Girls accounted for nearly 292 out of the 528 students who took admissions under the sports quota at Delhi University but chose to drop their seats due to the lack of hostel accommodation in Delhi. The matter draws our attention to many impediments to women’s higher education.
Near the close of the University’s official admissions season in late December, the administration officials discovered that 528 of the total number of students selected for sports-based admissions had failed to deposit fees and confirm their registrations. Many informed the University that their decision was born out of uncertainty with regard to hostel accommodations. Since 292 of such applicants were girls, the larger issue of women’s higher education being fraught with obstacles is brought to light.
“We found that of the 528 applicants who did not pay the fees, 292 were girls. These are applicants, who despite the approvals given by the principals and college admission committees, after the allocation of courses and institutions, didn’t confirm their admissions by paying the fees. So, these seats are now vacant and need to be filled.” – Pankaj Sinha, Chairperson of DU Sports Council
It comes as no surprise that a dearth of hostels at the University is clamping down upon the merit of so many girl students. The thought of off-campus accommodation in a city like Delhi invoked fear and is expensive as well. When added to the social pressure of ‘saving’ the money that could be ‘wasted’ on a girl child’s education, one can see the complete scope of the problem raised by these dropped admissions.
“When we spoke to some of these students and their parents, we were told that they weren’t keen (on admissions) after they found accommodation in Delhi a major concern since there weren’t hostel facilities available for them.” – Pankaj Sinha, Chairperson of DU Sports Council
As Mr. Pankaj Sinha correctly observed- vacancies of such a nature would attract negative publicity for the University, and “greater scrutiny by the government agencies, the public, and the media.” As such, the Chairman has urged the University to release the third list and fill the remaining seats immediately. The third list won’t be open to those who had applied in the previous two lists but failed to make good on confirmation of their admission. It came out on 4th January 2021.
“We will issue a new list with a fresh set of students. Currently, I am asking colleges to send me their seat matrix to see how many vacancies there are. We will allot seats in colleges to students as per their preference.” – Pankaj Sinha, Chairperson of DU Sports Council
What becomes exigent is a revamp of hostel facilities by the University. Allocation of funds to building more hostels, as well as improvement of existing infrastructure, will go a long way towards the golden futures of female aspirants. Special education drives aimed at educating the aspirant’s parents on the necessity of higher education for the girl child will also have a role to play. These measures, however, seem much lower on the University’s list of concerns for now.
The Sports Council, meanwhile emphasized how the entire process was made successful with ‘zero-contact’ and ‘without any human intervention’, in the wake of a global pandemic. The procedure was relegated to the sphere of software specially designed for admissions. No interference, except occasional scrutiny of the machinery, on part of the administration, marked the duration of college and course allotment in a year that proved to be a major obstacle course for the University.
Feature image credit : Parveen Negi