Skip to main content

The business of entrance exams and students plight...............

I don't normally follow admission process of engineering colleges, but a news article in the Hindu Business Line- a financial daily- caught my attention. The report says, "Over 1.6 lakh to appear for VIT engg entrance". VIT is a relatively well-known engineering college and it surprised me that so many people would appear for the entrance exam conducted by a private engineering college to fill probably 2,000 seats (could not confirm the number of students admitted each year). Then, I searched for SRM Engineering College- another well known private college. Here again, a news report says more than 150,000 students applied last year.

Each of them charge Rs 900 (around $ 18) for the application form and back of the envelope calculation shows they will make around Rs 14 crore just from selling application forms. Of course, there is a cost of conducting the entrance exams.

Its a good sign that market forces are at work as students assign a premium to colleges that they feel will lead to a better job prospect, even as many colleges fail to fill up seats (number of applicants is less than number of seats). This report, says more than 79,000 out of 262,164 seats are vacant in Tamil Nadu alone.

However, for students, its a harrowing experience. If they are applying for 10 colleges, they might be sitting in six or seven entrance exams, and on top of that, pay Rs 900 for each of them. Entrance exam is not the only way to ascertain a students ability. I think its time a credible third party develop a tamper proof entrance exam that all colleges will accept. If so much money is involved, a private firm might be able to do it . 


Popular posts from this blog

How can you support a publication you like

When I shifted to my half completed (more on this some other time) flat in Gurgaon in 2016, I couldn't locate newspaper distributors for four or five months. Suddenly, from consuming four or five newspapers, I was completely dependent on digital media. I was going less directly to the news source (say, or but was getting my news from Facebook and Twitter, and from apps like Flipboard.

It became an experiment, as I was consuming interesting stuff but I was not necessarily getting informed. People whom I have met once or twice, or have never met are influencing what I was consuming via Facebook. If you're wondering why you often see posts by your most popular friends, that's the way Facebook algorithms work, unless you specify who's feed should come first. If Facebook promotes post of your not-so-popular friends, why would you read!

I searched hard to find a newspaper distributor and found one finally, after four or five months. So now I subsc…

What if government schools and hospitals attract people with money

I had this random thought (and I get this often only when I have 1000 important things to finish!)- what if people who can afford private schools and hospitals find state-run schools and hospitals good enough for them. All of my friends in UK and US don't send their children to private schools (its another matter that location matters on quality of state-run schools there) and those in UK, don't spend money on healthcare.

Just imagine if this can happen in India. People will be left with more surplus that they can save more or spend on something else. School fees in major Indian cities can be as high as Rs 2 lakh per child per year. The sheer confidence that we don't have to spend on medical expenses and the state will take care will give confidence to spend more money.

The multiplier effect of this extra money in the hands of the people will hugely benefit the economy, and can spring creative enterprises.

This level of expenditure (even Rs50,000 per child per year) is si…

Being hopeless....

Three months back when my mom was visiting me, she experience heart palpitations for two consecutive nights. Worried I called my cardiologist friend who asked us to visit him in the government hospital on that day as it was a non-OPD (out patients day) duty for him. Apparently non-OPD days are less crowded. As we sat waiting, we saw many worried parents bringing their just born babies to treat serious heart problems. What struck me were the faces of these parents - a feeling of hopelessness. This was their last hope to treat their infants in a state-run hospital as they don't  have money to take them elsewhere.

Fortunately, the staff at this government hospital were treating patients sympathetically. I hoped the patients would have got the best of treatment available. In comparison, patients were treated as cattle herds at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), India's premier hospital. To get an cardio OPD appointment, you will have stand in the line from 5 PM …