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Protests in Delhi University over move to make admission process online

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New Delhi: Delhi University’s plan to make the admission process for undergraduate courses entirely online on Thursday met with protests from students who said that the move will restrict those without access to Internet from applying.

The university has constituted a 24-member committee, comprising deans of faculties of Science, Commerce and Arts, nine college principals and members of the executive and academic councils, to formulate an admission policy for the upcoming academic session which will be notified by next month.

The committee, following its two meetings, is believed to have reached a consensus on making the entire admission process online unlike last year when both the online and offline application systems were in place. However, the move has not gone down well with the students.

A delegation of students, including members of the Students Federation of India (SFI), met the Dean of Students’ Welfare in this regard after staging of a protest at the varsity’s Faculty of Arts here.

“The number of applicants for DU’s undergraduate seats keeps on increasing every year and limiting the admission process to online form will restrict access to a significant section of students coming from the resettlement colonies, JJ clusters and working class backgrounds who have limited access to Internet,” a student protester argued.

“Not only this. The interaction an applicant normally has with students organisation representatives during the admission process formed an integral part of their initiation to the university life and is crucial in solving many of the queries related to the courses and colleges,” another student said.

The university authorities, however, say the plan is being considered following a communication from University Grants Commission (UGC) to all central universities asking them to “put in place an online admission system for all the programmes offered as it will ensure greater efficiency and promote transparency”.

“The process is being considered because of the directives from UGC. However, we are taking note of students’ concerns and the final policy will be decided accordingly,” a senior university official said.

The university had last year attempted the online process for the first time for undergraduate admissions while the system was in place already for PG courses.

While the admission committee was of the view that the process should be moved entirely online, following protests from a section of students and teachers, both online and offline applications were kept in place. Though the number of centres for physical application was reduced.

Last year, the total number of applications received was over 3.2 lakh. Of these, over 2.32 lakh (over 70 per cent) were online.

—PTI

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