BENGALURU:The Consortium of Medical Engineering and Dental Colleges of Karnataka (COMEDK) has decided to go back to the 'offline' counselling system from the 2018 COMEDK exams for admission to under-graduate professional courses.COMEDK had switched to online counselling in 2017 to allot under-graduate professional course seats. According to COMEDK authorities, they are discontinuing this because the colleges prefer the offline mode as students are unfamiliar with the online one.
Dr S Kumar, executive secretary of COMEDK told The New Indian Express, "The students are not yet familiar with the online seat allotment process, which also has several technical issues. We have realised that it is difficult to synchronise with government and also with students, because we have to wait till the government completes its round and in case it extends the round, we have to extend it again. There are a lot of issues which forced us to withdraw the online system."Kumar also mentioned that, even some of the professional colleges requested to go back to offline system.
However, this measure by COMEDK is not accepted well by the students community. Several seat aspirants feel that offline counselling encourages seat blocking.Speaking to TNIE, one of the aspirants said, "The intention of introducing online counselling was to avoid seat blocking and other malpractices. But, I don't trust this decision of going back to offline system."
Another candidate said, "In offline mode, students will lose seats even if they are unable to be present on the spot due to emergencies. The authorities will not wait for the rank and call the next rank holder."Meanwhile, students from outside Karnataka and Bengaluru even expressed their inconveniences of travelling and accommodation. "Many students who register for COMEDK are from other states and cities. If it is offline again, they will have to travel all the way and make arrangements to stay here. The authorities must consider such issues," explained a student.
However, the COMEDK authorities say that there will be no room for seat blocking and other malpractices. Speaking to TNIE,Dr Kumar said, "There is no chance of seat blocking in offline counselling because here we cross-verify the fingerprint and photographs of the students are also collected during the exams. In offline mode, there is no chance of students locking seats. But, in online mode, even we would not be able to identify who is opting seat for whom. At least in offline mode, we can identify the candidate."
This year COMEDK is insisting on installation of CCTV cameras and bio-metric machines at all test centres and students must login to the computer designated to them. Once the student enters his number on that computer, the centre head will get complete details of the candidate along with a photograph. This will avoid impersonation. And the details collected during the text will be compared and cross verified at the time of counselling.