The PU admission process had always been a money-draining, energy-sapping and time-consuming exercise. Ask Akhilesh Kumar, a II PU student, who speaks up for the near six lakh students who passed the SSLC last year. He had spent close to Rs 4,000 on application forms alone.
Not sure of admission in a particular college, he applied to at least 10 colleges. A prestigious college in Jayanagar Ninth Block had charged Rs 250 for an application form for the PCMB course; another college at Bilekahalli had charged Rs 500. It was not just money. He had to criss-cross the city many a time to ensure he got the forms before colleges ‘ran out of stock’. Everywhere he got roasted, standing in serpentine queues for hours under the blazing sun.
But students passing the 10th standard this year — the results are expected later this month — won’t have to suffer an ordeal like Akhilesh’s or any of their predecessors. For the first time in the history of state education, the PU department will offer a common application form. Instead of trailing from college to college, all a student needs to do is to sit in front of a computer, download the common application form and submit it to as many colleges s’he wishes to apply for admission.
Primary and secondary education minister Vishveshwara Hegde Kageri said, “We will be launching the common application system his year.”
The system aims to curb colleges which charge students exorbitant amounts just for admission forms. Kageri said that the PU department had originally planned to start online counselling. But it failed to get the required software in place on time, and decided to go for a common application form.
“We will put up the common application form on our website www.pue.kar.nic.in before the SSLC results are out. We are sending circulars to colleges across the state to accept the application form. In short, one application form will do for all colleges. This will spare students of long queues and save money. All students will have to do is drop the form at a drop-box facility in colleges,” a senior PU official explained.
Application forms are big business. Colleges charge anywhere between Rs 250 and Rs 1,000, depending on the college and course. There was a proposal to make the application fee free, but colleges demanded that they be allowed to charge Rs 20.
“So, from this year, a student will submit the application form and pay Rs 20 for each course. This means, a student will need to spend only Rs 200 to apply in 10 colleges/courses as against Rs 4,000 and Rs 5,000 that he earlier spent,” the official added.
Kageri said that the earlier plan had been to introduce one application for 30 colleges with nearly 40 options of available courses for the candidate’s information. However, they changed this to one common application for all PU colleges without course options.
He said the objective behind the single application form was to save students the burden of paying more money to buy forms and to avoid capitation fees at the time of admissions, besides maintaining the reservation system.
Mohit Reddy, a II PU student, said, “This is a big relief to the student community. As colleges are located in different parts of the city, most of us had to run around during the application season. This way, students won’t just save money, but also a lot of time.”
There are 1,202 government, 1,936 unaided, 637 aided, 165 bifurcated and 13 corporation-run PU colleges in the state.