Expressing concern over the sky-high cut-offs for admission to undergraduate courses in Delhi University, Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor on Wednesday said “the prevalence of cut-offs” was one of the issues which afflicts the university.
Tharoor said this “unidimensional” selection process “is damaging the spirit” of colleges. “In my time, there was no such policy. In fact, most of the outstanding students had third division, but they were outstanding musicians, writers and sportspersons... All-round quality was what the college was looking for.”
However, Tharoor also spoke about the helplessness of the university and the colleges in bringing about a change in the admission policy based on cut-offs.
“Personally, I am not a fan of cut-offs. But the courts have mandated this policy of cut-offs. Today, colleges have no flexibility on the matter. The hands of the colleges and the university are tied by the court ruling,” he said.
Tharoor was addressing students of Delhi University in North Campus during an event organised by Delhi University’s Students’ Union and National Students’ Union of India.
When asked about the need for opening more colleges, Tharoor said while the number of colleges have increased over the years, “every initiative was being taken” on the issue. There are 14 new universities for research and innovation, which will be established if the pending Education Bills are passed in the Parliament, he said on the sidelines of the event.
The event also saw the minister and DU Vice-Chancellor Dinesh Singh answering parents’ and students’ questions. A student of Campus Law Centre expressed displeasure at the manner in which electoral campaigns were carried out in the university — with “pamphlets being thrown from BMWs”.
Talking about the time when he was the president of St Stephen’s College students’ union, Tharoor said, “When I contested an election for St. Stephen’s College, we had no budget, we used to campaign from door to door...”
Adding that the instances of students throwing pamphlets from BMWs were outrageous, Tharoor said it also marked a violation of the Lyngdoh Committee guidelines.
Most queries at the event were directed at the university administration. The queries were