New Delhi: The high cut-off marks, including 100 per cent in one of Delhi's famous colleges, for admission this year has triggered a controversy with Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal on Wednesday coming out strongly against it and assuring parents that the government would intervene in the matter.

But Sri Ram College of Commerce, which has fixed 100 percent cut-off marks for admission to undergraduate commerce course justified it, saying it has been a practice for last 20 years and there was nothing wrong with it.

"I was sad to hear it. I want to reach out to parents and students and tell them don't worry...We will take care of this irrationality. We are on your side," Sibal told reporters here as the cut-off has sent a collective sense of disbelief among the student community.

"I am informed by the (Delhi University) Vice Chancellor that there is only one student in the entire list who has got a 100 per cent mark in science. He may never go to commerce. The idea is to exclude everybody in the science stream and not to allow them an opportunity. This is completely irrational," he said.

DU Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh, however, sought to allay students' fears, saying with four more cut-off lists were due to come and that the "cut-offs will come down significantly".

He said the high-cut off was largely because of the high scores achieved by students in the school leaving exams.

"Last year in CBSE examination, students who scored more than 95 per cent were 200. This year there are 800. There are high scoring groups now. Therefore, colleges are being cautious in the first cut-off," he said.

Sibal also underlined the need to hasten the reforms initiated by his ministry in the education sector so that no student is denied their right to pursue the career of their choice.

"This is the overarching reform process which we now have to look into. Students should on the basis of overall merit decide on which course they want to take up," he said.

Echoing his views, the vice chancellor said the varsity will have to bring about fundamental changes in its admission procedures, which are right now in the central control.

Statutory provisions in university regulations need to be re-looked. "Each college decides through its staff council and the university cannot intervene in this. But now we will take
a look at this because this is not a permissible situation," the VC said.

"We plan to ensure within the reform process that such situations do not recur. Too much of centralisation is not good but we want to make sure this (the reform) is rationale," he said.

SRCC principal P C Jain, however, defended the 100 per cent cut-off, saying, "This is a screening process. We have to take some students out of thousands of students. The criteria has been developed keeping in view who can give the best input to the college."

He said the criteria adopted by the ollege was "transparent" and the public has never criticised it before. "Everybody from student to teacher have appreciated us," he said.

Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, whose two sons study in a Delhi school, also expressed his bemusement over the high cut-offs, saying, "If 100 per cent is the minimum requirement to be considered for admission, are there kids coming with more than 100 out of 100?"

"Worry? I'm terrified for my sons because in five years, when Zamir (Omar's son) moves to college, the cut-offs will be even more insane," he wrote on the micro-blogging site twitter.

The Chief Minister said he was happy that he finished college 20 years ago as the present cut-offs were "scary".

Reacting to Sibal's comments that the cut-off is to deprive science students of an opportunity, the SRCC Principal said why science students have to go for commerce when they can go to engineering.

"Even commerce students are not allowed to enter IITs, medicine. So where will our students go," he said, adding that they have 252 seats and will try to take the best in them.

"Let us first go by the first cut-off list, then if we have slot for second, we will look accordingly," he said.

(Agencies)