The Admission Circus

Who says the toughest time for a kid in India comes during the board exams, either in the tenth class or the twelfth? I don’t even want to talk about the tenth boards, since I found them nothing more than a set of over-hyped, ultra-lenient examinations. The twelfth class boards? Well, I would have called them the toughest time of my life psychologically, until I realized that in truth, what came after was far worse.

What I don’t understand is why, even in this day and age when a majority of the people claim that our educational system is flawed, there aren’t any changes being made within it. Having just gone through the admission process, I found several flaws in our system.

Everyone now talks about so many new job prospects coming up, and the subsequent increase in the number of fields. Yet, for some reason, only Engineering, Medicine, Architecture and Chartered Accountancy require entrance tests all over our country. Why isn’t it so for the other subjects? Why should a student be admitted to History Honours, even though he hasn’t studied history in his final two years of schooling? The cut-offs for commerce students are higher than for the science and arts students. Why should a student’s aptitude in physics and chemistry considered for a course that involves studying neither?

The solution is to introduce a testing system on the line of the SAT. Of all the papers I have given, I found these to be the truest tests of a person’s intelligence and ability. The SAT 1 paper (now known as Logical Reasoning paper) can be common to all students, whereas in the SAT 2 (now known as SAT Subjects paper) a student can decide for himself which subjects he wants to be tested in. This way, a student can select the subjects he is interested in, unlike in our current schooling system where we are allotted subjects to study. Currently, if a science student wants to study both computer science and economics, he has to drop mathematics. These tests would allow him to be tested in all three, and hence, if he does apply for History, those admitting him can see his aptitude in Hsitory instead of having to depend on Physics and Chemistry.

Another advantage is that students can get second attempts. There are several students who give their Boards during difficult situations. A friend of mine gave his a week after his father was hospitalized for paralysis, and yet he at the time of admission he is considered on the same level as others. Life is said to offer second chances, yet, our current admission process doesn’t.

For all the plaudits our “premier” colleges get, I found no reason for them to be proud of themselves. Firstly, barring a couple of exceptions, none of them have a well functioning website, not even the IITs. In the US, even the C-grade colleges have updated websites. This means the only way to get good information about a college is to visit it.

The solution is to have computer clubs where students are assigned to look after the websites. It gives students experience in the web developing sector, and also helps build a better image of the college on the whole. Engineering colleges can do this for themselves, and if some don’t have courses where students are required to build web pages, they can tie up with other institutions.

Further, since I belong to the CW (Children and Widows of Defense Personnel killed in action or on Duty) category, our admission to the Delhi University colleges was through another office. I was allotted to SRCC for Eco honours, Due to some complications, I was told that I wouldn’t be given admission. I only got admitted after appealing to the Principal, even though I had been allotted admission to this college in a legitimate fashion.

Having gone through this, I was extremely disturbed to know that the administration of Delhi University wasn’t working on the same page as their colleges. Why wasn’t the office that allotted me to SRCC informed by the college that they don’t consider Computer Science?

The solution is better coordination between the various admission departments of the University.

The system needs a major overhaul, so that it is more student-friendly, and at par with other universities in the world.

Raveesh Bhalla


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