The admission process for one of the country’s most prestigious institutions is set to kick-start soon.

Delhi University is about to start the admission process to it’s undergraduate courses when it releases the first cut-off list on 28 June, 2019. However, it also reserves 5% of the seats under the sports quota for students who aspire to make their careers in the field of sports. Incidentally, football has emerged as the most popular option for the aspirants as far as the applications data released by the university is concerned.

The trial for admission under the sports quota will be held on 2nd July and the students will get their chance to make a mark and apply through games such as football, basketball, volleyball and cricket among others. The trial usually has a 40-60% weightage between certificates of the aspirants and their performance in the trials, which is where the students are marked upon.

The University has received a total of 8,690 applications under the sports quota where football leads with 1,578 applications while 1,297 for athletics and 1,223 have applied for basketball. There are 1,001 students who have applied for cricket.

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The numbers are more significant because in a country like India, where Cricket rules the roost, it is heartening to see young budding talents of the nation being attracted to other games as well, let alone football.

“The surge in the popularity of football could be due to many reasons. Cricket’s showpiece Indian Premier League (IPL) has spawned leagues in many other sports, and Indian Super League is one of the prominent ones,” an official from the University of Delhi said Millenium Post.

The official further added to his comments by referring to the steps taken by the AIFF to promote football at school level. Furthermore, organising events like THE FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017 and the upcoming FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2020 have attracted youngsters to football.  

Moreover, students from various parts of the country flock to New Delhi in hope getting admission to the institution, and a large part of the crowd comes from the northeast part of India, where football is a huge part of the culture. This results in more students wanting to make a name through football.

The official also credited the past performances of the alumni for the spurt in applications under the sports quota by saying that. “Students and parents prefer to take sports such as football and athletics as it involves physical work. In the last few years, our athletes have been getting medals and international recognition, which is encouraging for young students.”

However, it must be noted that the growth in football applications is just a start and more colleges need to individually realise and capitalise on the trend, since as for now, only 24 colleges accept students on football quota, which is still less if compared to other games like athletics (30), basketball (42) and cricket (31).