Attendance is compulsory at most of Delhi University’s colleges. Students who have attended less than 70% of the lectures that took place during the semester are not allowed to obtain the card that grants them access to the examination rooms. Since final examinations at DU are always worth 75% of the final grade, this automatically results in a failing final grade. Those who attend more than 70% of the lectures are given marks based on their level of attendance, which counts for 5% of the final grade for each paper.
The policy does appear straight forward, but there are some grey areas. To begin with, my fellow students were divided as to whether it’s 70% of the lectures given for each individual paper, or whether it is 70% of lectures for all of your papers combined together. Since policies sometimes get applied unevenly, it is best to validate with the authorities of your college if you know you’re going to miss classes.
Another aspect that complicates adhering to the policy is that students are required to attend 70% of the lectures that actually take place. Classes can and do get cancelled for a variety of reasons (e.g.: professor called to a departmental meeting during the class time, instructor is sick, a strike takes place, students stop attending class to prepare for exams instead, etc.). Therefore, planning for your attendance can be slightly difficult. It’s tempting to tell yourself you can go on an extended weekend trip and miss Monday and Tuesday but attend on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday to keep above the 70% cut-off for that week. This, however, is not something you should bank on. It is very possible that a couple of the lectures you were planning to attend will get cancelled, causing you to fall below the 70% mark for that week. If this is a regular occurrence, you may wind up not having enough cumulative attendance to hit the 70% mark. Opting to make up for missed classed is therefore somewhat of a gamble.
Owing to India’s legendary culture of “adjusting”, many professors at DU will model your evaluations to your home university’s habitual requirements (more on evaluations here). Since the University of British Columbia typically doesn’t factor in attendance in its grading practices, many of my professors did not keep track of my attendance. This is by no means something professors are required to do, but that may well happen nonetheless.
Note: This guide is based on personal experience and is not a university-sponsored publication. Policies, rules and processes, where they exist, do change and are often applied differently by different staff or colleges. Information here should therefore be used to get a general idea of how things work, and specifics should be validated with university officials.