New Delhi: As the debate continues over the new four-year undergraduate programme, the Delhi University today sold over 42,000 forms on the first day of the admission process while over 7,000 students registered online.
Braving the heat, thousands of students queued up at the 18 colleges where the forms were being sold and submitted. Traffic jams were reported at DU's North campus as eager students rushed to get their forms on the first day itself.
"42,860 forms were sold on the first day today. Out of which, 35,208 forms were of General and OBC category and 7,608 of SC/ST and Physically Disabled. Last year, the figure stood at approximately 30,000. The number of forms received manually at counters today was 3,724," Dean of Students' Welfare J M Khurana said.
"Likewise, the online registration has been welcomed by the candidates seeking admission in the Delhi University. At 7 PM, the number touched 7,385 which is almost three times that of last year. Candidates should make best use of online facility which is available 24 hours till the last day of registration of forms (June 19)," he said.
Meanwhile, a section of students complained that the website denied access once they clicked on the online registration link. Deputy Dean of Students' Welfare Gurpreet Singh Tuteja said the students might have faced inconvenience for "a few minutes" as the server had slowed down after a large number of students tried to register at the same time.
"Around noon the server had slowed down for a little while as there were 34,000 people accessing the website together. We have the records...The online registration was working smoothly and there was never a technical glitch." This year's DU admissions are being held in the middle of a controversy as several academicians have raised objections to the new four-year programme.
The critics of the new pattern claim that an additional year would be a waste of time and money and would bring down the academic standing of the university due to the "dumbing down" of the courses offered.
Many of them have also claimed that the four-year structure would especially go against students from backward communities as they will find it difficult to afford an extra year of studies.
The opinion of students at the DU's Faculty of Arts was mixed. While there were some who were optimistic that they will have diverse options of subjects to study, there were others who remained apprehensive and confused over the new structure despite being provided brochures at the campus.
Meanwhile, protests by dissenting academicians and students continued. A DU professor today started a three-day fast at Rajghat against the "undemocratic" implementation of the four-year programme.
"I have planned to observe a three-day fast at Rajghat from today against the four-year programme. I would appeal to the government, the university and the law to let good sense prevail and to ensure that the DU continues to retain its reputation as a centre of democratic values and academic excellence," said DU professor Prem Singh of Hindi department.
The new four-year structure will be a shift from the 10+2+3 scheme and entails awarding a diploma if a student exits after two years, a bachelor's degree after three years and a bachelor's degree with honours or a B Tech degree on completion of four years.
Under the new pattern, students will get an opportunity to study 11 compulsory foundation courses covering arts, sciences, social sciences and commerce. There will be 20 papers in Discipline-I and six papers in Discipline-II, besides four Application papers.
Admissions to the four year undergraduate programme will be based on the eligibility criterion for Discipline-I. The first cut-off list is scheduled to come out on June 27.