University cites COVID-19 as the reason. Every year, students skilled in sports or classical music, dance, musical instrument and the like are admitted after a live trial in front of a panel of judges
In a setback for many students, the Delhi University (DU) has decided to restrict admissions based on sports quota.
The 2020 admission for undergraduate courses, based on extracurricular activity (ECA) and sports quota, will only be offered for National Cadet Corps (NCC) and National Service Scheme (NSS) due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
This has sent candidates into a tizzy since students skilled in non-academic areas typically get admission into DU through the ECA/sports trials each year.
Kolkata’s Swagat Upadhyay, who has scored 89 percent in his Class XII board examination, is now almost sure that he won’t make the cut.
“I want to pursue a Bachelor’s in Commerce programme from DU and I am good at football. Because of an injury I wasn’t able to play during 2017-2019. I am fit now and ready for any test, but now trials have been dropped,” he said.
Since the first cut-offs for DU admission typically exceeds 90 percent across Arts, Science and Commerce categories, ECA/sports quota is set aside for outstanding performers in sports and other activities.
Students who are skilled in sports or ECA like classical music, dance, musical instrument, painting, photography, theatre, film-making and animation have to give a live trial in front of a panel of judges.
Those who have represented India in major international events like Asian Games, Olympics, Commonwealth Games, World Cup or Paralympic Games are not required to give trials. Even in 2020, such candidates will get direct admission.
Haryana’s 18-year-old Shaeeda Nigam, who has all certifications for playing piano, is disappointed that ECA admissions were done away this year. She has scored 70 percent in her board examinations, and is eyeing a BA (History) programme at DU.
DU has about 62,000 seats for 2020. Every year, about 3,50,000-3,80,000 candidates register for admissions.
“Due to the unprecedented situation arising from COVID -19 and prevailing public health guidelines, admissions based on ECA will take place for the category of NCC and NSS only and admissions based on sports will take place without the conduct of sports trial,” Delhi University said.
Applicants are required to upload self-attested copies of five NCC/NSS Certificates, issued between May 1, 2017 and April 30, 2020, as proof.
Chennai’s Geeta Arunachalam, a Bharatanatyam dancer who has taken part in various competitions at the South-East Asian level, has a suggestion. “We could give trials over live video or send a recorded tape. Why drop the ECA category altogether at the last minute? Isn’t it unfair on students like us,” she asked.
Arunachalam, who has been a dancer for 15 years, scored 76 percent in Class XII board examination and aspires to study English Literature.
When it comes to outstanding sportspersons, all is still not lost. While admissions based on trials have been done away with, the university said that they will consider students who have participated in international, inter-district and zonal competitions, if they secure one of the top three positions.
Here, an applicant is required to upload self-attested copies of three sports certificates. Certificates between May 1 and April 30 will be considered. Each college has the right to decide whether it wants to admit candidates or not. So, unlike in previous years, only toppers in the district level and above will be considered.
Moneycontrol had reported how DU admission cut-offs will be higher in 2020 due to the average marking system followed.
What is NCC and NSS?
NCC is the youth wing of the Armed Forces in India. Candidates in the age group of 13-21 years are given basic military training, including use of small arms and parades. The idea is to impart discipline from an early age and train the youth for future involvement during emergencies and disaster management.
The training covers physical fitness, drill, shooting, first aid, map reading and sailing. Cadets have to attend a training camp every year.
NSS is an initiative of the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports. It provides an opportunity to students of classes XI and XII as well as those in universities to take part in various government-led community service activities and programmes. The sole aim of the NSS is to provide hands- on experience to young students in delivering community services.
The regular activities of NSS involves adoption of villages to ensure local area development, slum development, organising blood donation camps, cleanliness and tree plantation drives.For DU Admissions 2020, NSS candidates will be selected on the basis of their participation in activities like Swachhta (cleanliness), tree plantation, voter awareness and their role in National Camps.