An opinionated voice of cultural societies regarding centralised ECA Admissions

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IN A NUTSHELL

Ever since the University came up with the concept of centralising sports quota admissions, they have been wanting to implement the same with the ECA quota admissions for the upcoming academic year. The new Vice Chancellor, as has been heard, has approved of the new procedure for the ECA admissions.
The major concern lies in the fact that the only things that have been told to the professors as well as the students are that
1. Some selected colleges will be chosen as venues for various individual activities such as dance, debate, drama, music.

  1. The centralised admission will have experts from the university as judges of various activities.
  2. Post the trials, each activity will have a merit list on the basis of trial scores and board result. According to this merit ranking, students will be allowed to choose their colleges and courses should it be available in the X college they wish to go to.

WHAT STUDENTS FEEL
Firstly, NO official guidelines as to what the procedure is, what the judgement criteria is going to be like or who the judges are going to be, have been issued. It has also been heard that the criteria for admission will be divided between trial scores and a bit of board result as well.
All the students of various cultural societies have been raising concerns about this move which could be highly problematic on the part of the university and could bring unfair methods to the trials while also decreasing transparency in the process, and the worst is that the University is asleep at the wheel.
The new process becomes problematic as so far we have had students conducting and acting as judges for their respective activities. It is felt that the process can become unfair since we cannot be sure of the judges and further, if students are not involved in the judges panel, it is highly unfair because students in the university are the ones who have a fair idea about the kind of candidates that need to be admitted into colleges, given their own criteria, since they are at the heart of all the activities and various competitions.
Secondly, there is word going around that as a preceding step to the trials, there could be a possible filtering of applicants on the basis of board result and past experience in their cultural activity at the school level. The current system allows each college to have its independent criteria according to the requirements. For example, certain colleges do not even consider certificates and purely base the assessment on skill. It is felt that these methods could reduce opportunities for the candidates applying.
Another important concern is regarding the requirement of colleges and their cultural societies. In certain cases, activities such as Music require a certain kind of entry into the society through ECA which they may not be able to take care of, if there is a centralised selection. For example, if a certain Music society of X college requires a guitarist or a keyboard player in this academic year as they may be falling short of one, they have had the ability to take a call on their own which will not be possible anymore since the university will base the admissions on the basis of merit list of the ECA trials.

These are multiple issues regarding the ECA trials and only through the means of word of mouth have the students received the information regarding centralisation. Further, so far, a couple of Facebook posts have helped spread the word amongst students in various colleges and it has been possible to generate awareness. But, it is felt that it would be great if the word reaches everyone, including students currently applying through the ECA Quota.

The University is willing to do anything they want without having put any thought into it and unlike other opinion, the ECA admissions are an indispensable part of the admission process and cannot be risked with.

 

Contributed by:

Sankalp Luthra

A member of the Debating Society

Kirori Mal College

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