After the state board announced the Higher Secondary Class (HSC) Class 12 results last month, students are busy applying for admissions in various streams and graduation courses. As per data from the state education department, this year, the HSC passing percentage in the state has gone down by 2.97 per cent as compared to last year. Experts say the primary reason for this drop is that Class 12 students are more focused on the Maharashtra State Common Entrance Test (CET) and other post-secondary entrance exams.
Considering this, the state higher education administration intends to implement 50- 50 criteria for state CET courses beginning with the following academic year.
Talking about this issue senior education expert Prof Mangesh Katariya said, “It is a fact that a large number of students are more focused and study hard to get good marks in not only the state CET but also other national level entrance exams after Class 12 courses. So, at times, the HSC exams are not their top priority, and the 50-50 option to give equal weightage while giving out admissions will encourage students to take board exams seriously. But the state government should take proper steps, issue guidelines, and then implement the program.”
Last year, the then higher and technical education minister Uday Samant clarified that starting the academic year 2023-24, equal weightage will be given to both class 12 and state CET marks while giving admission for professional courses under state CET. As the government changed after that, the new higher and technical education minister Chandrakant Patil has also worked on this issue now, and soon a committee will be formed to work out this plan.
Reacting to the issue, Patil said, “We are concerned about the decreasing passing percentage of HSC students as importance is given to the entrance exam marks to get better colleges by students. This issue of giving equal weightage to both HSC board exams and CET exams is taken into consideration but it could not be implemented from this academic year. We are going to appoint a committee for its implementation. The team will study how it will work out and once it gets the cabinet approval then it can be implemented from next academic year.”
Every year lakhs of students appear for the state CET entrance exam to get admission to various professional courses including engineering, pharmaceutical, management, law, agriculture, and several other courses.
While it is not the first time such an initiative has been taken up by the state government, in the year 2004 the then higher and technical education minister Dilip Walse Patil had given a similar proposal in the cabinet. But the proposal was shunned after stern opposition.