In a departure from previous years, Delhi University (DU) has made it mandatory for aspirants to include mathematics in their ‘best of four’ subjects, if they want admission to Economics (Hons). However, while DU officials said the policy would be the same in all colleges of the varsity, minority colleges such as St Stephen’s and Jesus & Mary (JMC), which have their own admission process, have decided to stick to the old rule.

Earlier, students only had to pass in mathematics in Class XII to apply for economics. The logic behind making it compulsory for best of four, officials said, is to prepare students for industry skills such as data crunching and analytics.

Asked if the rule would apply to all colleges including St Stephen’s and JMC, OSD admissions Sukanta Dutta said, “All colleges are required to follow the admission policy.”

However, St Stephen’s in its prospectus says: “Students who want to apply to Economics (Hons) should have been very comfortable with Class XII mathematics…” There is no mention of math in the best of four subjects. C B Jha, Tutor for Admissions at St Stephen’s, said, “Students have to study math in Class XII, and there will be a rider on that. When the interview is conducted, the department will decide what the rider will be, but math doesn’t necessarily have to be included in the best of four subjects, as is the case in other DU colleges.”

Jha added, “We have decided to continue with the old policy. We had put out our prospectus before DU announced this change. We are a minority institution and we have the constitutional right to conduct our own admission process.”

JMC, too, said those applying for Economics (Hons) must have studied mathematics compulsorily in Class XII. Their additional criteria is that the student should have scored at least 80% in math, but there is no condition on the subject being included in the best of four. Several students have approached DU over this change in rules.

~Preksha Mishra


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