While there maybe a few seats left in off-campus colleges for the Arts and Commerce streams, there seem to be no seats left for science in any of the colleges. The very few colleges who still have seats vacant for B. Com, BA (Honours), Economics, have cut-offs between 65-85 per cent.
The first cut-off list was announced on June 26 and within a week all seats were full. Colleges like Sri Ram College for Commerce (SRCC), Hindu and Ramjas say they have admitted more students than the number of seats available. Unlike last year, the cut-offs this year were not 100 per cent. They were, however, close with the Hindu College announcing 99.25 per cent for Science. The cut-off for Commerce was 97 per cent. Delhi University Vice Chancellor, Dr Dinesh Singh had told NDTV, "Colleges are only being cautious with the first list and hence the high cut-off. But colleges eventually need to fill all their seats and need to announce four cut-off lists. So with each lists the cut-offs are bound to go down."
This year, 3,000 students scored above 95 per cent in CBSE; that's eight times of what students scored five years back. 28,000 students scored 90 per cent or above. Five years back, that number was just 8,000. Many, even college principals, blame the high marks for the high cut-offs. But following the furore last year over the 100 per cent cut-off announced by the SRRC for science students taking commerce, colleges are advised to go easy. "Colleges have been announced to be considerate. The percentage of hike is likely to be two per cent this year unlike four per cent as it usually is," said Dr JM Khurana, the Dean, Student's Welfare, Delhi University.
But the issue of marks and the corresponding cut-offs has been a point of discussion. "Right now Delhi University does not have an entrance examination; we have a cut-off based on marks and percentages of students. If states are liberal with their marks there's little we can do. We are already hitting the roof. We eventually need to devise a mechanism for this. Either conduct our own exam or we need to normalise marks. This system cannot continue for long," says Dr PC Jain, Principal of SRCC. The idea of a one nation, one board has the backing of the Vice Chancellor too, who says, "I support the idea in principle. I would request the Human Resource and Development (HRD) ministry to look into it."
While this system needs to be discussed and evolved, students who haven't made it to Delhi University need to look at other universities. Even though there maybe a few seats empty, with students shuffling with colleges, there's hardly a real chance for the huge number of students who haven't made it. Delhi University has 64 colleges under it with a total of 54,000 seats. This year, with a record two lakh applicants, nearly three-fourths of them are still looking for a seat.