Anxiety grips students, parents as uncertainty over college admissions looms

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Many students, parents, and teachers are worried about whether colleges will use a different method to admit students instead of on a merit basis given the result this year will not be based on board exams but a different evaluation method that the CBSE and other state boards are yet to come up with.

Anxiety grips students, parents as uncertainty over college admissions looms
Days after the cancellation of Class 12 board exams in several states, a move aimed at putting an end to anxiety among students, parents, and teachers, many of them still remain anxious.
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), and state boards are yet to reveal their evaluation pattern for results.
Many students and parents are now worried about the admission process in colleges for undergraduate courses. They are waiting to find out whether colleges will use a different method to admit students this year instead of on a merit basis.
Students remain anxious. Now due to college admissions
Be it those who are celebrating the cancellation of exams or those who were willing to write the test, they are all somewhere in a fix about what to look forward to and what to prepare for next.
“My performance has been decent throughout but I don't know what the assessment process is going to be so I’m worried about whether I’ll manage to get into a college of choice”, says Navya Saxena, a Class 12 student of a school in Haryana’s Faridabad.
Will DU conduct entrance exams for undergraduate courses? 
Several universities conduct entrance examinations and give weightage to Class 12 scores as well but one of the most popular universities in India, the University of Delhi admits students only on the basis of merit for most of its undergraduate courses. This year too, DU has decided to stick to the process but it hasn’t completely ruled out the possibility of altering it.
"There will be some way to judge merit. These are extraordinary circumstances. The Central Universities Common Entrance Test (CUCET) can be a good method as it will be based on pan-India merit. DU will not compromise on merit. We will adjust to the new situation and see what method is to be developed. We will wait and see what are the criterion that the boards come out for evaluation of students," DU’s acting vice-chancellor PC Joshi told news agency PTI.
Joshi is a member of the CUCET committee, which had submitted its report to the Education Ministry. A decision on conducting a common entrance test for all central universities is pending.
It will be interesting to see whether this year too DU manages to release sky-high cut-offs for its prestigious colleges and how many students manage to get through.
What school teachers suggest? 
Kulbushan Sharma, the president of the National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA) suggests that a committee comprising representatives from both schools and universities be formed that can collectively take a call on the evaluation as well as the admission process amid the pandemic.
Another official associated with NISA, Sushil Dhankar, chairman of a senior secondary school in Delhi, says, “Many colleges might now come up with entrance tests but the question that arises is how can these exams be conducted if the situation is unfavourable for board exams.”
Sangeeta Bhatia, principal of KIIT World School in Delhi called for a more holistic approach, not only in the college curriculum but also in the admission process. She said that entrance exams may be delayed but must be conducted so that there can be gradation of students. “Entrance exams must be conducted in monitored online spaces,” she said.
Bhatia suggests, going forward admissions must be conducted in a more interactive manner, like online interviews for as many courses as possible. For such purposes, students also must start creating a portfolio of their achievements and skills acquired over the years.
Provisional admissions begin in private colleges 
On the other hand, several private universities have already begun admitting students on a provisional basis. Bhawna Singla, member of Haryana’s Manav Rachna University’s admission cell, said that they started the process last month and admitted students on the basis of Class 11 marks and MRNAT, an entrance exam conducted online. “We are yet to zero in on how the admissions will be finalised given Class 12 board exams stand cancelled,” she told CNBC-TV18.com.
JNU to wait for return to normalcy 
The prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), meanwhile, says it will wait for the situation to normalise. “We will conduct the JNU entrance examination whenever it is safe for students to write,” JNU vice-chancellor Jagadesh Kumar told news agency ANI.
He added, “If entrance is delayed due to COVID and if admission happens at a later date, we'll surely adjust our academic calendar to take care of lost time without compromising academic rigor.”
Also, there are so far no updates on the conduct of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for medical admissions and the remaining two attempts for JEE (Mains) and JEE (Advanced) that enable students to take admission in engineering colleges.

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