by Hany Babu
The Academic Forum for Social Justice – a form of OBC teachers of the University of Delhi – strongly condemns the arbitrary and insensitive way in which high cut-off marks have been announced for students from OBC category for admission to the undergraduate programme in the constituent colleges of the University. By declaring such high cut off marks, the colleges are not only making a mockery of reservation, but are also unambiguously proclaiming that they have no intention of filling up the seats with OBC candidates. In spite of the fact that more than 55% of the OBC seats in the University could not be filled by OBC candidates in the year 2010-’11, only one or two colleges have been willing to give 10% relaxation in marks for OBC candidates. A prestigious college of the North Campus has fixed 98% as the cut off for OBC candidates for its BCom Honours programme. Such anti-reservation stand is not at all surprising given the fact that the University has gone for appeal against a High Court judgment which declared that “OBC candidates to avail of reservation provided for them in the CEI Act are not required to, in admission test or in the eligibility exam secure marks within the bandwidth of 10% below the cut-off marks of the last candidate admitted in the General (Unreserved) category”.
This was the judgment in the matter of Tanvi Yadav versus University of Delhi. What is funny is that Tanvi did not get any relief and her petition was dismissed by a single judge in the High Court, and the one who goes for appeal against that to the Division Bench is not the affected candidate, but the University. And what is the grievance of the University? That they will have to admit OBC candidates to all the OBC seats. Nowhere in India would a University have entered into litigation to counter the principle of reservation like this. Read along with the high cut-off marks that are announced for OBC students, it is abundantly clear that the Vice-Chancellor’s statement about filling up the OBC seats is just empty rhetoric. The Vice-Chancellor should come out openly explaining why the University has entered into litigation against the judgment in the Tanvi Yadav matter and issue explicit instruction to all the colleges to follow the 10% difference while announcing the second cut off. All the OBC candidates who come above the cut off of the general category should also be adjusted to the general category in the subsequent lists. The Academic Forum for Social Justice had already held a demonstration on June 8, 2011 to draw the attention of the Vice-Chancellor to this matter, but the Vice-Chancellor refused to even allow an audience with him. The Academic Forum for Social Justice plans to strengthen the agitation for the proper implementation of OBC reservation at the University of Delhi.