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DU: High Fee, Arbitrary Admission Process Making Things Difficult for Students

Students protest to demand transparency and accountability in the admission process.

New Delhi: Students at the Dean of Students Welfare office at Delhi University came together on Tuesday to protest under the banner of Students Federation of India (SFI) to demand transparency and accountability in the admission process. 

“Nobody would dare to think about admission to Delhi University with such a staggering fee and haphazard process where there is no transparency,” Nishtha Singh, who came to Delhi from Bhagalpur three years ago to pursue higher education, told NewsClick.

She said after graduation, she applied for a post-graduation at Delhi University through Post Graduate Common University Entrance Test (CUET). However, she could get admission only to MA Buddhist Studies.

Narrating her ordeal, Singh said the university conducted its own entrance exam earlier and got students admitted. However, worrisome changes have taken place this time. “The students have to shell out Rs 1,400 in CUET if one applies for six subjects. Once you clear the exam, the university is now demanding Rs 200 per subject. Even though I was a student at Delhi University, I had to pay additional money for a migration certificate. I hail from a place where parents do not think about sending children to Delhi for studies. They would rather send them to West Bengal, where studies are much cheaper. Delhi University is a central university, but its action defies the federal character,” Singh added. 

In addition to these problems, she said “the fee payment portal is down, and the website suffers regular glitches. Application of students at the department level is being rejected, and the university is offering no clear reason for it. All of this has hit the aspirants with anxiety.” 

Much like Singh, Aditi Tyagi, an SFI activist who got admission into MA Philosophy, told NewsClick that the common practice by Delhi University was to publish a list citing marks in the entrance exams. “Students who scored low in the exams would know that they would have to try somewhere else. Currently, there is deep anxiety among students on whether they will be able to secure admission because those who scored fewer marks have secured seats. In contrast, students with higher marks are running from pillar to post to seek explanation.” 

Tyagi added that the fee of the courses had also jumped significantly when pursuing graduation. “A course like B. A (Political Science) can cost you Rs 30,000 per year. So, he/she may have to spend Rs 1.20 lakh for the course alone. One may add a similar amount for food and lodging too. DU never had this much of an exclusionary approach,” she said. 

Hinting at possible forgery in admissions, she said, “Within the same category, few students who have scored higher marks have been rejected, whereas their competitors with lower scores have been offered admission. There is clearly a nexus going on. Last time as well, due to outsourcing the conduction of exams, a few candidates who were sons of BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) leaders, including the last DUSU (Delhi University Students Union) president, secured high marks. In contrast, other candidates scored very low marks.” 

Arif, awaiting admissions, told NewsClick that there was no clarity over reservations and its implementation. “Through the common list, it can be seen that the reserved seats are all filled. We are getting numerous complaints that students from marginalised categories are being turned away as they do not possess recent caste certificates. The university officials gave students amnesty for 21 days to get their certificates updated. The current admission process remains a classic case of how to deny admissions to students,” he said. 

NewsClick did not get a reply from DU Registrar Vikas Gupta on the allegations made by the students. The copy will be updated once his response is received.

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