India Real Time presents a round-up of commentary and analysis of one of the week’s key news events – the Delhi University’s announcement of cut-off lists – with places at Shri Ram College of Commerce only available to students scoring 100% in exams.
Education Minister Kapil Sibal slammed the move as “irrational” and “exclusionary,” but Delhi University’s colleges have defended it as the best way to deal with the problem of over-admission.
Here’s what some columnists in India had to say:
Ranabir Majumdar, writing on Web site ibnlive.com, said: “The Delhi University admission race seems like a scramble to land yourself with a share allotment in an Initial Public Offering.”
“In a country where course curricula and evaluation standards vary from one education board to another, Delhi University is following a process that looks at only the marks as the sole criterion, irrespective of the board the student comes from. This is bound to create more tension between Delhi University aspirants and has the potential to snowball into a much larger issue,” he said.
In an editorial titled, “College admission: It’s getting absurd”, The Asian Age newspaper said “if the pond is brimming over at Delhi University, other universities in the country too would be catching the disease sooner or later for the rising overflow is bound to hit them.”
“The question is: Where will all the toppers go? To America obviously, in droves, and also to fairly ordinary institutions in Britain, Europe, Australia or Singapore, to name a few popular destinations. As a result of the outflow, the cost of education at foreign universities for Indians could shoot up, not to mention sociological downsides related to race attacks against Indians,” the editorial added.
Referring to the “stratospheric cut-off criteria” in courses and colleges, the India Today magazine Friday said on its Web site that hundreds of students rushed to get a hold of their allotted seats wherever they could, lest they lose out on a seat altogether.
“The uncertainty among aspirants is rooted in the absurdity of the cut-offs declared by colleges. Aspiration was pitted against opportunity. The former lost,” it said.
The Times of India newspaper, carried the editorial “Learn the lesson”, which said: “This indicates a deeper malaise plaguing our higher education system.”
“Both [government and academic community] must realize that the education pie needs to be enlarged by bringing in more private players in the field. There’s a case for institutional and private philanthropy in higher education as well. Investments, however, will only be forthcoming if the sector is freed up, giving greater independence to institutions. Policy reform, based on this shift in perspective, is imperative to give higher education the boost it so badly needs.”