Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Travails continued....

We left the previous post where the protagonist was undergoing training at a coaching class to appear for various entrance examinations. Objective: to gain admission to an engineering degree course at a "decent" college / institute. Normal ambition of a very normal Indian lad with stars in his eyes and with an above average intellect.

Mind you, all this is in addition to attending college + practicals for the State Board HSC examinations. Now you get an idea of "moving the mountain" phase in the life of a sixteen year old.

Let us see how the year progresses..

Coaching Class:

One thing I missed adding. Sixty students crammed on uncomfortable benches for six - seven hours at a stretch. Hey they are cattle but humans with simple goal in life. But commerce is supreme and an extra dozen students is obviously good for the bottom line.

Life is good. Anyway, there is no guarantee on results and it does not matter whether students pass or fail. Many of these institutes just pay obscene money and some students may be tempted to endorse them.


Mercifully exams are a one day affair but the filling up of examination forms, online / manual submission and getting the examination hall admit card is a trying affair. The whole process is meant to wear your patience thin.

You also have to be lucky to get an examination center near your place of residence or else a twenty - thirty kilometre trudge to the examination centre is guaranteed. The wretched may be allotted an examination centre at Pune / Nashik....and both are atleast 200 kms away.

The list of examinations is also impressively long....IIT-JEE, AIEEE, BITS, Maharashtra CET, Vellore, Coimbatore, Manipal, unaided colleges, and I do not know the rest...as the nephew did not bother about many of them.

Fortunately, there is enough time between two competitive entrance exams. BITS even gives you the flexibility of choosing a date of your choice and it is an online test. You actually leave the place knowing your marks and also, perhaps, whether your fate is sealed or whether there is still hope.

Results Stage:

Yipee....its results time and an end to a long year of hard work...or..is it just the begining of a new tense phase. The toppers and failures are the most peaceful, whilst the "in-betweens" are tossed around like veggies in a salad.

All results are online which means you save face if the results are poor. One can buy half a day by saying access to servers is very slow but not much beyond that.

This settles once for where you are in the rat race. Extended Merit Lists and scores beyond 10,000 means very little scope.

Admissions Stage:

Most likely a student would stand a good chance in multiple institutions and it would be unwise to close the doors on any opportunity just yet.

This means one has to keep track of all schedules running in parallel. This would put any Operation Research specialist to shame.

Online submissions, mock counselling, trial placements, merit lists, counselling lists, first list, second list and so on form part of an elaborate process. I understand this has been streamlined and tweaked over the last couple of years. It is not so much a problem now. Great use of technology...I must say.

Once your name appears in one or more lists, factors like stream allotted, institute and location become important. Ragging is another factor playing on minds and I was wily nily drawn into an animated discussion on this subject.

This phase is currently on and should play itself out in the next two weeks.

More on this as the days pass on. This whole drama that is being played out tends to get more complex every year. There are many questions that arise in my mind and I am disturbed that such an important area has been dealt with in a very lackadaisical way.


Sraboney said...

Gosh!!! Thank god I've finished with my admissions a long time ago...What a nightmare it was going from college to college in the sweltering heat of Delhi...Anyway, with the cut offs what they are today, I don't think I would have gained admission anywhere for any subject...

Our education system faulty; the coaching institute owners being true Indians are only taking advantage of the system...

Mavin said...


If you were a student you might have got record breaking marks today.

We may be through with that phase but it returns to haunt us when we run around for our children and relatives.