Even though the number of admitted students in Delhi University has surpassed the expectations this academic session, the number of Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Other Backward Castes (OBC) students have left the administration baffled. The data shared by the admissions committee of the university suggests while there were few takers from Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), the seats reserved for SCs and STs too remained vacant.
The data reveals that 65.9% seats of the EWS category, 57% of the seats reserved for STs and 18% of the seats reserved for SCs are vacant after five rounds of admissions.
The official data of admissions cited by a report suggests that against 6,700 EWS seats, only 2,291 seats could be filled. A similar situation prevails for the ST applicants: for 5,025 reserved seats, 2,162 (43%) were admitted. For SCs, 8,448 (82%) of 10,050 seats were filled.
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As per the reservation rules, 27% of the total seats are reserved for OBCs; for SCs and STs, 15% and 7.5% seats are reserved respectively. The reservation for EWS category has been limited at 10% after the Parliament gave the nod for the same, earlier this year.
Following the deficit, the Delhi University has announced a special drive for admissions for the students from the disadvantaged sections of the society. A notice by the administration read, "The Undergraduate merit based system for the academic year 2019-20 based on five cut-off have been successfully completed, as per the specified schedule in Bulletin of Information. The admission committee announces that a special drive be 29th to 30th July, 2019 to address the following...The applicants belonging to reserved categories viz SC/ST/OBC/EWS/PWD/KM/cw/ Minority Sikh who inadvertently missed to apply in their respective categories, can now do so by requesting change, if any, in their categories."
Rajeev Gupta, chairperson of the Admissions Committee, told NewsClick, "We used to receive a huge number of applications from Northeastern states, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh. Now, these areas have seen a number of [new] government and private colleges. That's why the admissions from the Scheduled Tribes are on downward slope."
However, Hansraj Suman of the SC, ST and OBC Teachers’ Association does not agree with this response. He said, “The prime reason behind the vacant seats is the high cut-off set for these students. Secondly and more importantly, colleges do not display the number of seats for SC, ST and OBC students. So, we witness an entirely non-transparent approach from the administration.”
Ratan Lal, a teacher at Hindu College, too echoed similar sentiments. He said, "We must understand that if seats are not being filled up, then existing system of admissions through cut-offs is not working out. Thus, a possible solution could be to reduce the percentage drastically and give admissions to these students."
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