CET your goals, course and college

CET your goals, course and college

For many students, the time has come to take perhaps the most important decision of their life. Those who completed 10th standard this year have by now taken their choice of subjects for their +2, whether it be in PUC, CBSE or ISC. Those who have completed +2 face a deeper dilemma, mainly because the choices before them are mind-boggling.
Commerce and arts students, who were earlier free from the hassles of entrance exams, now find themselves burning the midnight oil for admission tests for law, design, mass communication, chartered accountancy, hotel management, business management, and integrated five-year courses in social sciences.

Those who have taken up science aspire for the traditionally popular careers – engineering and medicine. For engineering there are IIT-JEE for admission to IITs, BITSAT for the three campuses of BITS, AIEEE for the 22 National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and other central engineering institutes, NATA for architecture, and individual exams for private universities like Symbiosis, Manipal, VIT, Amrita, SRM, KLE and a host of others. Similar is the case for medicine aspirants.

In Karnataka, CET is still the most popular, conducted by Karnataka Examination Authority (KEA). This year over 1,23,000 students appeared, most of them aspiring for an engineering seat. The CET is a well organised and transparent test, which is used to allot seats in all government colleges, and the merit quota seats in private colleges. Fees for students who are admitted through CET is much lower than for those who come through the COMED-K or management quota.

If you have secured a rank in three-digits in the CET, you can take your pick of college and course, but if your rank is beyond 1,000, then you should prepare yourself for counselling.

Step-by-step procedure
During counselling, keep in mind that only the candidate and one more person is allowed inside. Discuss with your family members beforehand so you can make the right choice.
Ask yourself whether you are sure about taking up only engineering or medicine. There are other good career alternatives also.

Are you dependent only on CET admission, or have you applied to other autonomous institutions, or are you willing to go through management seats. If so, you can afford to be picky.

Go through the list of all the branches of engineering available to you (given in the box), and try to find out as much as you can about each of them. Do not restrict yourself to the traditional and popular streams.

There are over 150 engineering colleges in the state.  Make a list of the ones that you know, the ones that have a good reputation, and check which ones offer the branches you prefer.

Be open to moving to any part of the state. Ignoring the fabled bad hostel food, you can actually become independent. There are good colleges in districts which do not have the type of demand that city colleges have.

For those who do not have a specific passion for a particular branch of engineering, it is better to give importance to the college, rather than the branch. Be aware that many branches (e.g. electronics, medical electronics, instrumentation, information science) have a few subjects in common, and you can take any of them if you are getting a good college.

Monitor seat allotment once the counselling process starts, and you will know beforehand what you are likely to get and what you may not.

If you are not likely to get either the college or the branch of choice, explore other options. Medical aspirants can go for homeopathy, ayurveda, or even para-medical courses (see box of Medical Alternatives), engineering aspirants can go for BCA, BSc(IT), integrated MSc, military service, or agricultural engineering in University of Agricultural Sciences, or move into non-science fields.

This year counselling will go on at three different centres, hence it will have to be systematic.
Do not get misled by touts who promise a “back-door entry”. Only private colleges in their management quota have the discretion to give seats to students of their choice, but in the merit seats the allotment goes strictly by rank.

Scholarships, loans

There are many trusts and philanthropic organisations offering scholarships to deserving students. Even the government corporations have schemes for specific categories for backward or minority students. If you have financial constraints, find out if you can get a scholarship, or a bank loan, so that you do not lose out at the time of seat allotment. This year the government has announced a loan scheme of up to Rs 5 lakh (for entire course) at a low interest of 6%, to pursue any professional course. Contact: Karnataka Examination Authority, 18th Cross, Malleswaram, Bangalore 560012.  Ph: 23461575 and website www.kea.kar.nic.in

Medicine alternatives

You can still become a qualified physician in the alternative streams of medicine viz. homeopathy (BHMS), ayurveda (BAMS), unani (BUMS), naturopathy (BNYS), etc., which are also professional courses of 5-1/2 year duration.

You can become a dentist by doing a five year BDS course, and then choose out of nine specialisations in dental surgery i.e. a three year Masters in Dental Surgery (MDS). You can become a veterinary doctor by taking up a 4-1/2 year B.V.Sc. course offered by colleges affiliated to Karnataka Veterinary University.

You can take up nursing by a four year BSc (Nursing) course, and specialise by MSc in Operation Theatre, Pediatrics, Psychiatric nursing, etc.

You can take up paramedical fields. There are four-year degree courses in physiotherapy, speech and hearing, optometry, radiography, dialysis technology, etc. and also three year BSc courses in medical lab technology, etc.

You can study nutrition and dietetics at the undergraduate and post-graduate level.
You can take up the four-year BPharma course, and later specialise through MPharma.
You can take up a four-year engineering course in medical electronics, or bio medical engineering.
You can get a degree in any field, and then do a masters in hospital administration. Also, there are post graduate courses in health management, disaster management.
You can study psychology at BA and MSc level, and qualify as a clinical psychologist by a two year MPhil course in Clinical Psychology in institutions like NIMHANS, AIIMS etc., which qualifies you to diagnose and treat persons with mental illness.

No medicine seat available?

* Alternative medicine: Bachelors in homeopathy (BHMS), ayurveda (BAMS), unani (BUMS), naturopathy (BNYS)
* Dentistry: Do a five year BDS course followed by specialisation.
* Veterinary: Do a 4.5 year BVSc course in a college affiliated to Karnataka Veterinary University
* Nursing: Take up a four year BSc (Nursing) course, followed by MSc in Operation Theatre, Pediatrics or Psychiatric nursing.
* Paramedical fields:
* Four-year degree courses in physiotherapy, speech and hearing, optometry, radiography, dialysis technology.
* Three year BSc courses in medical lab technology
* Study nutrition and dietetics at the undergraduate and post-graduate level.
* Four-year course in Pharmacy (BPharma) followed by MPharma
* Four-year engineering course in medical electronics, or bio medical engineering
* After your bachelors in any field do a masters in hospital administration, health management or disaster management.
* Psychology at BA and MSc level, followed by a two year MPhil course in Clinical Psychology in NIMHANS or AIIMS

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