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Why Colleges do not allow students to change GE subjects?

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The very controversial Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) was introduced to Delhi University in the year 2015, and along with it came the option of choosing your own generic elective (GE), which basically implies that a student can choose to study any subject – apart from their major – that the college offers for four semesters.

But sadly, what was meant to be an optional course of study has become a compulsory subject for many, as a lot of colleges do not permit changing the GE after one semester. This comes as a shock to many students because as per the university guidelines, students are permitted to change their GE after each semester but even so, some colleges refrain from allowing the change.

Recently, a student from Zakir Husain Delhi College (Morning) took to Facebook to bring to light this unfair practice of his college. College as the mentioned do not follow the guidelines provided by university. As a result, students are stuck with the GE that they chose in the first semester of college. Not satisfied with his grade in the GE paper, the student wished to change his GE but was not allowed to do so even after repeated requests. Upon finding out the procedure for re-evaluation, another problem was brought to light, that a single subject’s re-evaluation costs an epic sum of 1,000 rupees. Being a central university, where a student pays less than 10,000 as their fee annually, is it right to be charging such an exorbitant amount for re-evaluation, which some students genuinely require if they find the papers to be wrongly marked or graded? But most of the times, due to the lengthy and expensive procedure, most students dejectedly accept their marks, having no other option.

However, this is not the case of this year alone, as a student of Miranda House – like numerous others – from the first batch of CBCS also faced a similar problem in 2015. The student wished to change her GE after the end of the first semester but was disallowed from doing so with no real explanation as to why the college was differing from the university guidelines – the administration and even the principal just declared that even if DU allows for GE change, the college will not. It was only after repeated requests that the student was allowed to change her GE, that too, in the latter half of February when more than half of the syllabus is already covered.

Students have also noted that colleges following the university guidelines even let students register their GE online or offline, right at the beginning of the semester. But, again, some colleges refrain from doing that too. In light of this, a student from Ramjas who was not allowed to change her GE simply filled the examination code of the GE paper she wished to study in the examination form.

As it can be seen, students are forced to resort to such measures and run from office to office for the change as the college denies to them what is actually permitted by the university itself.

From these instances, it becomes quite apparent that the CBCS has faults embedded deep into its foundation and even though CBCS as a concept is ideal, it doesn’t seem to be offering much choice to the students, contrary to its name. The university should ensure that all the colleges are adhering to the given guidelines as ultimately; it is the students who suffer the most due to such discrepancies.

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Vandana, a defence kid, is a cat enthusiast and has an unhealthy obsession with fairy lights and idiyappam. She is currently pursuing English literature from Miranda House, University of Delhi.

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