The Times of India | Isha Jain | TNN | April 1, 2016 |
Lucknow: At a time when supply is outstripping demand, engineering colleges are finding new ways to fill their seats. Kicking off the admission season even before the state entrance test (UPSEE) is held, colleges are offering registration facility to students by asking them to give a missed call on a toll-free helpline number provided on the college website. Sample this. A ticker at the top of the home page of the website of an affiliated college of AKTU, reads ‘0522-3996200 Give a Missed Call 0522-3004455, Toll Free Education Helpline 1800-300-24666.’ The college also has a provision for online registration. In two AKTU-affiliated colleges, a TOI reporter posed as a student from outside Lucknow, and received seat confirmation just by giving a call. In fact, the operator at one college told the TOI reporter that the college would call back and address queries. Within a few seconds, TOI received the call from the number 9208000092. During the four-minute-long conversation, the operator first insisted that the candidate registers online and then visits the college to take a test. However, soon, the operator said that the seat was blocked and admission could be confirmed by paying a token money of Rs 20,000. The operator also said that the college had already made three admissions to BTech through phone calls. At another institute, a call on the toll free number – 8010-000-234, confirmed the registration.
Direct admissions, says the rulebook, should be made on seats left vacant after the counselling process is over. However, in these cases, admissions to private engineering colleges are on in full swing even before the entrance exam is held. Grappling with student shortage, colleges set up camp at examination centres on the day of the UPSEE exam. Once the student finishes the exam, colleges distribute their pamphlets containing admission information and record the candidate’s mobile number. They then convince students to take direct admission to their college, giving UPSEE counselling a miss. Last year, close to 1.08 lakh engineering seats under UPSEE counselling were left vacant. Of 1.4 lakh engineering seats in over 300 colleges in the state, only 32,000 candidates had confirmed admissions. The admission figures went up by 10% after colleges enrolled students through direct admissions. – Courtesy