With 89%, Pujan Sethi was among the high scorers in the Class 12 Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) exams in the commerce stream at HR College, Churchgate.
When the first merit list was declared on Friday, Sethi found she had made it to neither HR College, where the list closed at 94.2%, nor NM College in Vile Parle for the Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Finance) course, where it closed at 91%.
At coveted colleges in the city, positions on the first merit lists were dominated by students from the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Indian School Certificate (ISC) and international boards. “It is not possible for state board students to get in,” said Sethi, 17. “Other board students come with higher marks. It is not possible to get such marks in the state board exams.”
While junior college students have an in-house quota for getting into the regular Bachelor of Arts, Science and Commerce courses at their own college, there is no such quota for the self-financing courses. At RA Podar College in Matunga, the first list to Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS) for commerce candidates did not have any state board student, while at Jai Hind College for BMS and Bachelor of Mass Media (BMM) more than 50% were non-HSC students. KC College principal Manju Nichani said at her college “quite a few” were non-state board candidates, while at St Andrew’s College in Bandra, there was a “marginal increase”, said principal Marie Fernandes. “Maybe there aren’t as many high scorers in the state board,” she said.
“It is so much easier for CBSE students to get in,” said Sonal Puthran, 18, who scored 80.3% in commerce. “CBSE students have to study five subjects while we have six, so that gives them more time too.”
Meanwhile, Saturday was the first day for students on the first list to secure their seats. “More than 50% of the seats were secured,” said Rekha Bahadur, vice principal, HR College.