DU strong-arming St Stephen's into taking CUET scores? Registrar writes to College Principal

The UGC had made CUET compulsory for admissions to UG courses in central universities. However, it had said that the minority status and reservation criteria of institutions will not be impacted
File photo of Delhi University | (Pic: PTI)
File photo of Delhi University | (Pic: PTI)

Delhi University-affiliated St Stephen's College has been directed by the varsity's Registrar to conduct admissions to 50 per cent of its seats through the Common Universities Entrance Test (CUET) scores only. This comes in the backdrop of the minority college insisting that it will give the CUET scores weightage of 85 per cent for all seats and reserve 15 per cent weightage for the interview. 

The Delhi University's Academic Council had decided that admissions in all DU-constituent and DU-affiliated colleges, including minority institutions, will be conducted through the CUET. However, the Principal of St Stephen's College, John Varghese, in a meeting with DU Vice-Chancellor Yogesh Singh in April had been adamant that St Stephen's would follow its "age-old" practice of conducting admissions through interviews. In April, the DU VC had taken note of the long-held practice and had said that the varsity would like to view the college's stand for the interview from a constitutional perspective.

However, on May 10, the Indian Express reported that the decision to impose CUET in all colleges was taken in the larger interest of the students, and after consultation with educationists and as per legal advice. "Our decision is made. They will have to follow. They have no choice," the VC was quoted as saying by Indian Express. 

The CUET will be conducted in July this year and the last date of application for the exam is May 22. The DU Registrar, Vikas Gupta, in his letter to Principal Varghese, said, “There must be a single merit list for admission of candidates belonging to Christian community regardless of any denominations/sub-sects/sub-categories within the Christian minority community. In view of the above, you are required to abide by the admission policy as detailed, which is applicable for admission of students in St Stephen’s College for the session 2022-23.”

The admission policy he speaks of entails that 50 per cent of the seats will compulsorily have to be filled through CUET scores only, as per the decision of the DU's Academic Council. However, St Stephen's will be allowed to fill 50 per cent of its seats through the 85/15 division of weightage between CUET scores and interviews. 

The UGC earlier this year made the CUET compulsory for undergraduate admissions in all central universities. While making the announcement about the CUET, the Chairman of the University Grants Commission, M Jagadesh Kumar, said that the minority status and reservation criteria of institutions will not be impacted by the CUET.

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