Even as the University Grants Commission (UGC), the country’s top governing agency for higher education, has asked all universities and colleges to conduct admissions online, the University of Mumbai has moved only an inch in this direction.
Students still end up visiting colleges to pick up forms and stand in queues to submit their applications.
Education experts said if the admission process goes completely online there will be more transparency and efficiency in the process. Students also think that an online admission system is efficient and comfortable.
“Applying to Delhi University (DU) is easier because I can do it sitting in my home. All I need are scanned copies of my documents. It’s very tiring to imagine we’ll end up running between colleges for forms and check admission lists of most of the city colleges,” said Amisha Aggarwal, a CBSE Class XII student, who is awaiting her results to finally start applying to the reputable arts colleges in Mumbai.
Online admissions have been on MU’s agenda for quite some time. But its implementation has been delayed. While university officials insist that the entire admission process will be done online , some are doubtful.
“MU has a large number of affiliated colleges and this eventually requires more students to be covered. Taking the entire process online will also require a software that can handle such large numbers and till date it has been a difficult task,” said a senior MU official.
Many also pointed out that apart from Maharashtra, no other state has junior colleges attached to colleges that are affiliated to a university. In other states, schools follow the “10+2” system, when students finish Class XII in their school, and the first major admission process to colleges is a direct entry to undergraduate courses.
In Maharashtra, colleges have to handle two admission processes ---- for Class XI and degree courses. “In our state, junior college admissions are held online, which is the same process that DU applies for undergraduate courses, because there, all schools follow the CBSE board and have a junior college attached. As of now, MU seems to be doing a decent job during admissions,” said Indu Shahani, the principal of HR College in Churchgate.
At present, registration of students and the final count of students enrolled in colleges have to be filled up online, whereas the other processes are conducted offline. Understanding the convenience of online admissions, many city colleges have taken the initiative to conduct their in-house admissions online.
St Andrew’s College in Bandra started the process last year and have got a positive response from students. “This year we are trying to manage payment of fees also online, so as to bring about complete transparency in the system. Gone are the days of long queues and ‘under-the-table’ admissions,” said Marie Fernandes, the principal of the college.
Autonomous institutes like St Xavier’s College at Dhobi Talao and Somaiya Group of Institutes in Vidya Vihar, too, conduct their own admissions online.
When HT contacted MU registrar MA Khan about the status of the admissions going online, he said the process is underway. “Apart from the UGC, the state government, too, has insisted on taking admissions online and we are working on it on a priority basis. The final call on this will be taken by the vice-chancellor and other members of the university. Our aim is to bring about a foolproof system,” said Khan.