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The single window system should be practised at least at the university level

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Trichy: The debate to introduce single window system (SWS) for admissions to arts and science colleges has resurfaced amid serious violation of guidelines made by these colleges. At present, single window admission system is in place for medical and engineering colleges.

However, arts and science colleges have been making admissions independently by inviting applications to various undergraduate and postgraduate courses. With the demand for engineering colleges coming down and students facing challenges in crossing NEET (national eligibility-cum-entrance test) to get an MBBS seat, there is good demand for arts and sciences courses.

However, arts and science colleges, especially those receiving government aid, are allegedly selling seats for over a lakh of rupees in cities like Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai and Trichy.

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Such violations have become the order of the day in the absence of a centralised system for admissions despite director of collegiate education (DCE) issuing guidelines to the colleges every year.

While there were attempts in the past to introduce the system, they never took off. A couple of years ago, the DCE had sought the opinion of the colleges on the subject following demand from several sections, but there wasn’t any progress. A similar attempt was made by the state government in 1997 but the matter went to the high court which turned it down saying the government cannot interfere in the admission process according to the Tamil Nadu private college regulations act 1976. “Before attempting to introduce a single window admission system, the government should bring in an amendment to the Tamil Nadu private college regulations act 1976,” points out the former president of Association of University Teachers K Pandiyan who had raised his voice for SWS.

“The state government had in 1997 issued a GO by which an admission committee under the regional joint director of collegiate education was constituted in every region. But private college managements challenged it in the high court which quashed the GO. This is because section 9 of the act, which fixed the power of secretary and principal of the self-financing institutions, vests all powers on the college secretary. Students’ admission is an exception which is the prerogative of the college principal,” said Pandiyan. “The single window system should be practised at least at the university level under the collegiate education department if not a centralised system for the entire state,” said former vice-chancellor of Bharathiar university S Sivasubramanian.

“The violation is more in the management-run government aided colleges which manipulate the availability of seats to various courses based on the demand so as to mint money. Single window system will help bring down violations,” he said.

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