The Delhi University cut-offs crossed the 100 percent ceiling for the first time in 2011. Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) set the mark for admission to B Com (Hons), attracting a host of reactions from students, parents, and academics. Since then, several colleges have demanded a hundred percent mark for admission to different courses. This year, Lady Shri Ram (LSR) College set a cut of 100 percent for three courses.
Experts cited several reasons for the trend, the most prominent of which is how the evaluation of the Central Board of Secondary Examination (CBSE) has changed over the years.
PC Jain, the then head of the SRCC, said that the college set the cut-off at 100 percent in view of the increase in the number of top scorers in the CBSE 12 board exams. “The number of students who scored above 90% and 95% was exceptionally high that year and has been increasing every year since then. In fact, students score a percentage of 100 in the most theoretical subjects, such as history, political science, and sociology. It’s not only going on in CBSE but now in some state boards as well. There is a possibility that more colleges will announce 100% cuts in the coming years, “he said.
This year, although the number of students with CBSE scores of 95 percent and above grew by 118.6 percent this year, those with CBSE scores of 90 percent and above grew by 67.48 percent. This is important since the majority of applications (285,128) submitted by the university come from the CBSE Board of Directors.
The Delhi University announced its first cut-off list on Saturday with an average increase of 0.5 to 2 percentage points across colleges for different courses.
DU officials have found out that colleges set very high limits to discourage “over-admissions.” According to the rules of admission, a student who has made the cut-off can not be turned away by any college. There is no first-come, first-serve service. Colleges also need to expand the number of seats to fit all qualifying candidates.
For example, after announcing the 99 percent (highest) cut-off for admission to Political Science ( Hons) last year, Hindu College saw admissions double the number of seats available. College Principal Anju Shrivastava said, “The number of top scorers is high and, in order to reduce admissions, we need to keep the cut-offs high.” The college’s highest cut-off this year is 99.5 percent for political science.
Another official said colleges had no course-wise data for applications — a significant metric when setting cut-offs. The selection process has improved slightly this year after the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the evaluations of the board and their results, leading to an overall pause in the admission process. Since the whole process was online, the candidates were asked to fill out the applications on which they did not have to choose the classes.
“Since the university wasn’t searching for course-wise or college-wise details this year, we were shooting in the shadows. As many as 2,512 girls with 100 percent applied for admission, according to the registration data. Over 13,900 were between 95 and 99.9 percent. In previous years, we were struggling with a significantly smaller number of highest scorers, and we had statistics on how many students had selected a course.
This year, we don’t have the details. Even if 1% of these students apply for a course with fewer than 25 seats, there will be over-admissions. That’s why higher cuts is a secure choice, “said a South Campus college official calling for anonymity.
“Last year, in at least two college courses, including Political Science ( Hons), admissions in the unreserved category were twice the number of seats available. This also influences admissions to other reserved grades, “the official said.