While there have been recent cases of students scoring 90 per cent and not getting into colleges of their choice, two All India Engineering Entrance Examination 2006 candidates who scored six on 100 have been selected for admission in the engineering course of Birla Institute of Technology (BIT), Mesra.
Rajesh Kisku of West Bengal and Ashok Jambhule of Maharashtra (names changed) will study civil engineering and biotechnology respectively, thanks to the Central Counselling Board (CCB) of the AIEEE. Both belong to the Scheduled Tribe category. They aren't the only ones to benefit from reservation. Others with scores of 7, 10, 11 and 13 will also pursue engineering in this premier institution.
They've got it made for now but there are many who aren't happy about it. "It is correct. These are facts," says BIT V-C Prof S.K. Mukherjee, blaming it on the CBSE norms. All-India seats are distributed state-wise and the same pattern is adopted while distributing SC/ST category seats. If a reserved category candidate with less marks opts for BIT in the CCB, he gets admission.
"Such situations are a matter of concern. There should be a minimum cut-off mark," Prof Mukherjee says. On the pattern of the IITs, he says, marks/rank obtained by a candidate in a competitive exam must be linked with marks obtained in a conventional exam.
What's more, things could get worse. "Reserved category candidates with lesser marks may get admission during the second round of counselling, " the V-C says. "Some 50 reserved category seats are still vacant. And chances are that students who scored 1 or 2 may be considered for admission," says a BIT professor.
That means candidates who scored 270 would come last in the list of general category candidates granted admission. "It's not fair," says Samrendra, one such candidate. Admission over, the academically weak students find it hard to cope, says a professor of civil engineering.