In an attempt to have holistic admission process, Delhi University allows 5% quota in admissions through ECA or Extra-curricular activities. Students can take admission based on their skills in dance, music, art, photography, debating and various other activities. Yet, a students academic percentage is still of extreme importance for admission through this category. Not uniform for the entire University ECA admissions can be confusing, if not tiring. We bring you the breakdown of the process.
Forms for ECA trials are released independent of the University by every college. As of now a number of colleges have already released their ECA forms which will be available to candidates on request. Akriti Gupta, President of the western dance society at Miranda college advices students to keep a track of the colleges website and the notice board in college as they are the only way to learn about the forms release date. A student can apply for one or multiple ECA’s in the form.
Students applying through ECA are required to submit the photocopies of their certificates and portfolios’ at the time of application. This may differ from college to college. In Lady Shri Ram College, a student’s application, certificates/portfolios are the first criteria to be shortlisted, while for some colleges portfolio is a formality and performance during trials matters the most.
A student’s percentage also matters for admission through ECA. Relaxation ranging between 5%- 15% is given to candidates after the release of the first cut off. Apart from filling up the forms, colleges also expect digital versions of students performing their art. Says Abhilash Sinha, President of Western Music Society at LSR, “LSR usually requires a CD of your performance like a video of your music/dance performance or a portfolio for art/ photography; it is all specified in the ECA form.”
The certificates of the past three years matter the most for ECA admission. Guneet Singh, President of Ankur, theatre society of SGTB Khalsa considers certificates an important aspect of decision making. He says “If a student wants to be called back for trials, then certificates are very important.” Akriti also suggests that aspirants include a Letter of Recommendation, if possible.
Auditions also vary between colleges. While in some Presidents of various societies conduct the trials, in others it is only the teachers and sometimes the Principal present. Do expect presence of experts from various fields during the auditions. Trials can range from one round to three or more rounds depending upon the college and the number of applicants.
In the first round of trial, a student is usually given ten minutes to present their art. For music Abhilasha says it can go beyond “just singing”. A student can display their range, tenor or type of voice. Auditions for theatre are usually more than two rounds. Says Guneet, “Auditions for theatre can include anything from using a prop to create a scene or enacting a given situation, we are basically looking for how candidates react to spontaneity and improvisation.”
For debating auditions, candidates are usually given a topic and 5-7 minutes to prepare for it. Debating in Delhi University is a slight shift from the debating in high school. Colleges usually account for good argumentation, reasoning skills and clarity in speech. Auditions may include turn coat debates or extempo speeches, all upon the discretion of the college. Rounds can range from one to three or more. Ramjas College is known to have three rounds of trials.
Competition for admission through ECA is as cut throat as SRCC’s cut offs. In 2013, LSR College received around 600 applications last year of which 35 were shortlisted and 7 were actually given admission. The western dance society of Miranda College received some 35-40 applications for western dance of which 2 were selected. 2-3 students per course are taken in through ECA.
The Binding contract:
According to Delhi University rules, the ECA contract is binding which means a student has to be a part and perform with the society they are chosen, for the entirety of four years. Failure to do so will probably lead to expulsion from the college.
NOTE: ECA trials for many colleges can sometimes be on the same day. If faced with such a situation, students will either have to request the college for a different slot or if worse comes to worse choose between the colleges. ECA trials are usually a lengthy process so go stacked with food, water, sleeping bag maybe.