NEW DELHI: Despite the emphasis laid on participation in co-curricular activities by exam boards and schools, having one as subject does more harm than good when it comes to Delhi University admissions. Students who count any vocational or non-academic subject in their best-of-fours are either refused admission or discouraged to try via forbiddingly high cutoffs.
"I called about half-a-dozen colleges to ask if they'll allow me to include physical education in my best four subjects but they refused. I was making the cut for some courses at Lakshmi Bai, Bharti and Bhim Rao Ambedkar but only if I counted physical education," said a candidate who finally took admission in English at Sri Aurobindo College.
"Some colleges are accepting such students but by deducting large chunks of marks. One college is deducting 10% from the aggregate for students who've included mass media in their best-of-four," said another student. The university has left it to the colleges to decide.
At Hansraj College, however, only those candidates who have added "informatics practices" are being allowed. Apparently, the decision to allow this subject was taken after candidates who've included it in their aggregates were admitted into one of the courses, possibly due to an "oversight" as one teacher puts it. "How is creative writing a lesser 'vocational subject' for a candidate for English while informatics practices is considered an academic subject?" asks a parent whose daughter was denied admission for this reason.
"The stepmotherly treatment of vocational subjects is an ongoing problem with DU admissions," said a teacher. "The students say if their school or board had made them aware of this, they would never have opted for it. Yet, there is no coordination between DU and CBSE on this and no attempt to redress the problem."