After a range of concerns surfacing amidst students, the School of Open Learning, popularly known as SOL might be getting the FYUP next academic year onwards.

SOL or School of Open Learning is Delhi University’s solution for students who prefer distance learning. The correspondence courses from the institute are a popular preference for students who want to immediately work after school while they also earn a degree. It is also an option for those who do not have a very high percentage that might be sufficient for them to earn admission in their choice of course in a regular college. However, the best part about SOL has been the fact that despite the fact that you are doing a correspondence course, the degree is the same as other colleges and is awarded by the Delhi University.

When the rest of the colleges in the Delhi University went ahead with the Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP) this year, it was announced that SOL would continue with the previous existing three year programme. The decision has raised a slew of apprehensions among applicants who are now looking at a three year correspondence course vis-à-vis a four year regular one. Not only does it create a disparity between the degrees awarded, it also raises questions whether the ones under the FYUP will actually be more ‘employable’.

The reason for SOL not adopting FYUP this year is the fact that the methodology of SOL courses is heavily dependent on the course material. And it is apparent that developing course material for the hurriedly formulated FYUP will certainly take time. However, SOL authorities believe that they should be able to work on the same and the FYUP should come to SOL in the coming year. At present the centre offers five undergraduate courses namely, B.A. Programme, B.Com (Pass), B.Com (Hons.), B.A. (Hons.) Political Science and B.A (Hons.) English literature. One needs to note that three of these don’t exist with the FYUP. While B.A. Programme is scrapped, B.Com has been replaced with a Baccalaureate in Commerce degree. Hence, what would happen to SOL next year with its limited set of courses is a matter of concern as well.

With drastic changes coming to the rest of the university, the changes that are in store for SOL might have been delayed, but are surely still expected.

(For entire Admissions 2013 coverage click here)

File photo
File photo

This admission season, as per university guidelines, ECA aspirants will not get more than 15% concession from the last cutoff for a specific course in the general cutoff list. Till 2011 there was no minimum eligibility criterion for students successful in ECA trials. It is being said that putting a bar on the concession in academic merit will prevent backdoor entries in colleges and hence a maximum of 15% concession in the cutoff has been introduced.

a) Super Category: Direct Admission by the College without Trials

Sports  persons  who  have  participated / represented  the  country  in the following competition(s):

  1. Olympic Games by  International Olympic Committee
    1. World  Championships  under  International  Sports  Federations (IQA  and/or MYAS recognized / affiliated Games)
    2. Asian Games by Olympic Council of Asia
    3. Asian Championships organized by International Federation of concerned game / sport (recognized/ affiliated by MYAS and / or lOA)
    4. Commonwealth Games, S.A.F. Games and Afro-Asian Games
    5. Paralympic Games (recognized/ affiliated by IOC and / or MYAS)

b) Admission  based on Sports Trials

  1. Maximum 50 Marks for Sports Certificates
  2. It is essential for the candidate to qualify any One of the following Fitness Test items for Archery, Chess and Shooting and any Two of the following Fitness

Test  items for  other  Games/Sports  as  per the standards  laid down  by the university (for the general fitness):

1 Strength Standing broad Jump:1.65 mts for Men1.15 mts for Women Three attempts allowed
2 Endurance 1000 mts Run / Walk:5.00 mm   for Men6.00 mm    for Women One attempt allowed
3 Speed 50 mts. Dash:8.00 sec. for Men9.00 sec. for Women One attempt allowed

A candidate who qualifies the Fitness Test will be issues a certificate by the concerned college. This certificate will be accepted by other colleges too.

A maximum of 50 marks are allotted for Sports Trails, which includes skills test, game performance test, game specific fitness, fundamentals of the game/sport etc. A minimum of 18 marks are required to make a candidate eligible for sports admission. Schedule for the sports trials can be accessed from the website of individual colleges.

Image Credits: Additi Seth
[email protected]

DU_Logo1The Faculty members of the History Department at Delhi University recently wrote an open letter criticizing the FYUP and highlighting significant loopholes in the way in which this new undergraduate system was implemented by the University officials. Here it is:

“We are in the midst of strong protests by teachers and students against the imposition of the Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP) in Delhi University by the University administration. Since forums for academic discussion and debate in the University are no longer functioning, this letter from Faculty members in the History Department at Delhi University seeks to set the record straight on many details related to this issue.

1) The public needs to know that discussions regarding the new FYUP were managed by the University authorities, not in a democratic academic environment framed by University regulations, but in committees carefully screened by the University administration. The Department of History, indeed no department in the university, was involved in its formulation. We were eventually given a framework within which we were compelled to produce a syllabus for undergraduate instruction (about 35 courses to be taught in the third and fourth years of the programme) in the ridiculously short time of a fortnight, eventually changed to a month. University authorities clearly have no conception that a task of this kind requires time for serious deliberation and discussion about academic content of the courses and the pedagogic principles underlining them.

