In each of the two previous admission seasons, more than a quarter of Delhi University’s undergraduate admissions were cornered by students who scored 95% or more in their class 12 Board exams that were considered for cut-offs — a system that will now be replaced by the Central University Entrance Test (CUET).
Data accessed by The Indian Express show that in the 2020 and 2021, 57.31% and 66.18% of undergraduate admissions in DU went to students who scored more than 90%, while students who scored below 85% got just 19.9% of admissions in 2021, and 27.19% in 2020.
These findings are based on DU data on 70,612 UG admissions done through the cut-off system in 2020, and on 61,307 out of 71,748 admissions for which figures were available in 2021. Until 2021, admissions to most UG programs in DU was conducted on the basis of the class 12 Board scores in four subjects in which applicants scored the highest.
On Monday, UGC chairman M Jagadesh Kumar announced that the first ever mandatory common entrance test for admission to undergraduate programs in all the 45 central universities, including DU, will be held in the first week of July. Admission to undergraduate courses in these universities will be based solely on the CUET score, and class 12 Board marks will not carry any weight.
The 2021 admission season saw class 12 Board exams scores and cut-offs reach an all-time high. With different boards awarding students exceptionally high marks in the pandemic year, ten programs in DU began their admissions with a 100% cut-off out — of 94 that had their first cut-off at 99% or higher.
DU data for 2021 show that almost 39.87%, or 24,446, of the 61,307 admissions were cornered by students who scored 95% or higher — this was the marks range with the highest number of admissions. This was followed by 26.3%, or 16,124 seats, in the 90-94% range.
In 2020, the biggest chunk of admissions had taken place in the 90-94% marks range, at 31.67%, or 22,352, of 70,612 admissions. That year, roughly one-fourth — 18,820 — of the seats went to students who had scored 95% and above.
In both years, the number of admissions decreased as the marks range went lower. The drop in the number of admissions in the 85-90% range is stark. In 2021, students in this marks range got 8,502 or 13.86% admissions, and in 2020, 12,578 or 17.8% of the total. This also indicates that admissions to a majority of DU undergraduate programs closed at cut-offs over 90%.
With the CUET in place this year, students need only to pass their school-leaving exams. Within DU, the administration’s stand has been that this shift will create a more level-playing ground by doing away with concerns on varying marking practices in different boards.
In 2021, students with the highest mean admission percentage in DU — or average scores on the basis of which students of that board got admission — were from the Kerala Board with 1,672 students (95.99%), followed by Rajasthan (1,511 students, 93.01% ), Haryana (2,470 students, 90.72%), CISCE (2,389 students, 90.03%) and CBSE (59,199 students, 86.48%).
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