CUET: St Stephen’s College defies DU, UGC norms; teachers worried

UGC chairman M Jagadesh Kumar said that CUET scores, and not class 12 scores, will be mandatory for admission to 45 central universities.

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St. Stephen’s College has defied Delhi University over the Common University Entrance Test (CUET). Teachers and students are worried that this might lead to a legal battle which could jeopardise students’ careers.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) recently wrote to vice-chancellors of all central universities and colleges to use CUET scores to admit students to undergraduate programmes.

Also read: CUET has its pluses, but keeping coaching institutes at bay is a challenge

UGC chairman M Jagadesh Kumar said that CUET scores, and not class 12 scores, will be mandatory for admission to 45 central universities. Central universities can fix their minimum eligibility criteria.

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But St. Stephen’s College has taken a different stand.

What the college says?

The college’s principal, in a notice for undergraduate admissions 2022-23, said the institution “reserves the right to proceed with admissions as per its own admission policy guaranteed to it as a minority institution and as per past practice”.

It also stated that all candidates who want to get admission to St. Stephen’s College must apply on the college’s UG admission website, which would be launched soon. All the applicants must have also registered for CUET at https://cuet.samarth.ac.in.

As per the institution, “Admissions to the college will be based on 85% of the CUET score and 15% of the interview score for all categories of applicants”. The college said it will decide on the number of applicants under all categories, to be shortlisted based on CUET score, and then called for an interview in college.

The college reserves 50% of its seats for general candidates and the remaining for Christian students.

Delhi University Vice-chancellor Yogesh Singh had recently said that for the general seats, the college should solely take the CUET scores into consideration, while for minority seats, it can hold interviews and assign a weightage of 85% to CUET scores and the rest to interviews.

“We do not want any confrontation and will work it out. We are not challenging their legal authority but will discuss things with them and find a solution,” Singh told PTI.

Teachers worried

According to a teacher at St. Stephen’s College, the principal had informed them that DU had not sent any written intimation to the college.

“During a staff council meeting, the principal informed us that the university hadn’t sent any written intimation to the college. Teachers have also been in the dark about what’s going to happen. Suddenly, we see on the website that the college will conduct interviews for all students,” a senior faculty member told The Times of India.

Another faculty member told the newspaper, “It is difficult to defy the university as there will be a concern that if the university does not recognise this admission, the students’ degree will be jeopardised. They have to resolve this.”

In Tamil Nadu, the state Assembly adopted a resolution urging the Centre to withdraw CUET. TN Chief Minister M K Stalin moved the resolution, urging the Central government to withdraw the entrance test.

“There is no doubt that this CUET, like NEET, will sideline the diverse school education system across the country, grossly undermine the relevance of overall development-oriented long-form learning in schools and make students rely upon coaching centres for improving their entrance examination scores,” the resolution said.

In a strongly worded letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Stalin hit out at the Centre for bringing in the CUET, calling it a ‘regressive’ and ‘undesirable’ move.

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