New Delhi: With Delhi University (DU) deciding to promote Unmukt Chand to second year, the issue might fade from public memory soon. What worked in Chand’s favour is the fact that his is a genuine case of excellence in sports. But loose interpretations of laws and regulations and a discriminatory attitude of college faculty towards students admitted under the sports quota – at least in some cases – are holding back 22 other students from writing exams in the varsity.
One of the professors at Chand’s college, St Stephen’s, told Firstpost on the condition of anonymity that it is the non-implementation of guidelines that regularly leads to cases like that of Unmukt.
In 1997, ace shooter Jaspal Rana who was then a DU student, fell short of the required attendance and faced detention by the varsity. Union ministry of human resources development formed a central advisory board committee (CABE) to look into the matter. CABE gave its guidelines to the University Grants Commission (UGC) which in turn, issued it to all DU colleges.
These were basic guidelines for granting leave to sports persons while they are training or participating in state, national and international competitions. They also gave directions on giving weightage to sport persons during admission to universities and colleges. “The sports persons who are unable to take the examination because of his or her participation in coaching camp/ tournament may be permitted to move to the next class and keep terms in higher classes. They may, therefore, be permitted to appear in the subsequent examination and carry credit for the papers cleared from one examination to another till the entire course is completed and he or she becomes eligible for the award of degree,” said the guidelines.
According to the St Stephen’s professor, these guidelines never found their way into an ordinance which could become binding on the college. “Since the formulation of CABE guidelines, they have made numerous rules and regulations. But no one cared about these guidelines,” he said.
Firstpost has copies of letters UGC and DU Sports Council (DUSU) wrote to principals of all colleges asking them to adhere to these guidelines.
“I appeal to all the teachers and principals that participation in games and training be duly recognised and regarded by giving the attendance in lieu of their sport activities. It may be mentioned that UGC guidelines in this regard have a specific provision for attendance being given to students for their participation in sports activities,” read one such letters signed by professor Abhai Maurya, chairman, DUSU.
With hardly any attention to the CABE Committee guidelines, DU invokes Ordinance VII in cases of short attendance which says that extra curricular activities including sports can account for up to a maximum of 33 per cent of attendance.
“According to the Ordinance, the college is supposed to inform parents about the attendance of their wards on a regular basis. Also, monthly attendance should be published on the college website so that students can keep a count on the number of classes they missed. But these practices exist only on papers,” a faculty at Hindu college said on the condition of anonymity.
There’s also the issue of the administration and faculty’s approach towards students of the sports quota. In 2005, DU introduced its internal assessment scheme under which 25 percent marks in each paper was to be attributed to internal assessments.
“Teachers who believe sports quota students are of no good always fall back on this rule to trouble them. Every college has at least one teacher who uses this clause in the DU rule-book to unfairly haul up students who are away on sports assignments,” said a DU student who did not wish to be named.