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Updated: May 15, 2013 13:44 IST

Cut-off marks come true for arts and science courses too

Amutha Kannan
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The Hindu

Students with high cut-off securing seats in arts and science colleges on the rise

Gone are the days when arts and science colleges here admitted students merely based on Plus-Two total. It is the age of cut-off marks, just like the medical and engineering courses.

This year, the cut-off marks of students who applied for arts and science courses were extremely high. Educationists say that this was on a par with medical and engineering cut-off marks that it has taken arts and science faculty by surprise.

Colleges say that the cut-off marks they had fixed based on last year’s went all awry, because applicants who had submitted applications just after the release of Plus-Two results on May 9 had higher cut-off marks than that stipulated by them.

Heads of institutions say that they had to rework the cut-off marks based on the applications received for all the caste categories. While some courses had a negligible increase over last year, there were some that had a considerable jump (see box).

The cut-off marks for B.Com. remained the same like last year at 800 / 800 (four core subjects). The application-oriented courses of commerce did not lag behind. They had a marginal difference varying between 794 and 800.

And, the competition was also on a par. In a classic case of early bird catches the prey, the ones who had high cut-off, were given provisional admission based on a merit list that was made on an hourly or two-hourly basis starting the afternoon of May 9. The number of applications sold was also very high. PSG College of Arts and Science (PSG CAS) sold 23,000 as against last year’s 18,000.

According to Government norms, students are admitted in the 50:50 (merit / management) in the aided courses, while in the self-financing courses it is 90:10 (management / merit).

According to Principal of PSG CAS R. Rajendran, there were students who did not want to take chances and had made a beeline to the college even before the publication of results.

“There were many who checked the Plus-Two results within the college campus and started queuing up for submission of the applications. As we started collecting the applications we knew the cut-offs was not as we had calculated and hence had to be reworked immediately. To begin with there were eight candidates with 800 / 800 for B.Com. There were other subjects like English Literature, Economics, Psychology and Sociology that surprised us with high cut-off marks and high number of takers,” he said. Cut-off for English and Tamil was 200 marks.

And, contrary to the accepted belief, this time science subjects too had high number of takers on the first day itself and here too they had high cut-off marks.

This is seen as a result of engineering colleges not admitting students in non-engineering undergraduate courses based on a directive issued by the All India Council for Technical Education.

Those belonging to the OC and BC categories and with lesser cut-offs did not stand a chance after May 10 with all the seats being taken. Those with high cut-offs who could not be accommodated in the aided courses were admitted in the self-financing course of the same subject.

But in some cases this also was not possible because some subjects such as Economics, English, Psychology, were not offered as self-financing courses. But with the demand for such courses on the rise, colleges might consider offering these subjects as self-financing courses next academic year. The high cut-off marks were also a disadvantage.

All students with the same or higher cut-off marks could not be admitted because it was a case of too many within the same reservation category. Too many contenders in the same reservation category made it competitive for securing a seat.

Educationists say that demand for arts and science courses from students who have high cut-off marks is a trend that is catching up with students and parents who appreciate the higher studies / career options that these offer vis-à-vis engineering.

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