The admissions process for undergraduate colleges in Delhi University has begun. This time, the university administration is claiming to have simplified the admissions process for the students of the general category. However, students of the OBC category have found that admissions have become even more complicated. OBC students are being told that their application will be accepted only after they have submitted all their documents. These documents include latest mark sheet, OBC Certificate and Non-Creamy Layer Certificate, etc. This rule is applicable only to the students of OBC category.
When all universities have a provision for admitting applicants without certificates if they sign an undertaking that they will submit the certificates within the stipulated period, why doesn’t Delhi University? In the other universities, only if the applicants fail to do so, their enrolment is cancelled. The time given for submitting these documents extends from one month to six months.
The issue of enrolment of candidates from OBC category came to the fore also during the university counselling sessions that have begun recently. At one of the counselling sessions, a student from Himachal Pradesh asked if she would be eligible for reservation. She was told that she would be eligible for reservation if the caste to which she belongs is included in central OBC list. But it is not that simple. The counsellor added: She has to produce an OBC Certificate issued after 31 March 2017 and a Non-Creamy Layer Certificate issued after 31 March 2018; if the certificates don’t conform to these dates, her application won’t be entertained.
An official who is overseeing admissions in Delhi University told this correspondent that if any OBC applicant is aiming for a seat in the reserved category, they will have to submit the OBC Certificate and Non-Creamy Layer Certificate at the time of admission.
It is well known that the board examinations all over the country begin in the months of February or March. During these months, the students are busy preparing for examinations and most of them don’t find the time to apply for new certificates.
Professor Hany Babu teaches English literature in Delhi University and has been involved in struggles for social justice in higher education. He said that if the OBC students without the required recently issued certificates are not admitted even if they sign an undertaking, it clearly means that the university administration wants to deprive them of their rights.
Students of the OBC category cannot even register their grievances. The University administration has not made separate arrangements for the redressal of the grievances of Dalit, Tribal and OBC students. Although the administration claims that it has created an Equal Opportunity Cell (Equal Opportunity Cell, Tel 011-27662602), this cell assists disabled students only. The university administration has also been saying that students can approach Joint Dean, Student Welfare Office (Tel: 011-24116178) with grievances. When this correspondent contacted the Student Welfare Office, he was told that there is no separate arrangement for OBC reservation and related issues.
Why this apathy with regard to OBC students? A teacher from Delhi University, who belongs to Other Backward Classes, points out that the people running the University administration want to restrict OBC reservation to 27 per cent. “The people in the administration do not want OBC students scoring high marks to get general-category seats, so they make life difficult for all OBC students and discourage them. The university has no option but to accept undertakings for certificates. Doing away with the provision of signing undertakings is unconstitutional. This should be opposed openly. Student organizations standing up for Dalitbahujans should also come forward.”
Sushil Kumar, the convenor of Democratic Students Union, Delhi University, agrees. He says, “The university wants to stop the admission of OBCs. It is only for this reason that such strict rules have been made. Many universities in the country allow enrolment of students on the basis of provisional certificates or old documents. They give some more time to submit the latest documents. But Delhi University is depriving OBC youths of their rights by denying them this facility. We will soon join forces with other organizations fighting for social justice and launch a movement demanding that Delhi University remove these hurdles in the enrolment of OBC students.”
Advocate Omarkar Singh Kushwaha, who has been supporting the cause of OBC students under the banner of Mahatma Jotiba Phule Study Circle, said: “Even last year, about 8000-10000 seats reserved for OBC students were treated as ‘backlog’, thus denying opportunity to so many students of the category. At the time, the university cited the lack of OBC students who had secured or surpassed the cut-off marks. This time, the university has again adopted a similar attitude but on the pretext of the lack of up-to-date certificates. The limit of creamy layer has recently been increased from 6 lakh to 8 lakh rupees. Most students will have old certificates. The anti-reservation people running the university administration know very well that OBC students won’t be able to procure creamy layer certificate so soon even if they try. We have organized a programme in the university’s Shankarlal Auditorium on 3 June 2018 against these arbitrary decisions taken by the university. We will discuss the problems of OBC students and seek the intervention of the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development.
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Translated by Devina Auchoybur
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