The Best-Five policy for both ICSE and SSC students will definitely push up cut-off percentages for junior college admissions, said college principals.
They predicted a minimum two to three percentage points increase in cut-offs from last year. Also, unlike previous years when top slots in top colleges in the first list were taken by ICSE and CBSE students, this year SSC students will be prominently placed as well.
While the all-India ICSE topper has a percentage of 98.8 based on her English plus best four subjects, in the state several students have scored a perfect 100, thanks to 25 marks for sports quota.
“The SSC advantage will show,” said Kirti Narian, principal, Jai Hind College. “Earlier, a fair number of the first list would be ICSE and CBSE students but that will change now. Cut-offs will rise by two to three percentage points from last year.”
Educationists feel SSC students will have an advantage because the SC verdict does not allow ICSE students to choose any Group III if they follow the best five method.
“Group III subjects include high scoring subjects such as physical training and technical drawing and 50 per cent of these subjects are internal assessment, so they give ICSE students a big push,” said Basanti Roy, former secretary of the SSC and HSC board, Mumbai division. “How much advantage would SSC students gain can only be determined when the admissions lists come out, but cut-offs will rise.”
But Father Frazer of St Xavier’s College rationalised, “While the cut-offs might rise, it will be proportionate to the increase in every student’s scores, so the degree of competition will remain the same.”
While colleges are glad that the issue is resolved, they are worried about the delay in the academic term. “Usually junior colleges begin by July 1 but now it seems like it will be either July-end or August beginning because the admission process will take about 10 days,” said Naresh Chandra, principal, Birla College in Kalyan.
“Had the state accepted the ICSE students’ demand to extend Best-Five to them as well earlier this delay could have been avoided,” said an ICSE school principal, requesting anonymity.