With barely a week left for the commencement of admissions to first year engineering courses with the CET results being announced on June 1, principals fear that the seats of top engineering colleges might get blocked by the ‘fence’ sitters— students who have opted for both engineering and medical streams, and are likely to block engineering seats at top colleges as a back-up plan, till they get a medical seat of their liking.
“It is a trend we see every year, students in the Physics, Chemistry, Maths and Biology (PCMB) group, who are unsure of which line they want to get into, block engineering seats and later switch. However, this year, the CET counselling, which allows students to choose colleges would end by July 31, which is much before the NEET counselling begins.
It means that if a student is undecided, they will wait until engineering admissions are over and have already secured a seat, to make a choice. However, if the candidate fits the criteria, engineering colleges cannot deny admissions,” said Gajanan Kharate, former dean of the engineering faculty at Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU).
The bigger challenge engineering colleges will face is the completely new admission process as students would get to now ‘freeze, slide or float’ between colleges and faculties.
“The new system has been brought in to ensure that students get more options, in case they are unhappy with the college allotted in the first round. After the first round, students will have the options to either freeze, slide or float the allocation.
For example, if a student is allotted a mechanical engineering seat in a particular college and he is happy with it, then he confirms it by opting for freeze. It means that the admission is fixed.
However, if the student wants to study in same college but another branch like electrical engineering, then he chooses slide option, so he fixes the college but not the branch.
The third option is when the student wants another college and branch, both for which he chooses float, and the earlier allotment is cancelled and the student stays in the admission process,” said DR Nandanwar, joint director of technical education.
Principals call it is a litmus test. “Though it is a good process, we are worried that many will use the float option till last round in the hope of getting into their dream college. This would increase uncertainty over vacant seats,” said LK Kshirsagar, principal of MIT College of Engineering.
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