The Brazen Unfairness of DU's cut-off process

posted Jan 16, 2017, 5:31 AM by Prashant Bhattacharji   [ updated Apr 22, 2017, 5:28 PM ]
Cut-offs for colleges under Delhi University have been sky-rocketing and they're now contemplating moving to an entrance exam.
The bizarre part is that all these years, DU has been comparing and equating raw scores across different boards. So 90% in CBSE is the same as 90% in ISC and 90% in UP Board and 90% in Tamil Nadu board.
The ridiculousness is not to difficult to spot. All of these are different exams. 90% will barely put you in the top 10-15% in CBSE/ISC, it might not even put you in the top quartile of TN board, but it could very well make you the topper in low scoring UP and Bihar boards.
Let me tell you how this process worked quite well for DU all these years. DU is important because there are very limited non-STEM options in India.
From one end: DU deliberately remains naive enough to compare _raw_ scores across boards from one end without any kind of re-scaling.
And the other end: CBSE despite the pretence of a national board has a domination of members from Delhi. It inflates everyone's scores (so that no one complains). But if you dig into the data you can see that it inflates Delhi scores and those of a few other influential schools significantly more than others. So the kid from a not-so-influential CBSE school in WB or Bihar has the die stacked against her even before she starts to write the exam.
All of a sudden in 2015 and 2016, kids from TN and Hyderabad gatecrash this unbelievable party by using the same gaping hole which DU had left open for Delhi kids. South Indian boards are still a few steps ahead of the central boards in this spiral of score inflation.
So now the whole fuss is being kicked up about kids from TN bagging nearly all the premier Commerce seats in 2016.
In reality, the process was always unfair. Only students of 8 boards sent anything more than a single student to SRCC in 2015 and its not like others didn't apply.
It is just that an un-intended set of beneficiaries walked in through this cozy little arrangement in the last 2-3 years.
Gaming at a totally different level.

SRCC Entrants in 2015. Only 8 boards sent a single student or more.

How the seats went, on a board wise basis. 

 CBSE 550
 Tamil Nadu100 
 ISC 90
 Telangana 15
 Karnataka 8
 AP 5
 Kerala     5
 All other boards (mostly foreign) 8