The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has approached the higher education regulator over universities starting admissions to undergraduate programmes without waiting for the announcement of its Class 12 results.
The Board has requested the University Grants Commission (UGC) to direct all higher education institutions to plan their admission calendar keeping the date of CBSE’s result declaration in mind. According to sources in the UGC, the regulator will issue an advisory to all universities next week.
In a letter to the UGC dated June 28, the Board wrote, “It has come to the notice that some universities in India, especially in Maharashtra, have started registration in undergraduate courses for the session (2022-’23) and their last date is in the first week of July. It is, therefore, requested that all the universities may please be directed to fix the last date of their undergraduate admission process keeping in mind the date of result declaration of Class XII by CBSE.” The Board also said it required about a month to prepare the results.
The CBSE letter came in the wake of Mumbai University (MU) starting admissions to undergraduate programmes at degree colleges without waiting for the Indian School Certificate (ISC) exam, which is administered by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), and the CBSE Class 12 results. Most city colleges affiliated to MU declared their second merit list on Thursday. Students who have secured a seat are expected to confirm their admission by July 13 and a third merit list will be out on July 14.
When MU announced its admission schedule last month, it was anticipated that the CBSE and ISC results would be out by the time of the second merit list’s publication. However, with the results not out yet, students of CBSE and CISCE-affiliated schools are worried about missing out on seats in their desired courses in the colleges of their choice. Though MU has been criticised for putting a section of students at a disadvantage, the university has justified its move saying CBSE and ISC students make up a very small percentage of its intake. The university has also announced that the application window will be opened again after the CBSE and ICSE results are out.
MU has always begun its admission process after the announcement of the Maharashtra state Board results. Earlier, the state Board results used to be declared after CBSE and CISCE announced theirs. This allowed students from the two national boards to apply to MU colleges. Last year, the state Board results were declared on August 3, and on July 16 in 2020 — both after the CBSE and ISC results. But this year, the Maharashtra board results were announced before the results of the two national boards.
Not only Maharashtra, all arts, science, and engineering colleges in Tamil Nadu started their admission process after the declaration of state Board results on June 20, and admission to Karnataka degree colleges will begin on July 11. But, the Tamil Nadu government has directed colleges to keep the application window open long enough to allow CBSE students to apply.
While most MU-affiliated colleges have gone ahead with admissions, most autonomous colleges such as St. Xavier’s College, Jai Hind College, and Mithibai College have either reserved seats for CBSE and ISC students based on past admission figures, or are waiting for their results to begin admissions. K C College and H R College, which were earlier affiliated to MU but now come under the newly formed HSNC University, have also begun the degree admissions by keeping a few seats reserved for CBSE and ISC students.
The CBSE conducted two sets of board examinations for Class 10 and Class 12 students for the 2021-’22 academic year — a first-term examination between November and December last year and a second-term examination in April. The final results will be based on students’ performances in both exams. According to CBSE’s Controller of Examinations Sanyam Bharadwaj, the results “are on track and as of now and as per schedule”. They are expected to be announced in the last week of July.
Though most state education boards have already released their results, Bharadwaj said the CBSE’s timeline and scale of operation cannot be compared to them. “CBSE is one of the largest boards in the country and should not be compared with the state boards because of the scale on which we conduct the examination,” he said. “We have to conduct the exam for more than 114 subjects for Class 12 students and about 74 for Class 10 students. We have to evaluate about two crore answer books of over 34 lakh students. Preparing results needs many steps, which include the incorporation of eligibility criteria and 100 per cent accuracy in the compilation of results. Board is dealing with a very large magnitude of data for preparing the results.”
Bharadwaj said: “The perception that the results are delayed is completely flawed. We are on track as far as our timeline is concerned. These are extraordinary circumstances in which we have conducted the exams. We have had to take special measures. For instance, we have taken more time to conduct the Class 12 exam. It took place over 51 days to give students enough time between two exams. We did this keeping in mind that classes and learning were disrupted and that students should have time for better preparation.”
Bharadwaj added, “In the case of Mumbai University, we have checked. They complete the admission process only after our results are announced and all CBSE students who have met the cut-off marks will be given admission.”