Bring back direct counselling

The admission process should not cause the candidates stress.   | Photo Credit: G. Sribharath

The bone of contention with respect to Tamil Nadu’s reservation policy in education and employment — 69% as against the apex court’s prescription of 50% — seems to be that the higher percentage reduces the opportunities of the ‘unreserved’ communities. As far as admission to educational institutions is concerned, a strong defending argument against this is that, depending on the need, the government will create up to 19% of seats and accommodate those candidates whose ranks fall within the 32% to 50% range, (beyond the first 31%, meant for the Open Competition category). If this is adopted scrupulously, there should be no issues with the higher percentage.

But this process is found to be infeasible in some fields. For example, while it was successfully adopted in Engineering, it could not be implemented in MBBS/BDS, as additional seats could not be created or approved by the corresponding councils. Alternatively, a hybrid process can be suggested. Adopt 69% in areas where it is possible to create additional seats; and 50% where it is not.

TNEA counselling: offline Vs online

The Tamil Nadu Government’s efforts to revive offline classes in schools and colleges clearly indicates that online teaching and learning is bot enough. A gestalt development in the learner is possible only in the classroom setting. Further, particularly in Tamil Nadu, where markedly high attention is paid to development of rural areas, the online mode is often inaccessible and unfamiliar. In the context of higher education, the admission process should not scare candidates. The single window admission process formulated by Professor M. Anandakrishnan was a boon; implemented first for engineering admission in 1997 and extended to other fields and parts of the country. It was meant for direct counselling, where, the student and the parent would make an informed choice of the branch of study and the institution. The online process lacks these advantages and the final allotment is often unconvincing.

It is therefore necessary to switch over to the direct counselling mode as quickly as possible. Counselling and allotment centres can be located in more than one place in the state earlier. The system synchronisation errors can be eliminated with more advanced techniques.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are personal

The writer is Former Professor and Head: Entrance Exams and Admission, Anna University, Chennai.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2022 4:16:25 AM |

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