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Thursday, August 05, 2021

Universities stare at roadblock in UG admissions as boards adopt different grading systems

Universities may find it difficult to admit students based on class 12 marks this year as school education boards have adopted different marking schemes. While some are looking forward to national-level entrance exams, others are mulling over reserving seats for state board candidates.

Written by Sheetal Banchariya | New Delhi |
Updated: July 9, 2021 12:43:59 pm
UG admission 2021, DU, Du admission, college admission The Union Education Ministry had constituted a committee to look into modalities for the CUCET for admissions to all undergraduate courses at central universities as suggested under the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. (Representational image)

As class 12 board examination has been cancelled amid the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, different boards have adopted different marking schemes. This, experts say, is likely to impact undergraduate (UG) admission process in universities that follow merit-based criteria.

While CBSE has adopted the 30:30:40 formula with class 10, 11 and 12 marks, respectively, the CISCE will be marking students based on their performance in classes 9, 10, 11 and 12. The Haryana board will provide 30 per cent to class 10 final marks, 10 per cent for class 11 internal marks and 60 per cent for performance in class 12 internal and practical exams. The Board of Secondary Education (BSE) Odisha will evaluate class 12 students based on their performance in class 10 board exams.

RK Kohli, former vice chancellor of Central University of Punjab and serving vice chancellor of Amity University, Punjab, said that universities will have to make diligent efforts towards the normalisation of marks of different boards.

“Since every board’s scheme is different, universities will have to take into account the highest and lowest scores in every board. Based on the data, there will have to be normalisation of marks to make sure that the process is objective. Since the result is with schools this time, there is speculation regarding evaluation methods not scrutinising students’ performance as much as the board exams,” Kohli said.

Read | Tripura to evaluate board exam results based on pre-boards, internal assessment, previous exam results

Shashi Sharma, principal, Magadh Mahila College under Patna University, is surprised by the boards’ decision of not adopting a uniform method across the country. The university may reserve seats for Bihar board candidates. “Universities will be facing issues while admitting students this year as not every institute has an entrance based process. Once the results are out, we will analyse if boards have been impartial or lenient. The university is also mulling over the option of reserving 5 per cent seats for Bihar board class 12 students,” Sharma said.

She added that the boards did not pay much attention to students’ inter-state movement for higher education. “Class 12 result is of utmost importance to carve a career path. Instead of complicating the process for universities, boards should have had a 360-degree perspective. There should have been clear instruction by the central government to all boards.”

Odisha School and Mass Education Minister SR Dash had recently said that the number of seats will be increased in colleges if required as more students are expected to pass this year. “Under our department, we have approximately 6.03 lakh seats in 2,302 government and private colleges, including ITIs (industrial training institutes). Therefore, there is no need to worry,” the minister said.

Also Read | College seats to be increased if required, no need to worry about admissions: Odisha Education Minister

On the other hand, some universities are trying to find an alternative to merit-based admissions due to the current situation. The University of Delhi (DU) is looking forward to the Central Universities Common Entrance Test (CUCET) for UG admissions. However, class 12 students claim that CUCET would lead to adverse repercussions as there is still no clarity about its syllabus, paper pattern and no official announcement has been made so far.

“Given the lack of time to prepare for an entrance test as it is already July, it will not be possible to gather resources in this short period and prepare for these exams which will be drastically new for so many of us. Besides, admission must be started only after the optional exams of all the boards are over (including students appearing for improvisation of marks, private students and compartment students). Universities can also conduct interviews or personality tests if required to put a screening test on the applicants,” said Tanisha Pathak, class 12 student, St Theresa Senior Secondary School, Nainital.

DU acting Vice-Chancellor PC Joshi told indianexpress.com, that there will be discrepancies across boards due to the unprecedented situation and the issue of no uniform marking scheme across boards is already being discussed by the standing committee. The final decision on CUCET will be taken in 7-10 days.

Also Read | Final decision on CUCET for undergraduate admissions in 10 days: DU official

“There are chances of cut-offs being impacted as results are with schools this time. We have already seen a rise in the number of passing students in class 10 due to the alternate evaluation strategy. While 90 per cent of DU applicants come from CBSE, we will have to analyse the strictness of boards when the results come out. We are hoping for CUCET to become a reality. The admission process is anyway going to get delayed till September; hence a central entrance exam will only bring uniformity,” Joshi said.

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