Admission Season

Vice-President Advises DU on ECA Row

Shri. M Venkaiah Naidu, the Vice President of India has advised the authorities of the University of Delhi (DU) to reconsider its decision on the Extra-Curricular Activities (ECA) quota and has recommended them to continue the ECA quota system that was being followed by the university previously by allowing colleges to reserve seats for talented artists.

This year, in the light of the circumstances wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Delhi University (DU) has announced that it won’t conduct ECA and Sports trials and consequently this halted the admissions under most of the ECA categories (Music, dance, etc) apart from the NCC and NSS due to the absence of a uniformly recognized body to issue certificates for the same.

Earlier, the university permitted colleges to reserve 5% seats in each course under the ECA category which helped those students who were proficient in any of the University’s prescribed activities, get admitted. The university used to recognize 14 activities under the ECA category which consisted of dance, debate, creative writing among others. Under the ECA category, the applicants were initially shortlisted based on their merit certificates received in the last three years. Those who shortlisted were then called for centralized trials at various venues in the university.

However, this year, the university decided to do away with trials for sports and ECA due to the social distancing norms to regulate the spread of Covid-19, and as a result scrapped the ECA quota for all previously recognized activities except for NSS and NCC due to absence of a recognized body which would issue certificates.

“Due to the unprecedented situation of COVID -19 pandemic and prevailing public health guidelines, admission based on ECA will take place for the category of NCC and NSS only and admission based on Sports will take place without the conduct of Sports Trial,”

said the University in the UG Admissions Bulletin.

This decision of the university with regards to the admission procedure has generated a lot of discontent and concern among the university aspirants who’ve invested their time and efforts in extra-curricular activities along with academics in their school life.

“I think it’s absolutely unfair for all us artists. We are effected in this pandemic as much as others are. By removing ECA the university is indirectly telling us that our talent is not respected and not needed. All talents should be considered equal. Don’t take our chance away. We have worked as hard as any topper in academic exams, just in a different field. Don’t make our efforts go in wain. Don’t take away our opportunity to shine. This may be viewed as just a college admission for some for many artists like myself, it’s an opportunity of a lifetime,”

said Samarth, an artist aspirant from Delhi Public School, Noida.

In view of this situation, numerous eminent artists and gurus as well as Members of Parliament made requests to the Vice President who is also the Chancellor of the Delhi University (DU), to intervene in this issue.

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Hence, the Vice President’s suggestion to the university comes as a ray of hope to those aspirants who’re affected by this decision of the varsity. The Vice President made these remarks in a meeting with the Pro-Vice Chancellor & Dean Colleges, Delhi University who had called on the Vice President.

Apart from being briefed on the pressing issue of Extra Curricular Activities quota, the Vice President was also briefed by the officials on various other issues during the meeting which included- Open Book Examination System & filling in of pending appointments of Registrar, Comptroller of Examination, Librarians, Principals of Colleges & other officials. The Vice President has advised the university to take prompt action on finalizing the examination calendar as well as on filling up vacant positions in the University.

The decision to dismiss admissions uder the ECA category this year has already incited a massive social media outrage among different society circuits and concerned partakers and students took to Twitter and Instagram to share their stories and experiences highlighting the importance of admissions under the ECA category in the varsity. Hence, the decision is sure to have a severe effect on many students.

@Bringbackeca is an Instagram page campaigning exclusively for bringing ECA back

Featured Image Credits: Lokmat

Abhinandan Kaul

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Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history.Freedom to Express.