On Tuesday, Rohan Dhawan was registered as a Class 11 student of Jhunjhunwala College, but on Wednesday he took the risk of foregoing the seat he had been allotted in the online process by cancelling his admission and applying offline to Hinduja College.
The offline process, which began on August 12, was meant for the 5,000-odd students who were not allotted any seat in the online process, for international board students, CBSE school exam students and those allowed to keep term. It was not meant for those who had already secured a junior college through the online admission process.
However, unhappy with their allotments, or unable to avail the betterment option, students have been scrambling to apply offline. “Cancelling the admission was a risk, but I was willing to take it because my son was just not interested in the college he had been allotted,” said Jugal Dhawan, Rohan’s father. “When my son had 86.6%, which was more than the cut-offs at several colleges, and had listed these as his preferences, why didn’t he get in?”
Department officials said applying offline even after getting a seat was not strictly forbidden.
“On the face of it I do not think there is a problem if students applied offline, if their marks were higher than the cut-off, but I will have to check on this,” said education minister Rajendra Darda.
With the rush to apply offline, students and colleges have said that the purpose of the online process seems to have been defeated.
“The system of offline admissions that we had earlier was far better. The online process is pointless,” said another parent who cancelled her child’s admission on Tuesday and is still hoping to get a seat elsewhere.
The education department admitted that there were lacunae in the online process and said that they hoped to correct it for next year.
The betterment option – whereby students were able to get into a higher preference college – was available only once, an issue that drew the most criticism. It meant that those, like Rohan Dhawan, who exhausted their betterment option in moving from the first round to the second, couldn’t move higher even after cut-offs fell in the third round.
“We will be looking at all such issues,” said a senior education department official. “Whether we need another betterment option, why students were allotted far off colleges, whether we need to reduce the number of college preferences on the form.”