19 Sep 2020 6:16 AM GMT
The Delhi High Court ruled that the non-inclusion of Computer Science as part of the subjects for calculation of merit for admission to B.Sc. (Hons.) Physics and other related courses does not stand to reason. The Court however opined that a change in criteria for admission would not be suitable for admissions to the current Academic Year 2020-21 as the process is...
The Delhi High Court ruled that the non-inclusion of Computer Science as part of the subjects for calculation of merit for admission to B.Sc. (Hons.) Physics and other related courses does not stand to reason. The Court however opined that a change in criteria for admission would not be suitable for admissions to the current Academic Year 2020-21 as the process is already underway.
The Single-judge bench comprising Justice Pratibha M. Singh has directed Delhi University to take a relook at its course structures and the eligibility criteria and modify the same, well within time, so that students like the Petitioner are not put to hardship in the forthcoming academic years. It clarified
Needless to add, the same would have to be done in complete compliance of the applicable regulations and after seeking approvals, as per the statutes applicable to the University.
The issue of whether marks in Computer Science in class XII ought to be considered while adjudging merit for admission to the B.Sc. (Hons.) Physics course in University of Delhi was raised before the Court in a writ petition filed by a Class XII pass-out from the Science Stream of the ICSE Board.
The Court answered the question in affirmative and directed DU to reconsider and modify its criteria for admission in forthcoming years. However, the Court refused to apply its reasoning to the case of the petitioner or to admissions in the current academic year stating
"whether it is in the case of selection for employment or admission in educational courses, the rules of the game cannot be changed after the race has begun. The process of admissions to undergraduate courses is a two year long process which commences with students taking admission in class XII, choosing the subjects, undertaking preparations, giving various tests and examinations finally culminating in the Class XII board exams or the PreUniversity examinations…Most students who wish to seek admission in B.Sc. (Hons.) Physics course in DU would be more than aware that Computer Science will not be counted in calculating merit. They would have undertaken their preparation and given the examination in the said backdrop."
Inclusion of marks in Computer Science to the "Best Four" for admission to courses
The Court observed that Computer Science is a subject of relevance while undergoing a course of B.Sc. (Hons.) Physics at DU.
"Any course in Physics would require teaching of Computer Science. In the counter affidavit of DU itself, it is admitted that computer programming is taught in the B.Sc. (Hons.) Physics course to students."
It also questioned the logic of including Physics, Chemistry and Computer Science as the best-of-four subjects while considering admissions to Computer Science (Hons.) but of not considering Computer Science as relevant for admissions to BSc. (Hons.) Physics.
Emphasizing on the importance and relevance of the knowledge of Computer Science to streams of Science and Arts, the Court stated
"technological developments have shown that Computer Science would be a subject which would be relevant not just for Science stream under-graduate courses but even for various other courses such as Economics, Statistics, Finance etc., Flexibility and choice in subjects is absolutely essential, in as much as, it is not uncommon to see students wishing to pursue Economics or History, also wanting to study Computer Science. Such strict boundaries in fact tend to ignore the overlaps and requirements of modern education. Even students studying Economics and Statistics may have pursued Computer Science in their XII standard and it cannot be said that the said subject is not relevant for pursuing B.A. in Economics or Statistics. Any rigidity in providing combination of subjects results in stultifying growth of students."
The Court also emphasized on the need for flexibility and choice in choosing subjects as a requirement of modern education. It perused the recently announced National Education Policy 2020 noting that it highlights the need for offering inter-disciplinary courses and permits a student to obtain a dual majors bachelor's degree.
It stated that the NEP 2020 stresses on flexibility, no hard separations and a multi-disciplinary and holistic education as its fundamental principles guiding the educational system as well as institutions and that the same is in line with the global practice.
DU should reconsider its eligibility criteria for admissions and modify the same for admissions in forthcoming years
The Court noted that DU has not changed its admission criteria for more than 3-4 years.
It noted that the Division Bench of the Court in Charanpal Singh Bagri and Ors (2019) had made it clear that DU would have the flexibility to make changes to its eligibility criteria, in accordance with law in forthcoming years.
However, for whatever reasons, no change has been made for the current academic year.
The Court has thus directed DU to take a relook at its course structures and eligibility criteria and to modify the same, well within time, so that students are not put to hardship in the forthcoming academic years.
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