DU will start conducting admissions for M.Phil and PhD courses from next week, after one and a half month of protests. The protests started after a new rule specified that it was mandatory to score atleast 50% in the entrance exam of these courses. However, maximum seats went vacant as very few students managed to fulfill this criterion. DU postponed interviews as no SC, ST, OBC candidates belonging to some departments, qualified for admission.
In May 2016, University Grants Commission (UGC) laid down the new rules for M.Phil and PhD admissions. In June 2018, the university declared the list of selected candidates based on the entrance exam, seeking admission to these courses. But on July 23, DU released an “urgent notification” directing the departments to follow the new norm.
Following a directive from UGC on August 27, DU on September 10 through a notice directed the departments to start conducting admissions. The university’s research council chairperson, Pami Dua in the notice said, “A relaxation of 5% marks (from 50% to 45%) shall be allowed for candidates belonging to SC/ST/OBC and differently abled categories in the entrance exam”. However, if the departments failed to fill all the reserved seats, they were directed to relax the norm. “If in spite of the relaxation, if candidates for SC/ST/OBC and differently abled category (are) not available, the respective departments shall explore suitable policies to fill the vacant…”, it said.
Few research candidates believe that seats will remain vacant even after relaxation. Ajeet, a candidate who has been protesting since July was quoted as saying “We have compiled data that shows that even after the relaxation, some departments such as Economics, Zoology, Linguistics, and Arabic will have no candidate from the reserved categories”. According to the data, there will be no admission in some departments such as Botany, Persian, Geology, and Statistics in M.Phil under all categories if the criterion is followed.
This relaxation is just for reserved categories however the unreserved category is still in a difficult situation.Botany department said that there will be no admission in the general category as no candidate has scored the minimum required marks.