The attack on Higher Education continues ; DU Students continue their protest, Calls for hunger strike

In complete violation of due process, admission norms and the Constitution, Delhi University has implemented the 2016 UGC Gazette notification for MPhil interviews.

According to this notification, a minimum qualification of 50% in the entrance test is mandatory for all students. This notification however, is not binding and Delhi University as a central university has the right to its own selection process. In accordance with the aforementioned selection process, various departments released an Initial Interview List after the results of the entrance exam with a graded cut-off as is the norm. The qualifying marks, on the basis of which the interview list was released, were set by each department.

However, after the release of the Initial Interview List,  an arbitrary notification was issued overnight which stated:

“ACCORDING TO THE AMENDMENTS TO ORDINANCE VI, VIA AND VIB REGARDING MPHIL AND PHD (AND THE BULLETIN OF INFORMATION FOR MPHIL AND PHD ADMISSIONS), THE QUALIFYING MARKS IN THE ENTRANCE EXAMINATION FOR ALL THE CANDIDATES (RESERVED AND UNRESERVED) IS 50%.”

Due to this notification, the cut-off was unjustifiably increased. It must also be kept in mind that a minimum requirement of  50% marks to qualify for the cut-off is very difficult  to achieve due to the recently introduced scheme of negative marking in the paper, which did not exist at the time of the gazette being released i.e. 2016.

In accordance with this regulation, a Revised Interview List was released on July 23, 2018 which had minimal students qualifying through the entrance test with the heavy majority qualifying through UGC NET/JRF with several out of those called through the entrance also having cleared the NET. Furthermore, the gradations based on Reservation policies across categories (SC/ST/OBC/PWD etc.) were completely ignored and a blanket  50% was set as qualifying marks for everybody, across categories.

This notification has affected students from every single Post-Graduate department with hundreds  losing their seats and continues the trajectory of a larger assault on Higher Education that has continued unabated for the last few years. The exclusionary policies were evident in the entrance Exam this year, which was conducted online for the first time. Instead of a dual language option (Hindi and English), the exam was conducted solely in English. Moreover, despite several reports about a change in weightage of the entrance exam-interview from qualifying to 80/20, the entrance exam remained as qualifying.

 

The postponement of the interviews of PhD courses and the cancellation of interviews for Mphil course occurred due a strong students movement.  In order to continue the movement, students have called for hunger strike on Wednesday, August 1 2018.

Demands of students are:

In light of the notices stating the immediate halt of MPhil/PhD interviews by the University (w.e.f July 28, 2018) our struggle intensifies, we demand:

  1. Complete scrapping of Ordinance VI which states the qualifying marks in the entrance examination for all the candidates (reserved and unreserved) is 50%.
  1. Reinstatement of previous interview lists for all candidates from all categories.
  1. Weightage given to written exam to be 80% and for the interview to be 20%