NEW DELHI: Only 27 per cent of seats have been filled in the newly introduced economically weaker section (EWS) quota for students in the prestigious Delhi University due to an unexpected problem: high marks needed for admission into various courses.
When the central government announced a 10 per cent reservation in government jobs and educational institutions in EWS category in January, many students who were preparing for the Class 12 exams celebrated.
But data available on Delhi University's official website says the admissions in the EWS category have been really slow: only 27 per cent seats have been filled after the second cut-off.
A total of 1,527 students have taken admission in undergraduate courses in EWS category though it has 5,600 seats.
Students and professors blame it on the high 'cut-offs', or the minimum marks needed for admission which were almost as high as those meant for general category students.
The university has already enrolled students for over 80 per cent of its overall seat share: 50,989 students have got admission against the available 62,000 seats till July 10.
For instance, the third cut-off for admissions in B.A. Economic (Hon) in Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) was as high as 97.25 per cent for EWS category.
Although the admissions for Economics (Hon) were closed after the first cut-off, some seats for SC, EWS and Kashmiri migrants were still open. The EWS had the highest cut-off.
The scenario was the same in most colleges.
In Ramjas College, the cut-off percentage for admissions in Economics (Hon) was almost the same for both general category (97.50) and EWS (97).
In English (Hon), the general category cut-off was 96 per cent and that for EWS 95.50 in Ramjas College. Sections like OBC (92.75), ST (88.75) and PwD (Person with Disability) (88.75) had comparatively low cut-off marks.
"In the initial cut-offs, the admission were very slow in EWS category. The students have complained about the high cut-offs," a senior faculty who manages admissions said.
The official added that the trends might change in the later cut-off lists when the colleges face empty seats.
This year, the university got 9,091 applications in EWS category for 5,600 seats.
Set up in 1922, Delhi University is the one of the biggest and most respected universities in India. It has 77 affiliated colleges and five other institutions spread across the city as well as 16 faculties and 86 departments.
Following the government orders, the university had facilitated a 10 per cent increase in seats this year to accommodate EWS candidates in the general category. After which, the total number of seats in the university rose to 62,000 from 56,000.
To accommodate the 10 per cent EWS quota, the university is increasing its student intake by 25 per cent.
This will be implemented in two phases. While academic year 2019-20 will see a 10 per cent rise, another 15 per cent increase will take place in 2020-21.