Varying evaluation systems put job seekers in a fix

Students of autonomous colleges gain in govt recruitment

 Even as the Karnataka State Higher Education Council has been calling for a uniform evaluation system across all universities and colleges in the State, different grading systems in higher education institutions are affecting students’ job prospects, especially when it comes to recruitment to government service.

A recent call for applications for the posts of assistant engineers through direct recruitment in the Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board has brought the issue to fore. Applications were invited to fill 100 posts of assistant engineers in the board in December 2015. Since it is direct recruitment, there will be no entrance test and candidates will be selected based on the order of merit, decided by the percentage of marks scored by them in degree courses. While candidates who have studied in autonomous or private universities stand to gain from it, those who have completed engineering courses from Visvesvaraya Technological University, Bangalore University or other universities in the State are at a loss.

Here is why: Several autonomous colleges and private universities reserve 50 per cent marks for internal assessment, where students are likely to gain an easy score as opposed to their counterparts in other universities where the internal assessment is only for 30 per cent marks. Further, when Grade or CGPA is converted to percentage, the reflected percentage is higher than what one could score in a regular university.  Bangalore University Vice Chancellor Prof B Thimme Gowda, explained, “Our valuation is also strict. Hence, the marks scored by students here would differ from those in autonomous colleges.” The higher education council has asked all colleges to fall in with 30:70 ratio of internal assessment to the theory exam and it is high time that institutions adopted this practice, he opined.

Applicants have complained that students from autonomous colleges stand to gain at least eight per cent more marks when their grades are converted to percentage. They have been demanding all the government officials concerned, in vain, to change this system.

Also, this is not the first instance. In February 2015, a similar problem cropped up with respect to recruitment in the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department. “The anomaly was obvious. Out of the 207 posts called for, 174 who were selected were from autonomous colleges. Only 33 successful candidates were from VTU and others. There are more than 150 colleges under the VTU and there are around 16 autonomous colleges. You do the math,” an applicant said.

Based on several representations made by applicants to various government officials concerned, VTU Vice Chancellor H Maheshappa has also written to the chief minister. He urged the government department to hold an entrance test to ensure that all candidates were selected based on equal grounds. The VTU, too, has now shifted to the grade system. However, those who have graduated in the recent years will still have to fight for the job opportunity.

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