As cut-throat competition marked the admission process for under-graduate courses in government colleges in Chandigarh, the two government colleges in its neighbouring town Panchkula have as many as 1,083 seats vacant, with colleges compelled to hold third round of counselling from July 13 onwards.
Out of a total of 1,810 seats available in the under-graduate courses in the two government colleges, only 727 were filled ever since the counselling began on July 6. The third counselling will be held from July 13 to 15 and if seats still remain vacant, which is likely the case, the colleges will re-open the web portal and allow fresh online applications.
Despite being the oldest college in Panchkula, set up in 1983, Government College, Sector 1, still has 691 seats vacant out of a total of 1,060 seats. There are 279 seats vacant in BA, 167 in BCom and 144 in BSc Non-medical and 26 seats vacant in Bachelor of Mass Communication (BMC).
Asserting that teachers and infrastructure in the government colleges are on a par with those in Chandigarh, principal, GC-1, Archana Mishra says it is the location and aspiration of studying in “Chandigarh” which drives students towards the city. “Panchkula has always been under Chandigarh’s shadow in terms of education. But we get students from as far as Naraingarh and Baddi (HP). BPEd is popular among students. Our students have made it to international sports competitions,” she says.
Mani Bedi, principal, Government College for Girls, Sector 42, Chandigarh, emphasises that students are lured by Chandigarh and its multi-cultural, refined culture. “More than facilities, it is largely the mindset of students, who consider Chandigarh to be a better place to study. Also, there is more competition and more opportunities for career growth in Chandigarh, where students come from different states and not only from Haryana.”
Dr R P S Josh, a member of Panjab University Senate, highlights that recent ranking of PU in global ranking surveys is also a major reason that attracts students from the region towards Chandigarh. “PU has a legacy and it has built a brand name over the years, so students want to study here,” he says.
However, Panchkula teachers point out that students prefer to take admission in Chandigarh in order to be included in the UT pool, which gives them 85 per cent reservation, during admission to post-graduate courses at PU. It also explains why there is tough competition to take admission to Class XI in schools in Chandigarh.
“There are not many PG courses in Panchkula colleges. MSc is not available, so students will have to go to KU, which is in Kurukshetra, Haryana. So, they prefer Chandigarh, which is near by and a popular city. If they pursue graduation from Chandigarh, they will get advantage of being in UT pool. However, students from Panchkula are deprived of it,” says Dr Adarshdeep Kaur, from GCG-14, Panchkula.
A large number of outstation students from interior Haryana, including Hisar and Jind, study in GCG-14, Panchkula. Following the demand, the college has decided to build another hostel, which will increase the hostel seats to 180. “Students from interior districts want to study in Panchkula, as they are lured by its proximity to Chandigarh,” she adds.
A majority of students studying in the two government colleges are those from Panchkula town, rural areas of Barwala and Raipur Rani, Naraingarh and other districts of Haryana, since they get 85 per cent reservation under Haryana pool.
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