Maharashtra state board students are set to give stiff competition to students from other boards for admission to self-financed degree courses this year.
While academicians say the cut-offs for most unaided courses such as Bachelor of Mass Media (BMS), Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS), and Bachelor of Accounts and Finance (BAF) will go up marginally, state board students will remain top contenders. Expect higher cut-offs for psychology too, as colleges recorded one of the best results in the arts stream this year.
Indu Sahani, principal, HR College of Commerce, Churchgate, said HSC students will have the upper hand this year compared to CBSE students.
“State-board students have scored extremely well and will take up seats in top colleges for most self-financed courses. I don’t think there will be too much difference in the cut-off rate this year,” she said.
Self-financed courses usually have higher cut-offs. But as the scores of the commerce stream have dipped compared to last year, the cut-off score for BMS, BAF and Bachelor of Banking and Insurance (BBI) may go down marginally.
“Marks of commerce students have been slipping. While more than 60% of them take up BCom in their own colleges, the remaining fight it out for BAF and BMS, as more seats are allotted for them,” said Sahani.
Among arts students, principals said there will be stiff competition for BA psychology and BMM seats.
According to Jyoti Thakur, executive coordinator, Jai Hind College, psychology has become popular with students in the past few years. “Self-financed courses are generally taken up by project-oriented students, while psychology is for those interested in academia,” she said.
And the trend continues. High scorer Ruhi Bhanap, who secured 92.6% from VG Vaze Kelkar Junior College in the arts stream, said she wants to build a career in mental health.
However, popular science colleges say that admissions may get tougher with science students doing very well. And with colleges not allowed to start a new division or courses, getting a seat of choice is going to be difficult.
Dinesh Panjwani, principal, RD National College, Bandra, said only a few students take up pure science these days as engineering still continues to lure them. “Usually, science and BSC IT seats get filled up initially, but then as soon as engineering admissions are over, students drop out. This is when the cut-offs for science seats go down,” he said.
Against all odds:
I had to work Harder because Of my disability: Gaurav Kotian
On Wednesday, Gaurav Kotian could not wait to break the news to his sister Nidhi that she had scored 89.84% in the HSC exams.
Nidhi, 18, a student of Pace Junior Science College and a Borivli resident, is hearing and speech impaired. She had undergone a cochlear implant as a child and could hear with the help of an aid. “She also had to go for speech therapy, after which she started to speak normally,” said Gaurav.
Although she found it difficult to understand what her teachers were saying, Nidhi did not give up. “I studied for 10 hours a day before the exams. I was sure that if I wanted to score well, I had to work hard. I repeatedly read each chapter and solved a lot of question papers,” she said.
Nidhi gave her BITSAT (entrance test for the Birla Institute of Technology) exam this week. She wants to pursue computer science engineering from IIT Bombay or NIT-K Surathkal.
~ Aishwarya Iyer
Monica More: Lost her arms but refused to wallow in misery
Monica More, 17, lost both her arms after she slipped from a train at Ghatkopar station and fell in the gap between the platform and footboard in 2014. But instead of wallowing in misery, the gritty teenager worked hard and scored a commendable 63% in her HSC exams.
“I am very happy with my result and I would like to thank my writer, Aishwarya, for helping me,” said More, a student of TD Mehta Junior College, Ghatkopar.
After the accident in January 2014, More spent seven excruciating months in KEM Hospital, where her arms had to be amputated to prevent spread of infection.
She came home with two prosthetic arms and a positive attitude towards life.
More is adjusting to her myoelectric prosthetic arms and can write slowly.
She wants to pursue degree a degree in commerce and then find a job to support her family.
~ Vinayak Gupta
Akshay Deshpandey: Weakening of his muscles made his resolve stronger
Living with muscular dystrophy, Akshay Deshpandey cannot hold a pen in his hand for a long period, and finds it difficult to stand. His mother had to come to help him turn the pages of the answer sheets during the exams. But braving all odds, the teenager from Goregaon secured 67%, writing the paper on his own, refusing a writer.
“I was not surprised by my score, ,” said Deshpandey, a commerce student. “Sitting in my wheelchair, I would study for more than an hour every day and sometimes even more.”
His mother Snehal said he was diagnosed muscular dystrophy when he was in Class 3. “He has earned this score because of his grandmother’s tireless efforts.”
Akshay, a student of Vivek Vidyalaya, Goregaon, appeared for the exam from his school. “We owe a lot to this school, everyone from the teachers to peons help him out,”said Snehal.
Akshay wants to pursue commerce in the degree college attached to his school.
~ Puja Pednekar
Wait for a kidney didn’t deter Aditya Bannerjee
Aditya Bannerjee, 19, has been waiting for a kidney transplant for the past five years. Suffering from chronic renal failure since childhood, he was discharged from the hospital a day before the HSC exams. The intravenous therapy being used to treat him makes his fingers tremble uncontrollably, and he cannot hold a pen. Yet the gritty teen sat for the exams, and scored 51.3%.
“He uses a wheelchair, and needed a writer for the exams,” said his father.
Bannerjee was a student of Thakur College, Kandivli, but was allowed to sit for exams from Nirmal College, Kandivli, which is closer to his residence.
Bannerjee, a commerce student, has not made any plans for his future yet. “He needs to receive a kidney first. We have been waiting for five years; meanwhile, his health is failing,” said his father. “Though we have found donors, we are not getting the government’s permission to go ahead with the transplantation,” he said.
~ Vinayak Gupta