With the admission process going online, the Academic Session 2020-21 witnessed an alarming rate of vacant seats in reserved categories. Lack of accessibility and soaring high cutoffs have contributed to the trend.
The Undergraduate Admissions for Academic Session 2020-21 witnessed large chunks of seats under reserved categories go empty. The Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category noticed the largest percentage of vacant seats, standing at 5.6%. The trend was resonated by other categories such as Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Castes. The University Administration is currently processing grievances but no major change in trends is expected.
With a total of 57 colleges, the University currently offers 5,616 seats under the EWS category. The category which was introduced in the last academic session witnessed lesser applicants getting in comparatively. Of a total of 3,36,000 applications, 85,000 admissions came to fruition. Multiple stakeholders have been split upon the reason for the fall.
“In many cases, we found that allocated seats were filled, but some students who cleared their medical or engineering entrances decided to opt-out”Rajeev Gupta, Dean of Student Welfare
The inability to get caste certificates due to the closure of government offices following the lockdown hindered and excluded a large bracket of students from applying under the reserved categories. Moreover, in the EWS category, the dynamic nature of minimum eligibility requirements and bureaucratic red-tape proved to be a major hurdle for the applicants. Another reason suspected for this fall in admissions is the soaring high cutoffs even in reserved categories. The marginal and non-substantial fall in the cutoff across multiple cutoffs and special drives made it progressively difficult for the candidates to get in.
“Many EWS students who are from outside Delhi may have been put off by the prospect of finding accommodations in Delhi too” opined Anju Srivastava, the Principal of Hindu College. She further highlighted how the thought of attending online classes without proper facilities could’ve played a major role in influencing the decision of the candidates.
Financial instability and the infrastructural requirements of online classes raise a question of the sustainability of online learning in the long run. With the University taking active cognizance and analyzing data, there is a need for introspection into the working mechanisms of the admission procedure and take steps to make it more inclusive.
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