CET counselling gets decentralised, unified test still a long way off

CET counselling gets decentralised, unified test still a long way off

2009 Year marks

CET counselling gets decentralised, unified test still a long way off

Catering to students’ needs, the Common Entrance Test (CET) counselling was expanded to two more districts, Hubli and Gulbarga, besides Bangalore in 2009. In fact, the year has been good for candidates aspiring to get into professional courses through the CET conducted by the Karnataka Examination Authority.

The CET counselling sessions were simultaneously held in the three centres, which greatly benefited students from North Karnataka. Travel and accommodation expenses were cut down, bringing great relief to the candidates, who would have otherwise spent much in Bangalore.

Also reaping the benefits were the poor meritorious students, who availed a fee subsidy of Rs 10,000 to engineering seats. Of the government quota BE seats, 25 percent were allotted for poor and meritorious students at an annual fee of Rs 15,000, much lower than the previous year’s Rs 25,000. Those who selected BE seats through CET in private colleges had to pay only Rs 25,000.

Towards the end of 2009, the higher education ministry’s proposal for a uniform CET for both the government and management quota seats has triggered differences among the stake-holders.

Private college managements are keen on a single test only if the government doesn’t dictate terms on the fee structure. But until this uncertainty on the fee and seat sharing matrix is resolved, students will have to wait. 

However, students have reason to cheer, because the Government has announced that the counselling sessions will be conducted in six centres in 2010, with Mangalore, Shimoga and Davanagere to follow.

This implies that students from north, central and coastal regions will be able to select seats from their respective hometowns or neighbouring districts instead of travelling all the way to Bangalore.

For both the government and private college managements, unfilled engineering seats have become problematic.

In the last three years, thousands of BE seats have remained vacant , due to the increase in the number of engineering colleges sanctioned and the low pass percentage in II PUC. This year alone, 11,716 seats went unfilled of which 3,926 seats were under CET and 7,790 under the Consortium of Medical, Engineering and Dental colleges-Karnataka(COMEDK).

Efforts like increasing the percentage of lateral entry of diploma holders to mainstream engineering  course, and permitting students who pass supplementary II PUC examinations too be eligible for seat selection process, have had minimal effect on the unfilled seats.