Delhi University considers not conducting sports trials this year; admissions under some ECA disciplines unlikely

The University of Delhi may not conduct trials for sports quota admissions to the undergraduate programmes for the academic session of 2020-21 due to the coronavirus outbreak. Instead, the admission under this category will be granted on the basis of merit certificates.

For this year, the varsity is also considering the idea of not conducting admissions under certain Extra Curricular Activities (ECA) as no recognized certification body exists for the same. In the university, 5% seats are reserved under these two categories collectively in each undergraduate course.

Shobha Bagai, the head of the University’s admission department, mentioned that it is easier to ascertain the authenticity of sports certificates than ECA certificates. She said, “It’s a huge risk to call candidates to the campus for sports and ECA trials this year. Also, it will not be possible for students to travel from different states to appear for the trials. So, we are considering if admissions can be given on the basis of certificates issued by authorized sports bodies. In the case of ECA, there is no such system, and students sometimes submit certificates issued by residents’ welfare associations (RWAs) or local bodies. It becomes difficult to ascertain the authenticity of such certificates since we do not have any list of recognized bodies for ECA, unlike sports. Therefore, we have to see if, for a year, we can forgo admissions under ECA,” Hindustan Times reported.

In addition, Bagai said that since these seats are supernumerary in nature, it will not affect the total intake of courses. “Also for some ECA disciplines, we can try to see if a candidate can upload a video of his/her performance to obtain the admission. All these are being considered. We need to discuss these issues with our statutory bodies before taking a decision,” she added.

The University of Delhi offers admission under the sports quota in 27 disciplines including athletics, archery, badminton, basketball, cricket, football, hockey, judo, kho-kho, power-lifting, swimming, tennis, and wrestling, among others. While under the purview of Extra-Curricular Activities, there are 14 recognized activities such as creative writing, dance, debate, fine arts, music (vocal), music (instrumental), theatre, quiz, NCC, NSS, and yoga, among others.

Every year, under the sports quota admissions, candidates have to appear for trials in their preferred discipline. While the trials carry 60 marks, the remaining 40 marks are allotted on the basis of merit certificates. Under the ECA quota admissions, trials are conducted at two levels previously, carrying a weightage of 75 marks. While the remaining 25 were allotted on the basis of merit certificates. However, this year, due to the social distancing norms to control the spread of the coronavirus disease, the admissions department is considering this change.

Several teachers, however, are also hopeful for the betterment in the COVID-19 situation and opine that the University should wait till July to take a decision. “There is a possibility that things will return to normal by August and we may be able to conduct trials for sports admissions then. We can call students in small batches for the trials to maintain social distancing,” Pankaj Sinha, a member of the university’s sports council, said, as stated by Hindustan Times.

While some are of the view that instead of conducting centralized trials, the university should ask colleges to conduct their own trials. Rajesh Jha, a member of the Executive Council, University of Delhi, said, “It will help in maintaining social distancing. The administration should not forgo some ECA categories since many students who are not academically strong rely on their talent to secure an admission.”

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