A college principal has flagged how Delhi University’s new undergraduate admission regime, which forces applicants to spell out course and college preferences before the CUET results are out, is leaving thousands of seats vacant.
Manoj Sinha, principal of DU-affiliated Aryabhatta College, said that vacancies abounded even after four rounds of admission and suggested that the university allow its colleges to fill these seats by sidestepping the rigid Common Seat Allocation System (CSAS).
“The colleges should not be bound by restrictions such as the requirement that the student should have applied beforehand for the college and the course,” Sinha told The Telegraph.
“Vacant seats serve no purpose. It’s in the interest of the nation that they be filled.”
Delhi University is India’s largest university and attracts students from across the country.
Last year, when the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) was introduced and DU brought in the CSAS, the university saw nearly 5,000 undergraduate seats go vacant.
Many faculty members blame the CSAS, which forces applicants to state their preferences before they have a chance to learn their CUET scores, and restricts their freedom to change the choices after the CUET results are out and the situation regarding the availability of seats becomes clearer.
Before the introduction of the CUET and the CSAS, individual DU colleges set their own cut-offs for each subject, admitting students on the basis of their Class XII marks. So, the students had a complete picture about which courses they might be able to enrol in and at which college. After admission, they could still change their college and course.
Under the CSAS, each student has to mention a hierarchy of subject-cum-college preferences at the outset, and the system then allots her a particular course at a particular college based on her CUET scores and her stated preferences.
If the student wants to change her preferences during subsequent rounds of the online CSAS admissions, held to fill seats left vacant after the initial rounds, she can only go up and not down her preference list.
Sinha said: “Even if a student has not applied for certain courses or colleges, the seats should remain open for her.”
Sinha also expressed dismay about 22,000 students scoring 100 percentile in the CUET. One of the reasons the university moved away from board-results-based admissions to the CUET had been the 100 per cent subject cut-offs the colleges were being forced to set thanks to the generous marking by some higher secondary boards.