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Students pay the price as colleges violate guidelines

Vasudha Venugopal
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Arts and science colleges flout admissions protocol; applicants forced to take up self-financed courses

Despite scoring 98.4 per cent in class XII, Anita was not sure if she could get into a top-rung arts college.

Following her parents’ advice, she filled up a form for both a government-aided and a self-financed course in a leading city college.

Anita got admission to the course, but in the self-financing category. She will have to pay Rs. 30,000 a year for a commerce course, thrice what she would have paid if she had got an aided seat. “This is despite the fact I had mentioned I belonged to the low-income category in my forms,” said the student, who wants to be a chartered accountant. 

Anita is one of the many affected by the refusal of arts and science colleges in the city to adhere to government guidelines which stipulate that admissions to self-financing branches must be completed after seats in government-aided courses are filled.

Many of these colleges are almost half way through their admissions, having filled a number of their self-financed seats. Most colleges have brought out their second list and are all set to begin their final counselling this week. “This is despite the fact that CBSE students have not even got their results,” said M. Ravichandran, a senior professor in a college here.

 “This is the best time for private colleges to make money. The biggest sufferers are deserving students,” said another senior professor.

Since the details of number of applicants, vacancies, marks or cut-offs and community wise break-up are not available in the rank lists, most candidates say it is difficult to get an idea of how and why they did not get admission to a course.  Most colleges ask students to fill different forms for different shifts, and admissions for these courses are conducted by parallel teams not headed by the principal or the approved admission committee.

There are many reasons why bright students such as Anita want to study in the morning shift of a reputed private arts and science college. The teachers for these are experienced faculty members selected and paid as per UGC norms, unlike those in the evening shift who often don’t have a Ph.D or an M.phil. The fee too, is significantly higher, say students.

While courses in the morning sessions cost up to Rs. 7,000 a year, the same courses in the self-supporting stream might cost over Rs. 25,000. “The colleges charge different amounts for the same course and many insist we pay immediately. Many of us take up admissions as and when we get them, though there is a chance we might get a government seat in another college,” said Ranjini, a visual communication aspirant.

The irregularities, said senior professors, have been brought to the notice of the University of Madras vice-chancellor R. Thandavan, who has assured steps will be taken soon. Senior professors say the government too is to be blamed for the irregularities, because the guidelines for this year have not even been released yet.

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