2) If the History Department was distanced from the framing of the course structure of the FYUP, it was kept entirely in the dark in the making of the compulsory ‘Foundation Courses’ to be taught to every single student in the first two years. Until recently we were actually not privy to their contents – such is the level to which the University has distanced its Faculties from itself today. All new courses in the University are supposed to be first debated in the respective Department Councils, and then passed by their Committee of Courses and finally the respective Faculties. These basic University regulations that ensure the quality and academic integrity of its courses were systematically flouted to enable the passing of the Foundation Courses. The Faculty of the History Department was not informed, nor did we participate in the recently conducted orientation programme for the History Foundation Course which was held for the first batch of specially selected college teachers.

3) Serious questions can be asked about the intellectual and pedagogical quality of the Foundation Courses prepared by the University. The Indian History and Culture Course, for instance, lacks academic rigour, refers to subjects from history while providing no context, and does not introduce students to historical methodology or serious scholarship. Some of the signatories to this letter have drawn attention elsewhere – that the course suffers from a naive and flat presentism, and fails even so much as to mention caste, class or community formation. The casualness in the preparation of this course is underlined by the fact that some of its parts are plagiarized from a Class XI CBSE textbook. Leaving the ethics of the case aside for the moment, the education of first year students in Delhi University is pegged at the same standard as the CBSE! The course has a sophisticated bibliography, but it is clear that these readings were not the inspiration for its contents or the philosophy that guided its pedagogy. A more likely hint of its sources of inspiration lie in the online materials – links to Wikipedia – to which students are also guided. This is shocking considering that teachers all over the world strongly dissuade their students from using their variable and unverifiable quality of information.

4) It is essential to keep in mind that University Education is a moment for both intellectual exploration and training in the complexities of different disciplines. Instead we have courses like the compulsory Integrating Mind, Body and Heart, which consist entirely of a foray into selective episodes in the life of Mahatma Gandhi plucked out of context and require that students model themselves on him (and him alone) in their life. Surely the goal of a modern University is to promote independent and wide-ranging thinking rather than this kind of uncritical and most un-Gandhian worship / adulation of a single individual, no matter how great s/he may be.

The protest and anxiety voiced by the signatories to this letter cuts through the differing intellectual persuasions of the members of the History Department. While the University administrators blame the University Faculties for stymieing progress and course revision, this is far from the truth. We are protesting draconian changes that are conceptually weak, irregularly framed and arbitrarily enforced.”

About 150 teachers and students who had gathered to protest against the four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP) in Delhi University were arrested at India Gate on Monday. The protest was a peaceful candlelight protest and was organised by the Joint Action Front for Democratic Education (JAFDE).

There were about 500 teachers and students in all who came together at India Gate to hold a torchlight procession. All the detained teachers and students were loaded onto buses and kept in the Parliament Street Police. On this matter, S B S Tyagi, DCP, New Delhi was quoted as saying, “They didn’t have our permission to protest at India Gate. We advised them to move to Jantar Mantar but they refused. We had to detain them.”

Soon after the declaration of class XII board results, DU has again found a place in news. Only this time, it’s about a new course structure, amidst expectations of a rising cut off.

Let’s have a glance at this year’s results. About 7231 students crossed the barrier of 95%. While high percentage surely would have come as relief to both parents and students, how good would be the chances a student who has scored, say, 93%, would only become clear once the cut offs are declared.

Since the 95%+ club has been inundated with students, specially Science students, an average of about 3-4 % rise seems inevitable in the cut offs of science courses, as is also evident from the fact  that 754 students have scored 98% and above in physics and 426 people got merit in biology.

Altogether 44,676 students have scored 90% and higher in the Class XII CBSE boards, and their best-of-four aggregate for undergraduate admissions is likely to be even higher as 701 students have scored 100 in Maths and 1,498 have scored 96% and above in English. A spiralling rise was seen in Accountancy were 403 students earned merit in comparison to 223 in last year and in Business Studies it is 901. It is expected that increase in cut off for commerce course will range from 0.75%-1%. With SRCC, last year, announcing an unbelievable 100% cut off (for non-commerce students), it will be very interesting to see how this year’s increase takes shape. St Stephens which announced 98% as economics honours cut off is now expected to announce cut off around 98.75% – 99%. Humanities courses are also expected to see a rise of about 1%- 2%.

