How students need to take charge of their life's course

Students should realise that education is all about discovering one's true inner self.

 |  5-minute read |   21-07-2020
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The announcement of school-leaving examination results-by certifying bodies such as the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has always garnered a great deal of attention. This is in spite of the fact that the Covid-19 crisis has been upon us. This sort of focus is a measure of the value that society attaches to the issue of education.

I can gauge-through social media platforms and several other sources-that parents and their wards are beginning to succumb somewhat to the frenzy that accompanies the announcements of examination results. Perhaps the time is right to put things into perspective so as to ease somewhat the psychosocial pressure that descends on parents and wards at this time of the year.

Cut-off conundrum

My suggestions, though largely written with the University of Delhi in mind, are also applicable to parents and students across the nation. The reason why I have kept to a significant extent the University of Delhi in mind is that it admits more than 55,000 undergraduates into its colleges each year. These students apply from every corner of India. Also, this year things may appear a bit difficult or even vague for obvious reasons and this column may clear things up a bit.

main_du-college-admi_072120103736.jpgThe student can choose that college and that subject within the college where his or her aggregate score is above the 'cutoffs' for that subject in that particular college. (File photo: PTI)

Here are the reasons why applicants seeking admission to the University of Delhi-need not be too concerned as far as understanding the process is concerned. In 2014, the University of Delhi switched over to a completely online application and admission process. This has eliminated the unending run around from college to college for the admission seekers. It has also eliminated the needless and extended visit to Delhi for those from outside the city who wish to gain admission into the University of Delhi. Thus students, since the last 7 years, are able to register from the comfort of their homes. This means that through a simple online form they register their subject-wise examination scores and their details.

The inner drumbeat

Once they have registered successfully they shall have access-in due course-to an online dashboard that shall keep them abreast of the so-called 'cutoffs' that are likely to be announced anywhere during the period from the end of August to the third week of September. They can also check for these 'cutoffs' on the University of Delhi's website. Thereafter the student shall be required to choose a college from amongst those where he or she is eligible for admission to a degree programme.

This means the student can choose that college and that subject within the college where his or her aggregate score is above the 'cutoffs' for that subject in that particular college. This aggregate is to be computed as per the instructions provided by the University of Delhi. A student is generally given a 3-day time period in which to visit the college where he or she is eligible for admission for the completion of all formalities. The other major advantage of such a procedure has ensured is in terms of transparency and fairness. So much for the procedures of admission, which have made life much easier for the student since 2014.

The real and very important issue is the mad rush for the so-called elite colleges. My first and very strong advice to any student is to give preference to the subject over the college. There are several reasons why I offer such advice. First and foremost, a student should realise that education is all about discovering one's true inner self. Each one of us is born with an inner drumbeat, which I call the drumbeat of the soul or antardhwani. To begin to get educated is to start discovering this inner drumbeat and to start marching in the real world in harmony with this drumbeat. That is when the student begins to get truly educated. The real world is replete with examples of individuals who have become successful in every sense of the word by discovering this inner drumbeat. Amongst the many examples that I can think of is Sachin Tendulkar who discovered his drumbeat to be cricket, Ramanujan the genius who discovered his drumbeat to be mathematics and Faraday who discovered his drumbeat in physics. Hence, a university must provide every student with exposure to many drumbeats and the student then should choose that subject which resonates with his heart. The role of a college is not so important here.

Beyond the obvious

If a student has to choose between a subject that he is happy about in a not so well known college and a fancy college with a subject that is not close to his or her heart, the student must choose the subject as by pursuing the subject of his choice he shall become truly educated and thus successful. What the student must keep in mind is that peer pressure or herd mentality should never be a factor in his or her decision-making process. I must add that I have noticed during the past several years that university toppers in several different subjects at Delhi University have begun to sprout from so many of the so-called 'lesser-known' colleges as opposed to the fancier ones.

Also, there are numerous colleges now in Delhi University that are truly shining for the past many years such as Ramanujan College, the ARSD College and the Aryabhatta College. They are offering very good academic experiences-comparable to any college in India-along with excellent all-round exposure. Of course, all colleges of the University of Delhi are in the same league. So once again, go for the subject and not the college.

(Courtesy of Mail Today)

Also read: Why admission to DU is not worth the craze


Dinesh Singh Dinesh Singh @dineshsinghedu

The writer is former Vice-Chancellor, Delhi University and currently Adjunct Professor of Mathematics, University of Houston, USA

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