In the wake of the circumstances wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic, the University of Delhi is considering the decision of not conducting the trials for sports quota admissions for Undergraduate courses for the academic session 2020-21. The University may also halt admissions under certain Extra Curricular Activities (ECA) due to the absence of a recognised body to issue certificates for the same.
Most colleges in the University of Delhi, reserve 5% extra seats in each course under both categories collectively which help students who are proficient in any of the University’s prescribed sports or extra-curricular activities.
The sports quota is offered by the university in 27 disciplines including football, hockey, cricket, swimming, basketball, archery, among others. Candidates who apply for admission under this category are usually required to submit their merit certificates and appear for trials in their chosen sport. The trials carry a weightage of 60 marks and the certificates are of 40 marks.
Similarly, the University recognises 14 activities under the ECA category which consist of dance, debate, creative writing, music, theatre, NCC, NSS among others. Under the ECA category, the applicants are initially shortlisted based on their merit certificates received in the last three years. Those shortlisted are then called for centralized trials at various venues.
This year, however, the admissions department of the University is considering skipping the trials under the sports quota and giving admissions based on certificates, due to the social distancing norms to regulate the spread of Covid-19. Further, the University is also considering stopping admissions under certain ECA activities due to the issues regarding certification of ECA certificates as there is no recognised body to issue certificates for the same.
The Admission Department Head of the University of Delhi, Shobha Bagai said that, ‘It’s a huge risk to call candidates to the campus for sports and ECA trials this year. Also, it will not be possible for students to travel from different states to appear for the trials. So, we are considering if admissions can be given based on certificates issued by authorized sports bodies. In the case of ECA, there is no such system, and students sometimes submit certificates issued by residents’ welfare associations (RWAs) or local bodies. It becomes difficult to ascertain the authenticity of such certificates since we do not have any list of recognized bodies for ECA, unlike sports. Therefore, we have to see if, for a year, we can forgo admissions under ECA,”
Alternate ways for admission under ECA category are being explored by the University’s admission department. “For some ECA disciplines, we can try to see if a candidate can upload a video of his/her performance to obtain the admission. All these are being considered,’ said Bagai.
However, various concerns are being raised regarding the University’s considerations of not conducting sports trials and halting ECA admissions. Rajesh Jha, a member of the Executive Council of the University also expressed his concerns regarding the issue of halting ECA admissions. ‘The administration should not forgo some ECA categories since many students who are not academically strong rely on their talent to secure admission,’ he said.
DU aspirants who wish to apply for admission through the Sports and ECA quotas have also raised certain apprehensions. ‘I feel admission under the sports category solely based on merit certificates isn’t a viable method to test an applicant’s proficiency in a particular sport. There may be many applicants who are excellent players but don’t possess many certificates and hence lose out. The solution isn’t to eliminate the process, but to modify it to best suit the prevailing situation’ says Ishika Rana, a DU aspirant from Sonipat.
Various alternate suggestions have also poured in regarding the conduct of sports trials and teachers have said that the University can allow the colleges to conduct their trials rather than having centralised trials.
On the other hand, some are still optimistic, though, that there may be an improvement in the Covid-19 situation and feel that the university should wait for a while until taking a final decision. Pankaj Sinha, a member of the University’s sports council urged that the University must wait until July to make a decision. ‘There is a possibility that things will return to normal by August and we may be able to conduct trials for sports admissions then. We can call students in small batches for the trials to maintain social distancing,’ he said.
Feature Image Credits: Hindustan Times