Kejriwal calls DU Admission Process “bizarre”


New Delhi. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday maligned the admission process of Delhi University, calling it “bizarre” as he lifted the long-standing demand for relaxation for local students.

“Delhi University’s admission system is most bizarre. They don’t have either quota for locals or marks normalization, or entrance tests,” he tweeted. His remarks came five days after his deputy, Manish Sisodia, wrote to former HRD minister Smriti Irani seeking a 5% relaxation for Delhi students seeking admission to colleges funded by the Delhi government.

BJP MP Vijay Goel, too, has been demanding reservation for Delhi students at DU and met Sisodia, who holds the education portfolio, in this regard last month.

Both Goel and Sisodia are suggesting to replace the cut-off system with entrance exams.

DU is currently in the midst of admission process to its undergraduate courses. This year, 124,940 of the 360,460 applicants are from the Capital, the highest from any state, as was the case last year too.

Every admission season, politicians demand reservation for Delhi students in colleges funded by the state government. The problem, though, is that DU, like Jamia Millia Islamia and Jawaharlal Nehru University, is a central university. And the law says there cannot be any reservation for students from any state in a central university — unlike in state universities, which can reserve 85% of their seats for those from the state.

In Delhi, local students get this preference only at The Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Ambedkar University and Delhi Technological University. Of these, Ambedkar University is the newest, established in 2007. No other university has been set up since, even as demand grows for a quota for locals at the 12 DU colleges funded 100% by the state.

Academics associated with DU dismiss the demand as “political grandstanding”.

“Leave DU alone, let it be a central university. Even if you get reservation in the 12 colleges, it will amount to a few hundred seats and won’t make a big difference. Add additional 1,000-1,500 seats in Ambedkar University. Don’t drag your feet. Demanding reservation in DU is a populist move,” said former DU vice-chancellor Deepak Pental.

“Just because Delhi has the Parliament doesn’t mean 85% of MPs should be from Delhi. Similarly, just because DU is in Delhi, it doesn’t mean there should be reservation for Delhi students. As for funding, even the Centre gives money to Delhi and other states. It doesn’t mean it orders what happens there. The solution is to build more state universities of high quality. Improve quality of education at any institute and students will go there. Reservation is a soft option, and a tricky one at that as the Act governing central universities will then have to be changed to accommodate this demand,” said PC Jain, former principal of Shri Ram College of Commerce.