To study English (H), a minimum 55% in English at the Class XII exam is enough, but for economics (H), computer science (H) and mathematical sciences, a DU aspirant needs 60% in English. The condition is part of the additional eligibility criteria that Delhi University has announced for every subject for the undergraduate admissions this year.

According to the head of the DU English department, Raj Kumar, this English criterion has been added to get quality students. “There is already a lot of competition for limited seats,” he said.

Till last year, the minimum eligibility percentage for English was either not defined or were less for most of these subjects. For English, it didn’t mention any minimum marks. For mathematics and mathematical sciences, only an overall 40% or more was required. 

On why courses like computer science and economics have a higher requirement for the language than the English (H) course itself, Kumar said, “It is likely that since these courses are professional, often people who study it need a better knowledge of the language to get into the corporate sector. That’s why the criterion for English proficiency has been kept high.”

However, some English teachers don’t agree. “I don’t think there is any logic in the way the additional eligibility has been decided. With the medium of instruction in the university being English, there should have been some sort of uniformity,” said a teacher of Dyal Singh College. 

However, for English journalism (H), the minimum eligibility in the language remains the same at 45%. “They should have increased the minimum eligibility criterion in English, considering the subject requires certain understanding and fluency. It is important for a journalism student to be able to read and write well,” a journalism teacher said.

For computer science (H), earlier it used to be 60% in any language; this year it has specifically been noted down for English. Justifying the decision, Archana Singhal of Indraprastha College for Women said, “You need to have good command over English as most of the text and programming are in English.”