Wednesday, June 2, 2010

[ZESTCaste] St Stephen's to take more students in general category

St Stephen's to take more students in general category
Manash Pratim Gohain, TNN, Jun 2, 2010, 12.37am IST

NEW DELHI: There will be more general category seats at Delhi
University's most sought-after college, St Stephen's, this year. The
college has reduced the 'merit gap' allowed for Christian candidates,
which insiders say will lower the number of minority admissions and
leave more seats for general students. Principal Valson Thampu
revealed the new admission guidelines on Tuesday.

Last year, Christian candidates with 60% marks were eligible for
admission. The norm now has been changed to 15% less than the general
cut-off in each stream. So, if the cut-off for a course is 95%, only
Christian candidates with minimum 80% marks will be eligible. The
merit gap between general and minority students was as high as 35% in
some cases last year.

In another significant change that allows vacant minority seats to go
to general category, the guidelines say "up to" 50% seats will be
reserved for Christians. Last year, the quota was 50%.

St Stephen's new admission guidelines were adopted at the supreme
council meeting on May 26, in which the college decided to stick to
admission norms practised before 2008 — during the tenure of former
principal Anil Wilson. For general students, the weightage for
admission continues to be 75% for class XII marks, 10% for class X
marks and 15% for the interview.

Teachers have welcomed the new guidelines. Many of them had been
complaining about the merit gap widening in the classroom as a result
of the admission policy of the past couple of years. SC member Nirmal
Andrews said: "Being a Stephenian myself I wanted the high academic
standards set by the college to be restored and I am happy with the
new guidelines which will ensure that."

In another rule change, unfilled seats in the 3% physically
handicapped (PH) category among Christians will also be shifted to the
general PH category. Last year these vacant seats were shifted to the
SC and ST categories.

Said Malay Neerav, head of St Stephen's history department, "The
changes made in the admission policy in 2008 were degenerative due to
which academic standards have fallen. It is a welcome move on part of
the college administration to go back to the pre-2008 cut-off formula
for minority admissions."

The rules allow the college principals to relax the 15% differential
cap in cases of the 'supernumerary' (sports category) admissions, for
a maximum of six candidates who opt for Urdu as their optional
language in the BA programme and for the 3% physically handicapped
candidates in all categories.

The supernumerary category will have 5% of the sanctioned seats, which
this year amounts to 21.


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