‘Big loss to colleges’: Over 5,000 seats vacant after 4 rounds of DU UG seat allocation

DU teachers said the large number of DU vacant seats is ‘criminal’ and the CSAS process has become less transparent compared to earlier admission policy.

‘Big loss to colleges’: Over 5,000 seats vacant after 4 rounds of DU UG seat allocation To fill the remaining vacant seats, the DU announced a “special spot admission” round, the results of which will be announced today at 5 PM. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
R. Radhika | Sep 27, 2023 - 1:08 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: Even after four rounds of seat allocations for the undergraduate (UG) programmes offered in University of Delhi, more than 5,000 seats are lying vacant in more than 60 DU colleges.

According to the vacancy lists declared by Delhi University on Monday, there are 1,557 seats under unreserved category, 1,310 seats under the other backward Castes (OBC), 1,919 seats combined under scheduled caste (SC) and scheduled tribe (ST) categories, and 967 seats under economically weaker section (EWS) category.

The seats tally includes not just seats offered in a single major programme but also combinations of programmes. For instance, in the BA programme there are 58 seats vacant for the subject combination of history and political science.

The university’s flagship course—BCom honours–has 108 vacant seats across all categories in six different colleges. While 250 seats are vacant in the BSc Physics programme, 208 seats are lying vacant in BSc Chemistry. Similarly, 243 seats in BSc (Hons) Mathematics are vacant in 24 DU colleges. The highest number of 647 are vacant in BA (Hons) Sanskrit across all categories.’

“Students are not opting for language courses a lot. On its own, language courses have less chances of fetching a job once you graduate. Courses like Punjabi and Sanskrit are not opted for the same reason. Students are more inclined to study vocational courses or a combination of language and a vocation subject to be more employable,” said a DU admission official, asking not to be named.

DU special spot round

To fill the remaining vacant seats, the DU announced a “special spot admission” round, the results of which will be announced today at 5 PM. As per the official statement, “only those programmes in respective colleges wherein the number of vacant seats is more than 10 percent of the sanctioned strength of the programme will be shortlisted for admissions in final special spot round”.

Candidates who applied for Common Seat Allocation System (CSAS) 2023 but are not admitted to any college have been considered in this round. The allocation of seats will be based on availability of seats, programme-specific merit, order of preference of college (programme + college) and category.

DU did not officially release a merit list this year. Instead, colleges are intimated about the students who have accepted a seat allocation on the admission dashboard. “ Since last year, all admission processes have been centralised. We have little to no say in how the seats are allocated. We only verify documents and admit students who have gone through the online application process,” said a teacher-in-charge of admissions under condition of anonymity.

Vacancies “criminal” to colleges

According to a Delhi University teacher, the large number of vacancies is “criminal” to the colleges as a vast number of applications are received by the university for DU UG admissions every year.

“Teachers, especially those who are directly involved in the admissions process have been talking about the seats going vacant. It is a loss for a university like DU to lose so many applicants. In fact, it is criminal to the colleges in DU considering the number of applicants that apply to this university from all over the country,” Maya John, professor at Jesus and Mary College, said.

As one of the largest central universities in India, DU attracts students from across the country that apply for about 70,000 seats offered. Last year, more than 5,000 seats were vacant after all rounds of CSAS concluded. This year, the special spot round will conclude on September 30, 2023, with payment of admission fee. According to an official notice, students admitted will not be allowed to withdraw their admission.

DU admissions 2023 ‘less transparent’

The “uncertainty” and the delay caused by the new CSAS admission process, according to John, has led to students to opt for other private universities. The university started the classes for the new academic session 2023-24 on August 16.

“There have been so many vacancies even after the second round of spot admissions have ended. One of the main reasons can be that the whole admission process started so late. It has led some of the students to take admission in other private universities,” John said.

“The reality is that the admission process, compared to earlier models, has become less transparent for students to navigate where they stand. Students opt for private universities and stick to it as they will be one-month behind in classes. The lack of transparency is definitely fueling the number of vacancies.”

John further said that there is a need for a wider consultation to improve the admission process. “The admission process should be audited and other measures should be taken to remedy the lack of transparency and make it more accountable.”

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