The centralised counselling for bachelor degrees in engineering, pharmaceuticals and architecture at Punjab Technical University (PTU), Punjabi University and Agricultural University (PAU), carried out by PTU, has managed to fill barely 7,000 of the 41,000 seats available in the 100-odd private affiliated colleges.
As per a state government notification on May 7, PTU was authorised to carry out admission counselling on the basis of Joint Entrance Examinations (JEE) for the session 2014-15.
Even before the start of counselling, PTU had strongly advocated the need to fill seats by authorising colleges to carry out counselling of their own; but the state government had denied nod. By PTU, the counselling was outsourced to the National Informatics Centre (NIC). Now, after the poor response to the first counselling, automatically the colleges have been given powers to fill seats before August 15.
“It’s a fact that the PTU repeatedly requested the state government to authorise colleges for carrying out counselling. Like previous years, the response to centralised counseling has been poor. But what can we do? The government takes the call,” said PTU dean, academics, Buta Singh.
A large section in the PTU and private colleges has blamed the government. The Punjab Unaided Technical Institutions Association (PUTIA) has also opposed the move many times. “After the end of the counseling on July 30, we get only 15 days to fill our seats. The government can go for centralised counselling in the government colleges in order to benefit meritorious students, but there was no meaning of doing it for private colleges. In the end, PTU has to ask us to fill our seats,” feels Anshu Kataria, co-ordinator of PUTIA and owner of Aryans Group of Colleges.
Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) was granted its request for exemption from centralised counselling, but a similar request by Punjabi University was turned down, it is learnt.
“This mess-up is being created knowingly by the state government to benefit private universities. If more vacancies remain, students would go for private universities where no merit is needed at all,” said a college owner from Hoshiarpur district.