To cater to anxious students going through the transition from II PUC or Class 12 to undergraduate courses, the floor was thrown open to participants at The Hindu EducationPlus Career Counselling session in Bangalore on Sunday for them to clear all doubts with experts. Presumably, there were questions galore.
As expected, most queries from the participants were related to the Common Entrance Test (CET). With the counselling process all set to commence from June 25, beginning with the verification of documents, the Karnataka Examinations Authority's (KEA) public relations officer D.S. Narasimha Murthy was flooded with queries. Some students wanted to know how foolproof the software adopted for the new online counselling process was, while others wanted clarity on which documents to bring for verification.
One parent wanted to know if the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) would be implemented the next academic year. To this, Mr. Murthy said the KEA was prepared for the eventuality as training modules for the all-India entrance exam for admissions to medical courses were ready.
There were several quota-related questions. Mr. Murthy, to one of them, clarified that those applying under the OBC quota can also select seats under General Merit. However, if the merit is high, seat will be allotted under GM first, he added.
About eligibility, a parent asked if the requirement of seven-year study certificate in Karnataka had to be a continuous one or if an intermittent seven-year study in the State was enough. He was told that an intermittent stay was also fine, as long as it added up to seven years.
Many students were unclear about the document verification process. A parent wanted to know if the student was required to be present in person during the verification procedure. The answer was yes.
There were a lot of questions for the other experts in the panel, including general education expert Ameen-e-Mudassar, who is also director of Cigma India, Bangalore. There was a classic case of a student aspiring to pursue mass communication, but whose parents were unwilling to let him do so. Mr. Mudassar advised him to “follow his heart” and go ahead and join the course he wanted to. The student was also asked to convince his parents about his decision before going ahead.
Adding to this, K. Rajnikanth, the former principal of M.S. Ramaiah Institute of Technology (MSRIT) said it was important for students to find out whether they can excel in the chosen field, as an average ability in the same would not serve the purpose.
Mr. Rajnikanth, who was also asked about the scope for medical engineering in India, admitted that the course, which basically entails applying engineering to medical problems, was yet to catch up in the country with regard to placements and research. He added that there were better opportunities for the course abroad.
Answering a question about biotechnology, K.S. Sridhar, HOD, Mechanical Engineering, PES College of Engineering, confessed that no biotechnology company was coming to Bangalore, as a result of which biotechnology students ended up being employed in IT companies.
Raghava Suvarna, manager, State Bank of India, was asked questions related to educational loans, including why the interest is so high. To this, he replied that students can pay only the principle amount and not the interest.