MAKING THE CUT Almost 52 per cent of students who passed the school-leaving examination scored less than 50 %

With about 4.66 lakh students passing the West Bengal Higher Secondary Examination this year — almost 50,000 more than last year — it is not just students and colleges that are feeling the heat of admission season.

The higher education department in West Bengal is in a tizzy over the eligibility criteria. Almost 52 per cent of students who passed the school-leaving examination scored less than 50 per cent marks. In an attempt to streamline the admission process, the higher education department has directed all colleges and universities in the State to introduce a system for ensuring parity in marks across all boards.

The department’s concern is that students from CBSE and ICSE who have scored better than the students of the State board will be given preference by colleges and universities. The department has advised institutions to introduce a percentile system for admission instead of basing admission on aggregate marks. Colleges and universities in the State say they cannot abide by the percentile system for admissions at such short notice.

And it is not just noted institutions like Presidency University and St Xavier’s College that are seeing long queues. For instance, 4,790 students have applied to Ashutosh College affiliated to the University of Calcutta for the English Honours stream which has only 75 seats. The West Bengal Government has issued a circular to increase sanctioned seats by 10 per cent in all colleges and universities to grapple with the widening demand-supply gap.