While the first merit list for the regular rounds of admissions to Std XI is all set to be released on July 5, Meenakshi Raut, Deputy Director of Education, In-charge, Pune region, spoke to Prajakta Joshi regarding the changes in the online Centralised Admission Process (CAP) and its benefits to students and parents.
Q: One of the major changes made this year in the CAP was the special zero round of admissions for the students opting for bifocal. How has that helped students? Also, what other changes have been made in the process this year?
The bifocal special round was conducted this year for the convenience of students and parents. Earlier, students could opt for bifocal subjects after they were admitted to either science or commerce (the two streams, where bifocal subjects are offered).
The students could apply for these subjects only after the entire admission process was over. Thus, there was a lot of confusion as some students, who never wanted a bifocal subject, would be admitted to the colleges that offered these while those who wanted bifocal would be admitted to the colleges that didn’t offer them.
This also led to many seats for bifocal going vacant. Hence, the admission round for bifocal was held beforehand this year.
Besides, we have also introduced a new feature called ‘Proceed for Admission’ on the website this year. Last year, we found that the allocation list was sent to the login IDs of the colleges.
Thus, if a college received 40 applications for a capacity of 80 colleges, there were cases of students being directly marked as admitted even if they did not submit the documents during the last phases of the process. This led to miscommunication and students couldn’t easily wait or opt for a different college of their choice as they got locked to a particular college. This year, the college will not be able to consider a student admitted until he/she has clicked on ‘Proceed for Admissions’.
Q: The number of applications for the arts stream has been significantly low this year. For 14,000 seats, there are just 7,000 applications in the first round. What could be the reason for this? How would this affect the colleges?
It is always observed that maximum students and parents have a drive towards getting admissions in a particular stream only.
A few years ago, most of the students tended to take admissions to the science stream due to the craze of pursuing engineering or medicine. Since last year, we have seen that the maximum response was for the commerce stream. This may be due to increasing awareness about the stream and career opportunities that it provides.
But the trend keeps changing. Similarly, this year, applications for the arts faculty are very less. This may certainly affect colleges. In aided colleges, where the number of students is less, teachers are extra, as their number is decided in accordance with the number of students. When students are less, some divisions need to be closed.
Q: What all challenges do you need to face on your part to put together the whole admission process?
Since the admission process has gone online, we have been able to successfully deal with many challenges and mistakes that were once a part of the online process. We have also brought about transparency in the process. The only challenge that still remains is the awareness among students and parents. The process has also been simplified. If students follow the exact instructions, there is hardly any scope for mistakes. Thus, explaining the whole process to parents is the only difficult task now.
Applications from other states rising
Raut said this year, the number of students coming from other state boards has increased significantly, though she was unable to provide the exact number. She said a large number of students from state boards of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have applied for admissions to Std XI through the CAP in Pune region this year.
Four rounds of admissions
Speaking about the number of rounds for admissions, Raut said, “In the regular four rounds of admissions and the FCFS (First-Come-First-Served) round, maximum (around 80 per cent) of the admissions take place. We take the additional rounds mainly for students, who are answering the SSC re-examination in July-August. So, I would like to advise students that they should take admission to the colleges allotted to them at the earliest.”