The Curious Case of the Crazy Cut-offs

This week, I realised yet again how lucky I am to be living in these times. Sure, we have our fair share of problems – for example, global warming is threatening to turn the entire planet into the second class general compartment in a Virar fast, even as the powers that be spend all their time looking down each other’s pants to see who has the biggest nuclear warhead. (Oddly enough, this is one size battle that the Chinese can easily win)

But everything said and done, I’m still lucky because I don’t have to run around seeking admissions to colleges where the brochure reads as follows: “Those desirous of applying to our highly esteemed institution that exists only to crush the human spirit should note that in addition to a 100% aggregate, we will also need one of your kidneys, and later you must sacrifice your first-born at the college gates. If you are unable to do so, then our Dean is legally bound to come to your house and spit in your grandmother’s face.”

My consternation stems from the 100% cut-offs issued by Shri Ram College of Commerce for their B.Com (Hons) course. Like all major decisions in Delhi, including the ones made in Parliament, this too seems to have been fuelled by ungodly amounts of alcohol. The last time a bunch of professors got so drunk, they set up IIPM.

So this is clearly a serious matter and gives begs an obvious question – why are students killing themselves over the chance to be a glorified accountant? Just to put things in perspective, to become a politician and take on the massive responsibility of governance, all you need are criminal tendencies and a pulse. And looking at the BJP’s top brass, I’m not even sure about the pulse.

Delhi University has always been notorious for its cut-offs, and yet it has no trouble filling seats. So it logically follows that there should be a sizeable number of intellectuals there who’ve managed to get in and complete these courses. And therein lies the puzzle. I mean when was the last time you went to a Delhi pub, looked at a ‘Jat Boyzz’ in an Ed Hardy T-shirt and thought to yourself, “Hmmm, this fellow looks like a real intellectual. I’ll go discuss India’s foreign policy with him once he’s done shooting the bartender.”

Things aren’t great in Mumbai either. Admissions begin this week and according to a recent report, cut-offs here could also touch 100%. If they do, I’m sure Manmohan Singh will pop out of hibernation and commend the students of Mumbai on their “spirit and resilience”.

The lack of seats is further accentuated by the fact that many top colleges, such as Xavier’s, are minority institutions and have about half a seat available for the general category. Then there are quotas for a number of other communities – Sindhis, Gujaratis, Muslims, Tamilians and North Indians (Although I’ve never heard of a Parsi quota. It makes sense – there’s no point having a quota when the entire community can fit onto one bench)

So given that it’s mathematically impossible for everyone to get through to the college of their choice, I’d like to offer a bit of advice: The name of your college, much like Rohan Gavaskar’s surname, ceases to matter sooner than you think.

I would know. I studied engineering at a college so backward and primitive that they had classes on how to create fire and use it to ward off mastodons. I survived that – thanks to a very close friend called Kingfisher – and so will you. Unless of course, you join IIPM.

(Note: This is my HT column dated 19th June 2011)


16 responses to “The Curious Case of the Crazy Cut-offs

  1. Great article, sir. A few good jokes scattered amongst a few good truths. As someone who’s seeking admission in several Mumbai colleges, I can fully understand the plight – and frustration – of several students. Since I’m applying to several minority institutions like Xavier’s too, I also understand the agony caused by reservations. Sigh.

  2. Are you kidding me! You have no idea the hell that we are going through! My younger sister got 94% marks, and trust me we were disheartened. And it was not funny, when my sister further declared that, she cannot clear any competitive exams because she JUST wants to get into Delhi University!
    I am just glad that my college is over and that I don’t have to go through hell that these poor kids are going through.

    In Mumbai, atleast they have a preference that they give to local students over the outsiders. In Delhi, the local Delhite especially who is not a SC/ST/OBC/PH or from Sikkim has to suffer… because there is no such preference.

    All said and done, the ridiculousness just doesn’t end. And, I really hope and pray that, by the time I have kids and they go to college, the madness would reduce!

  3. Nice Article.Good humor. Didn’t like the ‘shooting the bartender’ part,it may have been funny though.Nice advice at the end.Not a critic.just like your wok.

  4. Amazing column. Read it in HT yesterday. Going through the same thing. I’m trying for engineering. I’m from Mumbai though. May be I’m better off than Delhi-ites. The crazy cut-off’s exist here too. I could totally relate to the article.

  5. The term ‘distinction’ will soon be ranked alongside others as dignified as just-pass, grace marks and ‘ekich KT mila re!’

  6. funny as always.parsi and the iipm jokes bang on!

  7. After I was done laughing about the iipm and jaat boyz joke, I started wondering about knowledge and wisdom. Our education system – not just schools, but also colleges – are designed to impart knowledge not make students wiser. And here lies my problem with formal education – how useful is it outside the world of academia? How many of these 100% scorers are innovative (next Facebook anyone?), creative, and intelligent?

  8. u seem to be a hard core congress-man..nice analogies given by u in the article…should might as well have peeped into the congress way of managing things and revealed some truth about them as well…disappointed by your efforts…

    • So one BJP joke is all it takes to be a ‘hard core congress-man’? The Justice League called – they’re looking for you, Captain Literal. (By the way, check out my earlier columns on the various scams we’ve seen in the past year and then tell me if you still think I’m a Congress guy.)

  9. Gr8 article bro….superlike!!!!

  10. If you don’t mind, I’d like to piggyback in on your success and repost an old rant of my own on the same subject.

    Also, your article was funny and informative and biting and stuff, but by this point in your life, you probably don’t need nobodies like us telling you that. So, cheers and keep on writing, you funny, funny man. (I especially loved the pulse/BJP dig)

  11. Visiting this after long only to regret why I didn’t the past couple of months. Another really good article!

  12. Fabulous article bro! Copying lines from here to post on FB and will refer 🙂

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