Demand for delinking new courses from admission process
Mahatma Gandhi University authorities are under pressure from a section of private managements to delink new generation courses from the Centralised Admission Process (CAP).
According to Vice-Chancellor A.V. George, no decision has yet been taken on the subject. He said managements were unanimous in their demand for the move as inordinate delay in the admission process resulted in more than half of the seats lying vacant in their institutions. A three-member sub-committee of the Syndicate has been formed to look into the matter and to find an alternative method to conduct admissions.
Proposals include scrapping the entrance examination, handing over the admission process to the managements and giving them rights over vacant seats. If the move to delink new generation programmes from CAP succeeds, then managements would get admission rights over more than 6,000 seats, spread over a dozen postgraduate programmes including MSW, M.Sc. in Microbiology, Biotechnology, Bioinformatics.
Rajan Varughese, former Pro Vice-Chancellor, told The Hindu the move would have serious implications. Students from different undergraduate programmes apply for at least one PG programme. The entrance test is conducted to find a common denominator to grade students. “Scrapping the entrance test will deny students the right to gain admission. Handing over the admission rights to private managements cannot be justified,” Dr. Varughese said.
The university had acquired the right after a legal battle in the Supreme Court, he said. A section of the private managements had opposed the introduction of the single window system and took legal recourse to challenge it. Rajan Gurukkal, the then Vice-Chancellor, took the unprecedented step of moving the Supreme Court and got a favourable verdict.
In an email interview, Prof. Gurukkal slammed the move. He said vested interests were behind it. Those rooting for the move were ignorant its academic, social and financial implications for the university
“University authorities are trying to scuttle the university’s assurance of academic quality,” he said. He alleged that university bodies like the Syndicate were giving in to the ostensibly innocuous demands of the Catholic College Management. The bodies were unaware of that such demands would result in violation of reservation rules and exclusion of the socially backward.
“Democratisation of the admission procedure, transparency through technology and equal opportunity of admission to new generation programmes were what we achieved through CAP,” Prof. Gurukkal said.
While most corporate managements welcomed CAP, Catholic managements had expressed their reservations resulting in the legal battle. However, the social implications of CAP were evident from the marked improvement in the intake of students from the SC and ST categories to the programmes. Supporters of CAP suspect the present move is aimed at weakening the provisions of the highly successful programme to suit a section of the private managements.