After the first edition of the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) was implemented this year in central universities, admissions to science courses across the Delhi University (DU) have seen a drop compared to previous years.
The delayed admission process under the new seat allotment system, which has clashed with the preparations for medical and engineering entrance examinations, has kept students opting out of science courses, according to faculty members.
Even those who have secured admission in these courses are low on attendance due coaching and preparation for the upcoming JEE and NEET exams.
“The admission process, which used to get over by August, has shifted to the latter half of the year. Admissions started in October and are still going on mid-November. Many students who take admissions in science courses prepare for JEE-NEET exams. Every year, we would admit 25%-30% extra students as at least 20% would go on for other courses and never come back. On an average, we would do 120-130 admissions to retain over 80 students, depending on the sanctioned strength, which at our college is 86. But this time, we have only 82-83 admissions so far while those attending classes are even lesser,” said Abha D Habib, associate professor of Physics at Miranda House.
Also, faculty members said while classes have just started for the first year, the first semester technically ends by January-end. This will again clash, as second and third year students will be writing their exams when most of the campus turns into an examination centre, which will affect the classes of first-year students.
“This is what happens when reforms are rushed. The CUET could have been implemented next year when the university was more prepared for it, which would have kept things in order,” said Habib.
Till November 4, the third round of allocation of seats was done while many across science courses could be seen vacant with as many as 10-25 of the seats in colleges, mostly those out of campus, such as Aacharya Narendra Dev College (ANDC), Deen Dayal Upadhyay (DDU), Shivaji College, Shyam Lal College, Swami Shraddhanand College, Bhaskaracharya College of Applied Sciences, among others.
Those involved in the admission process said the fourth round of allocation of seats will be done when the vacant seats are most likely to be filled, which is expected this week. Most of the outstation students are coming in now.
“The number of vacant seats was much higher in the first round, which has come down significantly after the third counselling. It’s happened mainly because of engineering and medical exams coming up close, while admission process was delayed this year. The numbers are picking up now and we are waiting for the fourth round of counselling after which the numbers would be clearer,” said Manoj Saxena, associate professor in the department of electronics at DDU.
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