Online Counseling – Curse or boon!
The online counselling introduced by the Karnataka Examination Authority for professional courses led to chaos the first day. While the system seems to have settled down since, not everyone is happy with it. Dr K. Balaveera Reddy, former VC, VTU and Prof. K.R. Venugopal, principal, UVCE discuss the pros and cons.
‘Online counseling will save time’ Dr K. Balaveera Reddy, former VC, VTU
The online counseling introduced by the KEA this year is a student-friendly move. Under the new arrangement students dont need to travel to the counselling centres for seat selection and this has brought down the cost involved. Also with seat selection centers concentrated in major cities, students were forced to visit them with their parents at huge cost.
But now students can log on from anywhere and enter their options. They will get a clear picture about the available seats well in advance and can keep updating till they get a course and college of their choice. As the whole process is computerised there is no scope for human interference either. Another advantage is that now students don’t need to worry about how seats are filled. Everyone gets a seat based on ranking and reservation.
It is very easy to track who selected which college and how seats are distributed. Also, students can enter as many choices as they like. This will further increase the credibility of the whole process. That is why this system is followed while filling up seats through national exams like IIT/JEE and AIEEE. While participating in off- line counselling, students need to make a decision very rapidly. But in online counselling each student gets enough time to make an intelligent decision. As students are allowed to give multiple options there is no scope for missing any college or course either. In off- line counselling once a decision made it cannot be change until another round, but here every student gets enough time to update his choices and there is always scope for revision. This is a big advantage
‘Connectivity issue for rural students’ Prof. K.R. Venugopal, principal, UVCE
TOnline counseling has its disadvantages. In urban areas it is easy to upload the necessary information as well as update frequently because Internet connectivity is not an issue here. Urban students can also follow the updates easily.But most students from rural areas are still not aware of the whole process as it is technically complex. In IIT/JEE or AIEEE, students need to pick only from a small group of institutes, but over 50,000 engineering seats are distributed through CET. Students need a few hours to enter all the options, especially in rural areas as not many here are aware of which college is good and which is not. But in off- line counselling these students get a chance to review the colleges with others.
Here they need to sit in a cyber center and upload the information when most parts of our state are not covered by broadband connectivity and Net connectivity is slow and costly in others. Students may go once to upload the information, but may not update their options regularly which could prove to be a disadvantage. After entering the first 10 colleges they may start picking them based on serial number as they may find it difficult to read about all 200 institutes. Reliability of server and technical glitches are another issue.
Every student is anxious about his choice and wants to upload the information as soon as possible, but this led to problems the first day, causing confusion. The only positive aspect of this new system is that students dont need to pay for travelling to counselling centres.