New Delhi: The Delhi University admission process has started on 2 June, amidst chaos as the university website crashed and the admission centres witnessed crowds, mismanagement and even protests.
The confusion led to a dip in the sale of forms, both online and offline.
A total of 34,805 application forms were sold on day one. Out of which 32,460 offline and 2,345 online forms were sold. While last year 42,860 forms were sold at just 12 centres on the first day, officials said.
As the website was not working, only 2,345 online optical mark registration (OMR) forms were filled and payments made for, while last year, 7,385 forms were submitted online.
"The online form-filling started at 12 midnight and within a few hours, 2,345 students submitted their forms," DU joint dean of students' welfare and media coordinator Malay Neerav told IANS.
While last year, a total of 50,245 application forms were sold, this year the number slipped by over 15,000. Daulat Ram College (DRC), one of the centres in the north campus, stopped selling forms for a few hours after the staff faced protests for distributing the forms at the college gate and not allowing the admission-seekers to enter the premises.
The queue outside DRC stretched for almost one km, with parents and students sweating in the high temperature. Following the protests, the college stopped selling forms but resumed it after a few hours. With just one counter operating, there was almost a stampede-like situation with students climbing the college gate.
"We were supposed to fix the tent but at the last moment there was some problem, but tomorrow (Tuesday) everything will be in place," DRC acting principal Daya Aggarwal told the media. As against the rule, DRC was also selling separate forms of the general and reserved category.
Similarly, Shahid Gurudev Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College was overcrowded with admission seekers, though the college had adequate tents, water facility and even guidelines on the notice board.
The forms are available between 9 AM to 1 PM at 18 centres across Delhi, while students can download the forms on the university website 24 hours a day. The last day of filling forms is 16th June. But with the university website not working since Sunday night, most of the students flocked to the centres to collect them.
"The online forms are not trustworthy as the process is very slow. So we have decided to come here and buy them," Vidya Anand, who came from Chandigarh, told IANS.
The forms cost Rs.100 for students under the general category. For those belonging to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes, the forms are priced at Rs.50.
"There are no arrangements for anything this time. There are neither tents nor drinking water facilities. Like last year, the administration has not provided any facility," National Students Union of India (NSUI) secretary Lokesh Chugh told IANS.
It was not only the lack of basic facilities that the students faced, they also had to deal with traffic woes.
"Earlier, traffic used to be diverted and not even rickshaws were allowed, but this time there has been no management," added Chugh. As propagated by the university, there were no university observers to oversee the admission procedure.
Though the admission process is on, many students' groups are staging protests against the four-year undergraduate programme and burning effigies of Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh.
Members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) burnt effigies at around 14 places in the area and raised slogans against the vice chancellor demanding that the four-year programme be rolled back.
Similarly, left wing groups - the All India Students Association, the Democratic Students Organisation and the All India Democratic Students Organisation - also staged a noisy protest march at all the north campus centres.
Compared to the north campus, the admission process in the south campus went on smoothly without any hassle.
Delhi University is conducting the admission process for 54,000 seats in 61 colleges, while St. Stephen's College, Jesus and Mary College and Lady Irwin College are conducting separate admissions.