Under fire from the ministry of human resource and development after HT Education highlighted the plight of the Prime Minister’s Special Scholarship Scheme (PMSSS) awardees from J&K, AICTE chairman Prof Anil D Sahasrabudhe has said that out of 3,000 students who have been placed in various colleges across the country, only 40 to 50 have faced problems related to admissions. In an interview, Sahasrabudhe says AICTE is making every effort to streamline the admission process. Here are some excerpts:
How do you respond to the students’ allegations that they were allotted non-existent colleges and wrong courses under PMSSS?
AICTE didn’t allot any college to any student. Under the process, students were given a list of colleges and courses available to choose from. The list that we prepared was based on the information collected from the websites of various colleges. Since colleges didn’t update their own website, students ended up selecting those courses which were closed down or currently not available. Now instead of collecting information from colleges’ websites, we are directly writing to them and preparing an updated database. Out of around 3,000 students, only 40 to 50 have faced such problems. We are aware of the inconvenience caused to them and we are doing everything to remove all shortcomings and help the students.
Due to changes in the scheme in 2015, students will get the scholarship money after they are admitted to a college and upload relevant documents on the AICTE website. However, since the scheme is for poor students, they struggled to arrange for the money for admissions and are now finding it difficult find accommodation. What do you have to say about that?
Before 2015, the scholarship amount was deposited in the student’s college account. This year, however, the government of India has decided to give this benefit directly to the students by transferring the money to their account. Being a regulator of technical institutions, AICTE has asked technical colleges to admit students without charging any admission fee and many institutes have done that. The problem exists in general colleges which UGC or other regulatory bodies regulate. We are trying our level best to convince all colleges to provide provisional admission without charging any fee.
Under the present scheme, there is a lot of confusion regarding uploading students’ admission-related documents on the AICTE website. Please clarify.
Both the student and the college will have to sit together and upload the documents. Every student who has appeared for AICTE’s counselling has been allotted a user ID and password. Students, however, can’t upload their documents because they submit all the documents to the college at the time of admission. So the college has to assist the students in uploading (the documents). We have published clear instructions on AICTE’s website. Once we receive students’ documents, we will disburse the scholarship amount within one week. In fact, the process of scholarship disbursement has already started. Further, if any student is facing any problem, he/she can write to me on my email id firstname.lastname@example.org.
The (PMSSS) scheme was started in 2011 but in 2014 we realised that due to several reasons, the purpose of the scheme was going awry. So we had to introduce changes for the benefit of the students. These changes are causing new challenges which we are trying our level best to resolve. I am sure from the next academic session, J&K students will experience a more streamlined and smooth admission process.