Well, it’s that time of the year again… when the young Indians, or more specifically, High School Pass outs are beat, traveling around country to find a preferable college seat. Yes, it is the ADMISSION SEASON. We have all been through it. And if you haven’t, be prepared. It’s not a cool summer breeze.
So I have been working towards my engineering degree for 2 years now. And I know what it’s like to shortlist a selection of colleges which I want to apply for, prepare for, and hopefully plan a future for. So while narrowing down my options, IIT was obviously at the top (Duh! Engineering, remember?) then the reputed college that my dad passed out of (it was BITS, Pilani… so obviously!) and finally, the one I am currently attending.
The Delhi University was none of these. And I have my reasons…
- Location: This was more of my parents’ reason. I am a free-thinking girl, and I do not believe in labeling any one particular place unsafe for women. But the year I was to take admissions, was the year the unfortunate Nirbhaya case occurred. My parents were chilled to the core and absolutely stubborn about not going to a college in what the News channels were branding as “the Rape Capital” of the country.
But as I said, I don’t believe in the aforementioned reason. I just want to say this to the readers that you cannot classify Delhi as Dangerous. And if you will, then please don’t leave your home. Ever. Because ALL roads roamed by humans are EQUALLY susceptible to crime. So to me, that is absolutely no reason to not consider, or rather strive for one of the best universities in the nation.
But for the same reason that I am doing engineering, I had to remove Delhi University from my options: for their sake!
- Quotas: The caste-wise division… A crevice in the community; another cause for frustrated minds; a solid parameter for the government political parties’ campaigns. The Quota system, established by god-knows-who during the post-independent period was designed to provide a “fair” chance to all sections of the society.
Well, if it is so fair, then why do the General category students have to have a minimum of 97.4% for the same course of SRCC for which a Scheduled Tribe report aggregate of 87.5% would suffice? That is a HUGE window of 10% whereby it is so much more difficult to score the earlier than the latter (I speak from First Hand experience)!
There are minority quotas in many colleges, right? Though just how is the Academic capability of individuals affected by the population of their community? Basing justice on numbers, in a country like India seems a little off, no?
And who says that the caste system in India has been abolished? We follow it, religiously, if you may! Only, the privileges’ scale is tipped. Those otherwise considered “Backward” by the society are elevated to the top of the food chain. The government serves them reserved seats in silver platters. At the expense of the “general” i.e. AAM AADMI (Are you reading this, Mr.K?)
Now don’t get me wrong… I’m all in favor of empowerment (not the RaGa kind), and if the University wants to grant immense scholarships to those who perform well but are from near-poverty-stricken backgrounds, then be my guest. But RESERVING seats for students by “calculating” the “appropriate” scores for their caste… that’s “ridiculous”! This is not how you define a “fair chance” mi(ni)ster, it is how you MAINTAIN breaches.
And this applies for all government Universities across India, which includes the D.U., just saying.
- Cut-offs: Every year, after the CBSE National Board and the other State boards announce their final year results, the talk of the town turns to the DELHI UNIVERSITY’s cut-offs. I may have mentioned my unhappiness towards the Government colleges’ partiality in terms of their threshold determinations. However, if you remember, I also mentioned that IIT (a fully government funded institution, much the same as D.U.) was at the top of my preferences. It’s not because of the parents this time, though. I simply liked that they offer a vast variety of courses I can choose from. But that applies to D.U. too, you ask? Well, let me add one more argument on your side: they have the biased AARAKSHAN scheme too.
Let me explain myself…
First of all, IIT is realistic – as absurd as it sounds. The students wishing to sit for IIT Mains exam need only have a minimum score of 65% in PCM aggregate. This weightage given to the Boards is only fair and even essential for building a good career in the field. It accounts for a solid base. True, it’s still unfair that the SC, ST, OBC prerequisite is lesser, but it is balanced out later. How?
The question papers handed out at the time of the exam is not marked separately. I know I have to answer questions of EQUAL difficulty as those who get preferences over me elsewhere. Subsequently, the ranks declared in the national database are not (supposed to be) concerned with the caste/status of a candidate. So that should filter out a lot of those students who were not capable of competing anyway. Seems fair to me. They got their chance, I got mine; the best man won.
Then there is the issue of different State Boards. While none of the government universities differentiate the cut-offs for different state exams, IIT has its own (bewildering) course and level of questions that one should be able to answer, no matter which region you belong to. The Delhi University doesn’t.
For D.U., it doesn’t matter if your Board’s curriculum is different (read relatively easier) from the main CBSE Board. 99 matlab 99… Beg, borrow, steal if you have to! So it upset me that D.U. doesn’t have a procedure to “screen” out the students who may not deserve a jack. Hence, I feel shoved back (like the metro), though I may have worked just as hard.
And finally, let’s face it. 99?! THAT is the cut-off? Shouldn’t we try to put that number elsewhere? Literacy rates perhaps? Year after year, D.U.’s “market value” soars higher. Two years ago, (when I was keeping alert tabs) a lot of the colleges touched the 100% mark for cut-off… Therefore, I am startled that the graph is showing signs of saturation. Are they going to stop before hitting the century? That’s disappointing! But I blame the students. Somewhere, I think the cause of such high cut-offs is also that the number of 90s marks has risen so much. That’s convenient, eh? Liberalize the Boards, screw the cut-offs! Keep peaking it. Higher and higher. And higher…