While online admissions will do away with long queues and unnecessary paperwork, it comes with a whole new set of problems, one that has students on edge. The key issue yet to be addressed is whether a student hoping to get a seat in junior college will be allowed 'betterment', the process where a child who has made it to the first merit list of a college that's not his first choice, is allowed to reserve a seat in that institute, while still being considered for the second and third merit lists in other places. While the state says that every Std X pass-out will be given one chance for bettering his or her choice of college, the Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Limited (MKCL), the company providing technical support to the state in the online admission process, is refuting this claim.
Betterment of choice is nothing but moving up the list of college preferences submitted by each student as and when a vacancy erupts. This is the age-old system we are leaving behind: In the offline system let's assume you applied to five science colleges A, B, C, D and E and got into college D on the basis of your scores in the first merit list. You would naturally book a seat in college D by paying the fees, but wait for the entry cut-off scores to drop in the other colleges of your preference, A, B etc. As and when cut-offs drop, you would cancel your admission in college D and move to a better college of your choice, say college C or B, and again wait to see if you can get a spot in college A if entry scores for that institute falls. But that would not be possible online. A top official in MKCL said that the admission season would go on endlessly if every student was given a chance for betterment. According to him, once a student is allotted a college and pays up the fees, the candidate's admission would be sealed. Experts, however, question the efficacy of the betterment formula online. In the offline system, students apply to more than one college and hence after the first merit list, there are several students whose names come up in more than one college. When they pay the fees in the institute of their choice, a vacancy arises in the other college, which also shortlisted them.