The OBC quota for undergraduate admission in the Delhi University (DU) has turned into an intense debate between the HRD ministry and the varsity.
Last week, the ministry told the DU not to confuse "cut-off" marks with eligibility. The ministry also said there is no eligibility in DU other than pass the class XII board examination. But, the DU contended that there is indeed "eligibility" for admission in undergraduate courses. The varsity gave elaborate information to the ministry, spelling out different eligibility criteria for admission in science/commerce/humanities streams.
For instance, in case of BA/B Com (Honours), the eligibility is 45% aggregate in class XII. While in case of B Sc (mathematics) and B Sc (statistics), the eligibility is 45%, but with a rider that in mathematics the candidate should have secured 50%. In science courses, the DU said, eligibility ranges between 50% and 55%, and even 60% for some courses. The university also gave a long list of additional eligibility norms required for admission in undergraduate classes. In its reply to the ministry, the DU also referred to court orders that had stated that cut-offs should be on the basis of the aggregate.
The ministry, in its response, said, "We didn't know there is a minimum eligibility for admission in Delhi University other than class XII marks." The university has been asked to explain how it intends to fill the OBC seats in view of eligibility criteria. With five cut-off lists already declared, it is unlikely that the OBC seats would get filled even this year.
The ministry said, "In DU, contrary to other universities like the Jawaharlal Nehru University, there is no eligibility requirement other than pass at the Class XII board examinations. Since there cannot be any eligibility cut-off differential – between general and OBC candidates – in case of DU, it has to be interpreted in a way different than other universities in order to give effect to the constitutional mandate for ensuring reservations to deprived classes."
In case of DU, the ministry said, all successful class XII non-creamy layer OBC candidates are eligible for admissions, and the university should admit them to fill 27% seats reserved for them through "inter-se merit" (merit among OBCs). The ministry had also said ``referencing the admission cut-off for OBC to the general category cut-off being done by the DU goes against the spirit of Central Educational Institutions Act, 2006."
Such referencing, the ministry said, assumes that 27% of seats would be filled from among OBC candidates from a 10% band of marks after excluding those students in the same category, who have scored higher and become part of general category students. "This would lead to diversion of seats meant for OBCs to general candidates, which is not desirable," the HRD added.