Delhi High Court issues notices to UGC, DU and St Stephen's College in CUET admission tussle

St Stephen's College has refused to comply with Delhi University's order to conduct admissions to unreserved seats via CUET only. The matter will be heard on July 6 in court
File photo of Delhi University | (Pic: PTI)
File photo of Delhi University | (Pic: PTI)

It seems as if the tug-of-war between Delhi University and St Stephen's College with regards to the latter's admission process will now be settled in court. A petition has been filed by a law student at DU, who claims that St Stephen's insistence on giving 15 per cent weightage to interview for admission to both reserved and unreserved seats might hamper her chances of gaining a seat in the college. 

The petition was filed in the Delhi High Court, and a bench consisting of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Sachin Datta has issued notice to St Stephen's, Delhi University and the University Grants Commission (UGC) in the case, asking them to file their responses within four weeks. The petitioner has claimed that marks awarded during the interview rounds are left to the discretion of the interviewers and are not objective, according to a report by LiveLaw.

The UGC had made the Common Universities Entrance Test (CUET) mandatory for admissions into central universities and their affiliated colleges from the academic year 2022-23. However, the UGC had said that minority institutions would reserve the right to take admissions as per their own policies, or as decided by the statutory bodies of the concerned university.

The petitioner was also of the view that removing intermediate marks as criteria for admission, and replacing them with the CUET has also given students some relief from the sky-high cut-offs that DU colleges have historically had. 

St Stephen's College is affiliated with Delhi University. It is a minority institution that reserves 50 per cent of its seats for Christian candidates. The college's admission process gave 15 per cent weightage to an interview round, and 85 per cent weightage to the written entrance test. This year, Delhi University decided that all affiliated institutions will use the CUET as the sole criteria for admission for unreserved seats. However, St Stephen's has insisted that it will stick to its method of admission for all seats, both reserved and unreserved. It claims that this is in accordance with its right as a minority institute. This has been said by the college in its admission notice. 

Delhi University, on the other hand, has said that it will cancel any admissions that do not follow the procedures approved by its Academic Council. The petition filed in the Delhi High Court also states that the college is disobeying a direct order from a statutory body of the varsity it is affiliated with. 

The Delhi High Court will next hear the case on July 6.

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