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31 May 2017

College entry hurdle for half of HS batch

TT, May 30: The higher secondary examination results that were published today show stark disparities in academic performance that could make getting into college harder for about half the 6,85,184 students who wrote the test and scored less than 60 per cent.

Nearly 40,000 students have an aggregate above 80 per cent - the top score this year is 99.2 per cent - and that itself immediately rules out the rest from the admission race in every Calcutta college of some standing and even middle-ranking institutes.
"There is no chance at all for any student who has scored below 60 per cent in the Class XII board examinations. In our college, 75 per cent is the cut-off this time just to collect an admission form," said Shiuli Sarkar, principal of Lady Brabourne College.
The percentiles look more intimidating after accounting for the plus-two performances of the 470-odd ISC and CBSE schools in Bengal, most of which are in Calcutta. More than 25 per cent of their students who wrote the ISC or CBSE Class XII examinations this year have scored 90 per cent or above.
So where does that leave the 3,35,180 higher secondary examinees with scores of less than 60 per cent? According to sources in various colleges, they better be prepared to study in institutes outside the city.
Heads and teachers of several undergraduate colleges said almost 100 per cent of the students who got into their institutes in the past two years had scored a minimum of 75 per cent in their Class XII examinations, irrespective of the board.
In reputable institutes such as Jadavpur University, St. Xavier's College, Presidency University, Bethune College, Scottish Church College, Loreto College and Goenka College of Commerce and Business Administration, the competition has grown tougher for the high scorers too.
"ISC and CBSE students have always had a head start over their higher secondary counterparts in the scurry for admission. This year's results show the state board's failure to match the success rates of the Delhi boards despite introducing a slew of measures to bring its examination system on a par with that of the competition. We will not be able to accommodate a single student with a score below 60 per cent," said a teacher at Scottish Church College.
Pooja Chatterjee, who teaches at Asutosh College, said the cut-off marks for eligibility to apply for admission had been fixed in accordance with Calcutta University guidelines. "In the last two years, nobody with a score of less than 75 per cent go through to any department. There is little chance of this changing."
A senior official of the state higher education department sought to allay these apprehensions by saying that there was no dearth of college seats in the districts. "There are enough seats in undergraduate courses in colleges beyond Calcutta. Students may face problems only if they restrict their choices to colleges within the city," he said.
Last year, 3,35,120 candidates had scored between 30 and 59 per cent in the higher secondary examination. In 2015, the figure was 3,10,584.

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