GUWAHATI: Undergraduate colleges are in a fix over publishing the merit list as there is no clarity on the reservation policy for state board and CBSE pass-outs yet.
While an earlier order passed by the state higher education directorate in August had asked colleges and state universities to reserve 75% seats for state board students, education minister Ranoj Pegu later said board-based reservation will not be applicable in urban areas where a considerable number of students are from CBSE. Nevertheless, it has been more than a month since the Class XII results were announced, but colleges have not yet received the revised directive from the government.
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Sources in the education department told TOI that most of the colleges have either finalized or are in the final stage of preparing merit lists for UG admissions. However, college authorities are in a dilemma regarding the publication of the lists. “The colleges are confused about whether they will go by the education directorate’s written order or the education minister’s verbal statement,” an education department official said.
In Gauhati Commerce College (GCC), 65% of the seats in UG courses used to be reserved for the Assam state board pass-outs till last year. The justification was that these students were being given a scope for higher studies. Reservation of 75% seats would have established the stance of GCC, which has been following the board-based reservation for long. The college had prepared a merit list on the formula, but the relaxation assured by the minister has put them in a fix. “We thought admissions would be on the basis of the reservation formula. But now we are expecting a new order. The change in the merit list after publication can create confusion,” said GCC principal, Homeswar Kalita, on Thursday.
In another leading city college, B Borooah College, a merit list may be published in the next couple of days, said principal Satyendra Nath Barman. “Unless we get the written confirmation that the 75:25 reservation policy stands cancelled, it’s difficult to publish the merit list and admission dates. Colleges will be at the receiving end if another order is issued by the government after admitting students based on the reservation formula,” said Barman.
Before the outbreak of Covid-19, admission in the state colleges used to be completed by June. Considering the possibility of a third wave of the pandemic, college officials said early commencement of the classes would have benefited the students. However, considering the lethargy shown by the education department, many feel that the admission process for undergraduate classes may extend till October in some institutions.
“We are fully prepared for admissions. Before the pandemic, classes would start from August,” Barman added.
In Cotton University (CU), one of the most sought-after institutions in the northeast, students seeking admission in bachelor degree courses have not even been able to submit admission forms. While the 75:25 formula is an obvious reason for this unusual delay, insiders in the premier state university said it may take a couple of weeks more to reopen the admission portal.
“Many meritorious students vacate their seats soon after getting enrolled in CU. These are the students who clear the medical and engineering examinations. It’s very embarrassing when meritorious students leave the university days after getting admission. So the admissions will be late in CU this time,” an official of the university said.
However, the wait for NEET and JEE results may cause significant loss in academics as sources in the National Testing Agency said the NEET results are likely to be declared in October, though JEE results may be declared around September 20.