Saturday, June 18, 2011

Admissions to schools: old problems and new questions

Here is the second email:
This is S from Pune.

How are you? Hope things are fine there.

My BITSAT results have just come out and I have scored 240 marks. But the eligibilty criteria for the same is that one must score 80% in PCM in 12th Boards, which unfortunately I have not acheived. Actually, it was 70% till last year and this year they set the bar to 80% which is ironic because I have 70% in PCM this year.

I wanted BITS very badly, and so we are trying to get admission through management quota.So I was wondering if there is any management quota in BITS that we can avail of. If so, what is the procedure to get admission by management quota? Do you know any trustee, friend or person of authority who can help us out with this procedure? Can you suggest any other way to get admission? Please help me out in this matter. Your guidance is very important for us at this junction.

And here is my response

प्रिय xxxx
तुला निराश करू नये असे वाटते, पण या बाबतीत माझा पूर्ण नाईलाज आहे. BITS मध्ये 'कोटा' पद्धत नाही, फक्त त्यांच्या (माझ्या दृष्टीने चुकीच्या) ठरवलेल्या प्रमाणानुसार ते प्रवेश देतात. [I wish I would not disappoint you, but it is unavoidable. BITS does not have any quota system and they admit students on (in my opinion dubious) merit criteria]

This is utter bullshit, you know. Bright students like you should never be denied good college education and our monstrous government has achieved exactly this. I don't want to get into that right now, but this is not your fault but someone else's blunder. I am very sorry, but I went through something similar in my own student life and hated it myself (which is why I want to teach and start my own university.)

Please don't get discouraged or frustrated, I went through that phase as well. You will still do well, given your ability to work hard and excellent support structure you have at home and around. A better approach now will be to select a good college anywhere, and do something you like. I will suggest not to focus on engg (unless you know what you want exactly), but keep your options open towards science, economics, arts, whatever. It is unlikely anyone at your age can decide everything, another major fault of Indian system is that it does not allow any experimentation (to select and change stream if desired). So, you select now what you find the best, choose a college with a good library and laboratories (as I think it best). Then you are at least set to work on your own...

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