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Delhi University first-year classes to start November 1: V-C Yogesh Singh

Delhi University (DU) will begin the first semester for newly admitted undergraduate students on November 1, regardless of whether all rounds of allocating seats to candidates through its new admission process are completed, Vice-Chancellor Yogesh Singh said on Tuesday.

DU launched its common seats allocation system on Monday for candidates to register for admission through their Common University Entrance Test (CUET) results. The university has not released a date sheet or timeline for the three-phase admission process through this system, but is aiming to close registrations by October 3 and conduct the first round of allocation of seats by October 10-12.

While Singh expects at least four rounds of allocations, he told The Indian Express that the university will begin the semester for First Year students on November 1, even if the rounds of allocation continue to take place.

In 2019-2020, before the pandemic, the academic year for all undergraduate batches began together on July 20. Since then, admissions have been delayed each year because of the pandemic; with registrations only beginning on September 12 this year, it is the most delayed yet.

Singh said the university has not issued a definite admissions calendar, in anticipation of the National Testing Agency’s declaration of CUET results. “Now, the NTA has said that results will be declared on September 15. If they don’t declare it by then, things will be shifted. Right now, everything is dependent on when the NTA declares the results… Once the results are declared, we should get at least five days to get the data, results and process them at our end… But October 3 will be the final date of registration… We will make a calendar after the registration process so that we also know the exact number of aspirants. Till the CUET results come out, students will be confused… we have to give them time to list their (course and college) preferences as well. There will be some chaos, there are so many options for them,” he said.

In implementing the new admission system, DU is looking at a big task – creating a merit list for every programme group based on CUET scores and the various programme-college preferences listed by students.

“We have to help students in a better way and we have to make them understand the philosophy of selection… The biggest challenge is selection of preferences. If they do it carefully and seriously, it will be good for them, and they should select all possible options. If they are casual about it, there may be problems and chaos for them… It can be quite difficult for them to make these choices. If someone is not from Delhi, they may not know much. NIRF ranking may be one reference point for them… Students may have clarity on the top few colleges, but not about the rest,” he said.

Singh said he hopes to get the academic calendar back to normal within this year by doing away with summer vacations for this batch of First Year students. On when the CUET should be conducted to ensure the next academic year is on time, he said: “It needs to be conducted in March, that would be best. The exam should be conducted twice – once more after that, just after the CBSE examinations.”

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On Monday, the Delhi High Court said St Stephen’s College cannot conduct interviews for admission of undergraduate students belonging to “non-minority category” and directed it to admit such candidates only on the basis of CUET. “We are thinking of filing a caveat before the Supreme Court… in case the college decides to approach it. Because if the higher court stays it, there will be chaos in the entire system. Everything will be delayed. But I think it will happen,” he said.

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