Laggard DU lingers admission, private varsities benefit

Sidharth Mishra12

We are now in the second week of September and Delhi University is still to finish with the admissions for the academic session 2023-24. The Delhi University (DU) last week announced that second spot admission rounds for undergraduate (UG) and BTech programmes for the 2023 academic session would now take place. At the earliest, it would be another week before this round is completed. The completion of the round is no guarantee that all the seats would filled.

Though the university never announced it officially, last year the university had 6000 seats vacant in the under-graduate programmes. In the percentage terms, almost 10 per cent of the seats allocated to Delhi University remained vacant. Where are the students going, obviously to the private universities in Delhi NCR? The other government universities offering under-graduate programme, Guru Govind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIPU) and Ambedkar University of Delhi (AUD), complement the Delhi University with their equally laggard admission process.

This is surprising as the results of the qualifying examinations came out in June and we are now into September, three months but end of process nowhere in the sight. On the other hand, the private universities in Delhi-NCR completed their admission process long time back and have started their session too.

Why is this happening? If we were to believe the conspiracy theorists, the delay in the admission process is on purpose as the students lose patience and taken admission in a private university. The private universities on the other hand let-lose their telecaller, hammering the students and parents that in their wait for admission to a government university, they may even miss the opportunity to study in a private university.


This creates a terrible situation for the students who find themselves caught between the devil and the deep sea and decide to go by the advice of a polite telecaller and grab a seat in a private university. Lest an eye brow be raised, let it be very clear that the column writer has nothing against private education institutions.

The grouse is about the lack of students on the government university campus lead to underutilisation of public resources. While the private universities use all kinds of promotion tools to fill their seats, the leadership of the government universities including the DU seem to care two figs about it.

This is largely on the account of their salaries not being dependent of the fee of the students but on the liberal grants of the University Grants Commission (UGC). Let’s take the example of Delhi University alone, going by the last year’s estimates and this year’s trends, similar vacancy is going to remain.

If there are 6000 seats vacant, it would add up to at least 120 vacant classrooms. According to conservative estimates, each class is served by around eight teachers. If multiplied by 120, it would mean about 1000 teachers remaining on the rolls of the university without any workload.

 The self-financing institutions, on the other hand, count on their vacant seats and try and find the remedial measures to meet the financial losses which the untaken seats would accrue to.

However, nobody seems to really care about the loss to the national exchequer, not at least the academic leadership of Delhi University. When the university is unable to get seats filled in its core areas, what point starting B Tech and five-year-integrated LLB programmes, which have not many takers and that’s not very surprising too.

Delhi University in the current times is remaining in the news for the reasons of hosting political events as official functions. The whole centenary years elapsed but they could not come out with one worthwhile research project or legacy structure. It’s better to repair the old time-tested system than retrofit and call it new. A retrofitted vehicle is never know to take a long journey.

  (First Published in The Morning Standard)


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