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Antidote to admission hit-and-miss

Calcutta University has set a common deadline for colleges to publish their admission lists so that students are spared the difficult — and often unfair — decision of whether to accept or reject the first seat that comes their way.

All 136 affiliated colleges have been asked to put up their lists by June 25 and start admissions on June 28, doing away with the practice of each institution fixing its own admission schedule.

Until last year, colleges would come up with lists at their convenience, which invariably meant timing it in such a way that the selected students would have to take admission before a rival institution published its results. Those making it to their first-choice colleges later were free to quit, albeit by forfeiting their admission fees.

In institutions facing a mass exodus, filling the vacant seats would take months and also delay classes. “The uncertainty of the old system benefited none. So we wanted to address this problem,” a senior university official said of the shift to a uniform admission calendar.

Shyamal Sarkar, the secretary of the university’s undergraduate council, said the deadline had been fixed primarily to save students from being “harassed” in the name of admissions.

Calcutta University has been receiving complaints from colleges and students about admission-related problems for several years.

“Most of these can be avoided once we switch to a uniform admission deadline. For instance, even if College A comes up with its list before College B, which has a bigger reputation, there will be no pressure on a student who has applied in both institutions to take admission before June 28,” he explained.

With all colleges required to publish their lists by June 25, students would immediately get to know where they stand and be able to take informed decisions.

A BA student at Lady Brabourne recounted the trouble she had to go through to study in her first-choice college. “I had applied for philosophy honours at Lady Brabourne College and a north Calcutta institution, which came up with its list first. I took the seat, lest I fail to make it to the Lady Brabourne list. As it turned out, I did get selected, but it was such a hassle quitting the college where I had first taken admission,” she said.

Colleges in Calcutta usually start the admission process, including fixing the cut-off percentages and other criteria, after the Higher Secondary results are declared. This year’s Higher Secondary results are likely to be declared in the first week of June, which would leave students around two weeks to apply for admission and make their decisions, depending on where they are selected.

The ISC results were declared last week and those of the CBSE are expected later this month.

Calcutta University has fixed August 6 as the last date for admission and August 31 as the deadline for change of subjects and/or streams. All first-year degree classes will commence in the third week of July.