(For entire Admissions 2013 coverage click here)

However, not all subjects have witnessed an increase in marks scored. In Core English, the merit certificates have gone down from 1,782 to 1,498 this year, a decrease of about 19%. In Elective English, the decrease has been around 2-3%. CATE has been scrapped and the University will be admitting students on the basis of marks after many years.

The other reason spotted for rise in this year’s cut off might be the risk of over-admitting students. Earlier, there was rampant over-admission in spite of high cut-offs. But with the increase in the number of available seats under the four-year undergraduate program, there are contradictory views that this might get balanced out too.

Moreover, it’s a new system and colleges might be very cautious and conservative, especially for the first cut-off list, but in subsequent lists, cut offs are expected to normalize. Overall, there are a number of factors to be considered—the four-year undergraduate program that will increase the total strength of Delhi University’s undergraduate classes by about a third, redistribution of seats that formerly belonged to ‘Program’ courses, removal of entrance tests in several courses and, finally, the Class XII CBSE results. The abolishing of the BA, BCom and BSc program courses has added seats to many of the honours courses and the impact this has on cut-offs, will depend largely on how many seats have been redistributed and among how many subjects.

This year it’s going to be very tricky.

Update: The cut-off for St. Stephen’s College was declared on June 21st. Check the details here.

Image credits: Surbhi Bhatia 

Delhi University does it again. From delay in examination results to admissions, they have now failed to restructure the to-be introduced 4-year undergraduate programme within time. Sources at DU reveal that a select group of teachers from each department had been asked to prepare the curriculum for the new course, which was to be submitted to the Vice Chancellor by the 11th of March, or as some sources say the 20th. Either way the deadline has been overshot by most departments, and with just 3 months left for the university to start enrolling students, this delay has received much flak.

The teachers have criticized the proposed reforms citing issues like shoddy infrastructure, undemocratic representation of college teachers in syllabus making, hasty and unplanned manner of increasing student workload. As a result many senior teachers have been kept in the dark and have been asked to only work on the design and their opinion has definitely not been taken into consideration as to how and why a 3 year honours programme can be diluted and converted into a 4 year course. According to a senior teacher from Miranda House, ‘DU is still trying to cope up with the changes made with the introduction of the semester system. Asking us to convert the syllabus of a rigorous 3 years honours programme, into one of 4 years that too within 15 days is something close to impossible’.

The deadline is yet to be met, and many teachers have actually opted out of the process while questioning the validity of the entire idea.

University of Delhi has planned on merging three courses, BFIA (Bachelor of Finance and Investment Analysis), BBE (Bachelor of Business Economics) and BBS (Bachelor of Business Studies), amidst much protest from the students of the three courses. The plan is to create a course that can be pursued as a four-year undergraduate degree.

Incidentally, the four-year undergraduate plan is already protested against by students and teachers alike. The three courses might collectively be called Bachelor of Business and Management. Total intake of the three courses is 891 divided as: BBE (554), BBS (274) and BFIA (62), and the number of seats will remain the same.

Cause of the merger, as the University has stated, is that all three courses have similar curriculum. However, the only similarity is the entrance test that is common for the courses. Also, 10 to 11 papers are unique to the courses. BFIA is a financial course, BBE is an economics-based course and BBS is a management-based one. New selection process is not likely to have GD/PIs. Foreign universities only have a roster for the current courses being offered, that is, BFIA, BBE and BBS.

Devika Chaddha, a student of SSCBS, pursuing BBS, feels that the current students of these three courses would face an “identity crisis” during placements, as the validity of the courses would be questioned. Students don’t mind a new, generalised course to be introduced, but not at the cost of BFIA, BBE and BBS. Some students don’t mind the increment of the duration by one year, as it will reduce the pressure to an extent. Instead of the merger, students are asking for enrichment of the courses by introducing new papers to the courses.

The students of these individual courses are provided with an edge over others because there is specialization at the undergraduate level, which lands them jobs, right after their graduation. A protest was held by students on Sunday, 24th March, 2013 at the Central Park to show their displeasure towards the decision.

No final decision has been taken yet, but is likely to be taken as soon as the admission process begins in the first week of April.


Shreya Mudgil
[email protected]

Latest cricket sensation Unmukt Chand, captain of the Under-19 Indian cricket team, might have garnered heaps of appreciation for his striking innings in the Under-19 Cricket World Cup, but barely had he the slightest of idea that it would also trigger off a countrywide debate.

