Come 2013-14, Delhi Universityis not only planning to introduce four-year degree courses, but is also likely to introduce major changes in the admission process. The university administration is working on several options, including introduction of entrance exams for various undergraduate courses.
The introduction of entrance exams is expected help more students apply for admissions, as compared to the present system which is based on best of four aggregate from the Class XII Board exam scores.
The high powered committee, comprising of 16 college principals, on admission reforms in its report recommended a number of short and long term changes in the admission process for undergraduate courses. Among the long term changes, the committee led by principal of Dyal Singh College (evening) Deepak Malhotra, recommended introduction of entrance exam and offering admissions based on entrance exam scores and Class XII results.
Speaking to the TOI, vice chancellor of DU, Dinesh Singh said: “The four-year degree system will be a new system and there will be some changes in the admission process as well. We are considering a number of options including the entrance exams. Things are not yet finalized, but we have learnt that some of the central universities are also planning a common entrance exam. So we will weigh all options and decide if we need to have our own exams or join others.”
In Delhi major universities like Jamia Millia Islamia, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, or National Law University conduct their admission process via entrance exams. DU too conducts majority of its post graduate admissions based on entrance exams and interviews.
Malhotra said: “The changes we have recommended are to introduce entrance exams for admissions to UG courses. We have recommended this for a couple of reasons. We have seen that state boards given internal assessment of up to 25 marks and there are boards where most students don’t score anything less than 22 marks.
“If there is a change in system like the four-year-degree course then the admission process also needs to be revamped. In case of an entrance exam, the pressure of scoring no less than 90% aggregate in Class XII will ease out. Also with eligibility criteria like 60% or 70% pass percentage for sitting in the entrance more students will get an opportunity to apply.”
The committee has said that the university can hold an entrance test and while preparing the final merit list, a certain weightage can be given to Class XII marks as well. “For example 60% or 70% weightage can be given to the entrance score and the rest to the Class XII marks. This is for the university to decide,” said Malhotra.
The idea of entrance exams for graduate course in Delhi University must be treated as a no-no. As it is, students passing out of schools have enough entrance exams to sit for without adding any more to them. Also, what is the purpose of a board examination if it does not even serve as a benchmark for colleges to judge you by? The university might argue that the board marks as they are at the moment do not adequately serve the purpose. There is some merit in the argument, but the answer cannot be to keep adding on exams. The solution then lies in demanding a revamp of the board exams to ensure that marks better reflect academic attainment or ability.