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Delhi HC seeks Centre, DU's stand on plea challenging varsity's new admission norms

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New Delhi, Jun 10 :  The Delhi High Court Monday sought to know the stand of the Centre and the Delhi University (DU) on a plea challenging its new admission criteria for undergraduate courses.

A bench of Justices Anu Malhotra and Talwant Singh said there was arbitrariness in how criteria were amended just a day before opening of registration for admission.

The observation by the bench came while hearing a plea by lawyer Charanpal Singh Bagri who has claimed that the varsity's decision to amend the criteria at the last moment was in violation of the principle of natural justice.

While issuing notice to the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and the DU and seeking their stand on the issue, the court asked the petitioner why no students were part of the petition.

The bench said "there was a lot of hue and cry on the internet" against the amended norms and observed that it would be have been appropriate if students had also joined the petitioner.

It also said the people were aggrieved by the amendment and that the DU has "violated the law" and "there was arbitrariness" in how the new criteria were notified.

The DU commenced registration for admission on May 30. It will close on June 14.

The court asked MHRD, represented by senior panel counsel Brajesh Kumar, and the varsity to file their replies to the plea by June 14, the next date of hearing.

Meanwhile, a similar plea was mentioned in the morning by advocate Anupam Srivastava against the amended admission norms.

The petition has been moved on behalf of Srivastava's daughter, Khushi Srivastava, and it was allowed by the bench to be listed for hearing on June 12.

Both the petitions have contended that students have been caught unaware as the eligibility criteria for some courses have been changed.

Till last year, if a student had 50 per cent in Mathematics, he or she could apply for BA (Hons) in Economics, but this year the subject has been made mandatory for 'Best of Four', which means Mathematics has to be part of the top four subjects, aggregate of which will be considered for the admission, the pleas have said.

Similarly, BCom (Honours) required a student to have passed Mathematics/Business Mathematics with an aggregate of 45 per cent marks as a mandatory requirement, they said.

This year, the criteria has been tweaked which mandates that a student should have 50 per cent or more marks in Mathematics/Business Mathematics and an aggregate of 60 per cent with number of new conditionalities attached, the petitions have also said.

Both the petitions have sought quashing of the amended eligibility criteria and that students be allowed to apply as per the earlier rules.

According to news reports, members of the Academic and Executive councils of the Delhi University had recently written to the vice-chancellor to reverse the changes brought in the eligibility criteria for various courses, describing them as "arbitrary" and "unwarranted".

The letter had urged the vice-chancellor to restore the earlier criteria for this academic session on an "urgent basis".

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