Apart from being an incredible cricket player, Chand is also a student of B.A. (Programme) in St. Stephen’s College. However, his association with the college has been rather hostile. Earlier this year, following the denial by the college authorities to issue him the admit card for final exams on the grounds of inadequate attendance, he decided to approach the High Court and filed a petition in May stating that since he had got admission under the sports category, a certain relaxation in attendance criteria should be given. Although, with the involvement of the court Unmukt was able to seek permission to appear for exams; he didn’t approach the court on time and consequently could appear in only two exams out of four thus failing to clear the same.

However, in what appeared to be a favourable turn of events for this talented youngster well-known sports personalities decided to pour in support and speak in the matter. From the former national-level cricket player Kirti Azad, also a Stephanian, to current captain of the Indian national cricket team Mahendra Singh Dhoni, lot of people raised questions about the harsh treatment meted out to Unmukt. The Principal on his part was caught in a no win situation as he would receive flak both for abiding by the rules and subverting them.

Apparently, Union HRD minister Kapil Sibal and sports minister Ajay Maken also stepped in and spoke to the Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh who assured them to resolve the matter on priority basis. While responding to the letter written by Maken in this regard, VC said that they have asked the St Stephen’s College Principal to forward them all the necessary papers so that they could help Chand, who led India to U-19 World Cup win.

In his letter to the VC, Maken wrote, “You would agree that fostering and development of a vibrant sports culture in the country which would ultimately lead to our better performances at the international arena is hurt precisely because of such systemic bottlenecks that only discourage young people from taking up sports but also stifles their career mid-way.”

Finally, after much hullaballoo, with the intervention of the Vice Chancellor, Unmukt Chand has been promoted to second year at his college but he will have to simultaneously clear his first year exams as well.

Moreover, Dinesh Singh also indicated that under the proposed structure — that is expected to be placed before the Academic Council in a couple of months — participation in sports activities will be accorded credit towards regular Daily Programmes and the students will have the choice of replacing some of the academic courses with a structured recognition of participation towards his/her degree.


Vatsal Verma
[email protected] 

An exuberant Indian under 19 cricket team recently conquered the World Cup under the leadership of Unmukt Chand but the debate that followed did not centre on Unmukt’s potential as a cricketer. Instead it was the controversy regarding his promotion (orinitially detainment) in college that monopolized the media space.

But surely Unmukt deserves a little leniency after having made the nation proud in such emphatic fashion. Add to that the rigours of cricket practise and one can understand his predicament. On the other hand, the very object of exams is to gauge the progress made by students in their chosen field of study and Unmukt has equivocally made none. Is it then not fair that he be made to repeat the semester?

This week Juxtapose poses the simple question whether a world cup can buy a promotion?

At Hindu College


Admissions are probably the most chaotic time of the year for DU, well maybe they’ve taken a back-seat to the ever-controversial semester system, but they remain a prominently harrowing process nevertheless. With the fake-caste certificate scam and the Ramjas admission racket, the quota entry into DU is eyed with much suspicion. The sports quota is perhaps no exception.

However this year, the sports quota admissions at Delhi University apart from being decentralized, were also based on equal weightage for a candidate’s certificates and trial performance, unlike last year’s 75-25 ratio, which people tried to exploit through fake National and Zonal certificates.

“When there was no marking system, there was a possibility of manipulating the coach or team to get in. Even last year, students manipulated the marking system by getting fake certificates to satisfy the 75% weightage given to certificates. But this year, with the 50-50 weightage given to certificates and field trial, there is complete transparency. A lot of colleges, including ours, are videotaping the trials to be able to address any grievances later.” said Mr. Narendra Gaur, HOD Physical Education, Sri Venkateswara College.

As per the fresh guidelines notified by DU, the trials were conducted by a panel of representatives from the University Sports Council and an observer from the University Vice-Chancellor’s office. A physical fitness test preceded the trials and only shortlisted candidates are allowed to compete.

“Last year’s centralized sports trials caused a lot of hue and cry. But the system this year was very transparent. There was a check on colleges as the Sports Quota Admission Committee of each college was headed by the principal and also included sports experts from a confidential university-approved list. There was absolutely no possibility of any nexus between a student and the experts.” said Dr. Meera Sood, Secretary of Delhi University Sports Council (DUSC) about Sports Quota admissions this year.

Having changed the Sports Quota admission process two years in a row, DU seems determined to rule out any possibility of foul-play when it comes to quotas. “A few years back it was possible to get in through sports quota if you knew someone on the team, as the coach along with the team would take the trials. Obviously we never take bad players, since we have to play with them as a team, but it was a possibility all the same, and has perhaps even happened before. But with the new system, there’s no such chance, because the trials are supervised by experts from SAI (Sports Authority of India)”, said two members of the Hansraj and Hindu basketball teams.


Garima Verma
[email protected]