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Here’s Why The Delhi University Cut Off Marks Are Sky Rocketing!

By Geetika Aggarwal:

As Delhi University’s first Cut-Off list was announced on Wednesday, more and more applicants seem to have lost hope of securing a seat in the prestigious varsity this year even after scoring well at the plus-two level. The question that arises is what has led to such high cut-offs? Whose fault is it that an applicant cannot get admission in a college and course of their choice even after scoring a 90% in class 12?

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To begin with, the number of students securing 95% in Class 12 has gone up by 62% (Pan-India). While 4,456 students crossed 95% mark last year, 7,231 did so this year. In Delhi itself, 1,857 students earned more than 95%. This increase is one of the biggest contributing factors in the rise of cut-offs. One should keep in mind that the rise in percentages is not due to sudden increase in the IQ of students in the last decade or even half a decade for that matter. It is the education system that has transformed. Both State and Nation boards are becoming increasingly laid back in their correction patterns in order to achieve better results.

The total number of seats held by DU is 54,000 over 63 colleges. The number of applications received is this year is over 2.5 lakh, much higher than last year (1.4 lakh). With this upsurge in the number of forms received, the cut-off percentage soared as well.

Another reason for jump in the cut offs this year is the admission procedure designed by the university. Each applicant had to fill a pre-admission form indicating his or her choice of courses and the marks obtained in class 12. All students who meet the cut-offs of a said college are then eligible to take admission in it irrespective of the number of seats held by the institute. The course was given importance over college.

In theory it appears as a brilliant scheme but in reality it may have backfired. Colleges received the number of students who have applied for a particular course without any information regarding the applicants’ preference for institute. With the limited faculty and infrastructure, colleges were left with little option but to increase the cut-off in order to receive only the number of students they can easily accommodate (close to the original number of seats offered for each course by the institute).

Another major change brought about this year was scrapping of various entrance examinations, especially for the journalism and mass communication course. Till last year, 5 colleges offered Bachelor in Journalism, whereas only one college offered Bachelor in Mass Communication and Mass Media. Admission to both the courses was based on separate two-tier entrance tests. This meant that students who may not have been academically excellent but possessed an aptitude for Mass Communication had a good chance to secure a seat in DU.

From this academic session, the university merged the two courses under one, introducing Bachelors in Journalism and Mass Communication (BJMC). However, admission to BJMC is now based on merit, with cut offs starting from 93% and going up till 98.5%, taking away the sole chance for academically ‘average’ students (those scoring below 90%) to be a part of DU. Most students of journalism would agree that this is a big mistake on DU’s part. For a course such as journalism, a screening procedure apart from the marks obtained at plus-two level is essential.

One must understand that it is not the colleges that are entirely responsible for the increase in cut offs. It is vital that the University and the Senior Secondary Schooling System bring about reforms. As for students seeking admission this year, our advice would be to explore other opportunities apart from Delhi University and keep their option open.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

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The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

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Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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