Following concerns raised over the state government’s recent decision to consider only Karnataka Common Entrance Test (KCET) scores for admissions to professional courses, the Higher Education Department is planning to set cut-off marks in KCET to ensure there is no compromise on competency.
All these years, the Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA) allotted KCET ranks for all the students who scored above 45% in PUC 2/Class 12 examinations. But this year, the cancellation of PUC2 exams has made KCET the sole assessment tool.
After concerns over the quality of professional education were raised, the matter was discussed in the recent meeting of the department where officials expressed the need to fix cut-off marks for admissions to professional courses through KCET.
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The meeting was chaired by Higher Education Minister C N Ashwath Narayan. He directed KEA officials to work out minimum eligibility marks to be scored by students in KCET.
A senior official from the department told DH, “By allotting rankings based solely on KCET scores, we will be opening floodgates to professional courses which will definitely damage the quality of professional education. Keeping this in mind, we were told to work out minimum eligibility marks to be scored by students in KCET for every course.”
All these years, KEA had allotted ranks to all students who appeared for KCET and scored a minimum of 45% marks in PUC 2. “Though there were two lakh applicants for KCET, around 1.50 lakh plus used to get KCET ranks based on their PUC 2 performance. But, this year if we go only by KCET scores and allot ranks, all the two lakh plus students would get eligibility for admissions to professional courses,” explained a source.
According to officials, engineering courses are a big worry. “Though there are several other courses where admissions are based on KCET, maintaining quality in engineering is a biggest worry as the number of seats and colleges are more compared to other courses,” source said.
Glancing at the previous years’ KCET results, during 2020 as many as 1,53,470 students got eligibility to get admission to engineering courses and during 2019 this number was 1.40 lakh.
This year, KEA is expecting an increase in the number of applications itself. The online application process has been on since July 14. KCET will be conducted for Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Biology subjects with 60 marks each. The KCET is conducted for a maximum of 180 marks and now the officials are working out minimum marks to be scored by students to get ranking.