Could Delhi University’s perfect 100 pct demand drive students abroad?
By Annie Banerji
Students across India did a double take this week when one of India’s most sought after commerce colleges declared that 100 percent marks in school-leaving examinations would be the eligibility criteria for admission to a bachelor’s degree course.
Delhi University, which attracts several thousand aspirants from all over the country annually, on Wednesday published its first list of admission criteria that had spiralling percentages in the late nineties and even a perfect 100 marks out of 100.
Terming the perfect score demands “unfortunate” and “irrational”, the human resources and development (HRD) minister Kapil Sibal told CNN-IBN that the education system needs reformation.
“Is a student with 97 or 98 percent incapable of studying Commerce compared to a student with 100 percent? Only one student in this entire list has 100 percent marks in the Science stream and he may never take Commerce,” he said.
In an attempt to reassure students, Professor Dinesh Singh, vice-chancellor of Delhi University, replied: “Cut-offs will fall in the four more lists which are still to come. The high cut-offs are owing to the excellent performance of students in the school-leaving examinations. Colleges are being a little cautious in the first list to avoid being over-flooded by students.”
The university has placed itself in an ignominious position, and its stance was met with outrage from shocked applicants and students on social media sites such as Twitter.
Many feel that this helpless situation will pave the way for a further brain drain of Indian students. Offering more opportunities like dual degree programmes, foreign universities may soon see an influx of Indian students, a phenomenon that witnesses foreign exchange outflows of almost $10 billion annually.
Parul Kala, an aspiring University applicant from east Delhi, has already started looking at colleges in Australia. “Delhi University was my first choice, but looking at the high eligibility criteria I think I’ll have to go with plan B, that is applying to colleges in Australia.”
In an attempt to curtail any further bemusement in the future, the HRD ministry is contemplating replacing the cut-off regime with an aptitude test.
“We could have a national-level examination to test different parameters, with scores that can be accepted by all universities,” vice-chancellor Singh said.
With corrective measures in the education system in India, a country that on one hand produces renowned scholars and on the other records one of the highest illiteracy rates in the world, perhaps it will be able to cater to its own students’ educational requirements as well as to foreign candidates without worrying about “over-flooding”.