After Delhi University finalized its policy for holding a centralized entrance test for BA (H) journalism course — offered in five colleges — from this year, it is facing allegations of flouting of SC/ST and OBC reservation guidelines. According to aspirants and faculty members, the varsity has set stiff eligibility criteria for SC/ST aspirants despite the fact that most colleges offering this course failed to fill up the reserved seats in previous years. Moreover, DU has kept the same minimum eligibility criteria for general and OBC candidates.
BA (H) journalism is offered in five colleges, including Delhi College of Art and Commerce, Kalindi College, Lady Shri Ram College and Maharaja Agrasen College. The admission process, including the registration process and entrance examination, is being coordinated by Maharaja Agrasen College this year.
According to the admission guidelines, the minimum eligibility criteria requires general candidates to have 70% in best of four subjects, including English, with at least 60% in English in class XII. DU has given 5% relaxation to SC/ST candidates, making the eligibility 65%, but for OBC candidates it remains 70% — it’s the same for general candidates.
“There are no specific guidelines for relaxation in entrance exams for SC/ST or OBC candidates. The 10% merit differential for OBC candidates is applicable only in the final score during admissions,’’ said Sunil Sondhi, principal of Maharaja Agrasen College.
But UGC guidelines specifically state that all SC and ST candidates who have passed the qualifying examination for admission to a university course are to be arranged in order of merit among themselves. It also states that in order to fulfill the reservation there should be no hesitation to go down to the pass percentage of the qualifying examination.
“Government rules say you can’t put eligibility criteria for SC/ST candidates. Moreover, a 10% differential is must for OBC candidates,’’ said Dr Hany Babu of the English department. When contacted, dean of students’ welfare J M Khurana said, “I am unaware of this issue and we have to look into the matter as the university is committed to implement the reservation policies of the government of India.’’