Engg, Medical Aspirants Fret Over Govt Move on CET
Even as government quota seats are set to be withdrawn from private colleges from next year, pre-university students preparing for the Common Entrance Test (CET) do not subscribe to the idea of reducing its scope to cover admissions in only government and aided colleges.
Namitha Gowda, a II PUC student from PES College and a medicine aspirant, wants to join a government college. “My ultimate aim is to join the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. Else, I am aspiring for a seat in Bangalore Medical College. Government colleges will be better especially in terms of fee structure,” Namitha said.
However, Vinay B S from S Cadambi Independent Pre University College asks a very pertinent question. “Do government colleges have enough seats to accommodate all students? I want to write the CET but my parents have asked me to wait it out. The government is known to make U-turns,” Vinay argued.
This year, there were 3,350 seats available in 11 government engineering colleges. In 190 unaided colleges, there were 72,148 seats, of which 32,467 (45 per cent) were government quota seats. In 11 aided engineering colleges, there were 2,940 seats available.
In 12 government and 34 private medical colleges, there were 5,298 seats available this year. Government colleges had 1,148 government quota seats (out of a total of 1,400), unaided colleges had 558 seats (out of 1,298), minority colleges had 404 seats (out of 1,600) and deemed colleges had 111 government quota seats (out of 1,000 seats).
With the implementation of the Karnataka Professional Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admission and Determination of Fee) Act, 2006 next year, there will be no government quota seats.
“This is not good. We are preparing for CET and we want it to be like how it was for previous batches. Our minds are set towards the government quota in private colleges,” said Akshatha R, a student from Kumarans PU College, who wants to join PES Institute of Technology. Vallish N Herur, director of BASE, a leading coaching institute, said more students would opt for the COMED-K entrance examination. “Academically speaking, the two tests have little difference in terms of syllabi and nature of examination. The bigger confusion is about the admission process and fees,” he explained.
Entrance Tests a Vexing Issue
Another issue related to the implementation of the 2006 Act, which is worrying students, is the existence of two entrance tests: one by the government and other by private institutions. The Act also states, “In case all private unaided professional educational institutions agree and opt to fill all of their seats reserved for NRI students through the State CET, the government may, by notification, reconstitute the CET committee, including representatives from the management of private unaided professional educational institutions imparting education in medical, dental, engineering and other faculties.” The Act also permits managements of private colleges to go ahead with a single entrance test to fill their seats.
Repeat of 2011 Deadlock?
In 2011, the then higher education minister VS Acharya, tried to implement the 2006 Act and constituted the Justice Padmaraj commission for fixation of fees. The committee also submitted its report, but some private institutions, which quoted lower fees (mostly from rural areas) raised their voices against implementation of the Act and joined hands with CET officials. Higher Education Department officials caution that there was a chance that the 2011 scenario could be repeated. “There is still a chance that some colleges may resist this after the fixation of fee and decide to go with CET to fill their seats,” said a senior official.
SC, ST groups Can Breathe Easy
Despite the concerns, students from SC, ST communities have no need to worry as the roster system will be maintained as it is with reimbursement by the government. Reservation of 50 per cent will be given to SC, ST students at each institution. The institutions should also give concessions to students from other backward communities utilising fees collected by admitting NRI students.
COMED-K test On May 11
The Consortium of Medical, Engineering and Dental Colleges of Karnataka (COMED-K) on Monday night announced on its website that the undergraduate entrance test (UGET) will be held on May 11. An official notification states that a detailed calendar of events and brochure will be hosted on www.comedk.org in due course.