St Stephen’s increases Christian quota to 50 percent

June 15th, 2008 - 5:37 pm ICT by IANS  


New Delhi, June 15 (IANS) Getting admission in Delhi University’s prestigious St Stephen’s College will become somewhat difficult for the general category students as the college has decided to hike the number of seats for Christians this academic year. The college is a minority institution, which under the law is allowed to administer its own affairs. Though a final decision on reservations will be announced next week, the college authorities have cleared a 50 percent quota for Christians.

St Stephen’s spokesman Sunil Mathew told IANS: “For this year, 50 percent is the cap on reservation for Christians. Next year we will look into the issue again.” Some seats will, however, be added to the sports quota, he said.

Of all seats open for adfminission, 40 percent will be open to the general category, 10 percent will be reserved for non-Christian Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and physically handicapped, while students from the sports category will get a 5 percent quota over and above the sanctioned seats.

The four groups have been categorized as Category A for Christians, B for general merit, C for SC/ST and physically handicapped and D for the sports category.

Shivi Sharma wants to apply at St Stephen’s. With 88 percent marks, she feels she could get into the BA Pass course she wants. But she knows the odds are stacked against her.

“Even getting into this college is so difficult, but now if they cut down the seats for general category, where will we go? This is really unfair,” says Shivi.

The college will create new seats for students coming through the sports quota. But the admission procedure remains unchanged - 75 percent weightage to Class 12 marks, 15 percent to Class 10 marks and 10 percent to the interview.

Till 2006, Christians enjoyed a 30 percent quota, while general category students were eligible for half the number of seats. The remaining 20 percent was reserved for SC/ST students.

Article 30 of the Constitution allows minority educational institutions the freedom to administer themselves, even if they receive funding from the government.

Minority education institutions are not bound to reserve seats for Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) or Other Backward Classes.

St Stephen’s College is a minority institution affiliated to Delhi University that receives funding from the University Grants Commission, which decides on financing of India’s government universities.

An increase in the quota for Christians from 30 to 40 percent last year - which reduced general category seats from 50 to 40 percent - under then principal Valson Thampu had been opposed within the college faculty, students and alumni.

The college had then also reserved a fourth of the Christian seats for Dalits within the community. That decision was revoked after Thampu resigned earlier this year.

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