DU may skip ECA, sports trials this year too due to pandemic

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Like last year, Delhi University is likely to give the sports and extracurricular activities (ECA) trials a miss this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and admissions under the category will be on the basis of certificates submitted by aspirants, said a varsity official aware of the matter. The decision was taken at an admissions committee meeting held on Thursday, the official said.

“It is unlikely that the sports and ECA trials will be held this year. Since the pandemic is still ongoing, the university has decided to adopt last year’s method this year as well. Aspirants may be allowed to submit certificates of the past four years, of which three will be considered for their admission. The marking pattern and categories for sports and ECA will remain the same,” a university official present at the meeting said, requesting anonymity.

The recommendations will now go to the university academic council’s standing committee for a final approval. The university is also expected to make several admissions-related announcements on Saturday, said officials.

In DU colleges, 5% supernumerary seats are reserved under these two categories collectively in each course. Before the pandemic broke out in March last year, colleges submitted to the admissions branch a list of sports and activities for which they need students to form teams. This was followed by trials in both categories. Students were admitted on the basis of their scores in these trials as well as the weightage given to their certificates. However, due to the pandemic, the university last year admitted students under these categories on the basis of merit and participation certificates.

Pankaj Sinha, chairman of the DU sports council, said they submitted the recommendations to the admissions committee keeping the Covid-19 situation in mind. “Calling aspirants to Delhi from different cities would not have been safe… Last year, we admitted around 1,289 national-level award winners for the approximately 2,000 seats in the category. This showed that the certificate-based admission system did not compromise on the quality of students getting admission,” he said.

Vishesh Gupta, 18, who will graduate from the Laxman Public School in Hauz Khas this year and wants to apply under the theatre category, said, “If ECA trials are not happening this year as well, it can be a disadvantage for our batch because we did not have many competitions this year. According to last year’s matrix of marks, national and zonal competitions were more scoring which did not happen this year. Last year, they were only allowing certificate of three years which won’t be enough for us as many of our certificates from Class 11 are also due because we often get the certificates months after the competition.”

Anamika Prasad, DU deputy dean (cultural activities) declined to comment on the matter.

Meanawhile, several other decisions were taken in the meeting held on Thursday. “The university is contemplating a fee waiver for students who lost their parents to Covid. This is in line with the current policy announced by the university in June,” said the official quoted above.

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