdu, Bengali, and Arabic.
With inputs from The Indian Express
Feature Image Credits: DU Beat