This year girl students hopeful of getting relaxation in their percentage cut-offs in Delhi University colleges will not gain much. DU, as the varsity is popularly known as, has decided to put a uniform cap on cut-off relaxation for women. Many would applaud this move as a step towards gender equality.
The relaxation was meant to encourage more girl students to take up higher studies. More than a decade back, when I had sought admission in DU, well-known colleges in North Campus, such as Ramjas, was lowering the cut-off in various courses by 5% to attract more female students into its campus.
The scenario has changed much in these 15 years. The classrooms in DU colleges are bursting in its seams today, and the last year’s data show that colleges have given admissions to 80-90% girls in specific courses. In 2015, over 20 colleges relaxed their cut-offs for girl students by up to 3%.
Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma (ARSD) College, Deen Dyal Upadhyaya College, Zakir Hussain College, Bhim Rao Ambedkar College, PGDAV College, Dyal Singh College and nine other colleges relaxed their cut-offs by 1-3% for all courses.
The co-ed colleges of DU that used to offer up to 3% relaxation for girls, will now have to make do with just 1%. The good news is, analysis say there is no dearth of female students in DU, like it used to be a decade ago.
I think this is a progressive move and blanket relaxation for women kind of kills the gender equality debate. When hundreds of women have made it to the cut-off lists, based on merit, a little more relaxation will hardly mater to them.
May be DU can keep the 1% relaxation for transgenders, or women from economically backward families or regions in India where the female population is skewed.
The female brigade from within the city, hailing from well-to-do families can do well without any sort of reservation. For female students availing this “privileged cut-off”, it will become difficult for them to participate in gender equality discussion, a thing DU in known for.
It’s time to get rid of tokenism “women empowerment”, when in reality, only the privileged ones avail such offers, beating the whole idea. May be sensitising the campus about women safety and rights will make more sense, because that’s what is going to make a difference. Let’s leave the reservation for the ones, who can’t otherwise afford a good education.