The University of Calicut is introducing a single-window system for its postgraduate admissions from this year. The admissions to 80-odd colleges and nearly 30 university departments will be conducted through a centralised allotment system.
The new system, in which applications can be filed only online, is set to take effect from Wednesday when the university notifies it on its website www.universityofcalicut.info. The last date to apply will be July 18.
The university is not the first in the State to start a centralised admission system for postgraduate programmes. The University of Kerala and Mahatma Gandhi University have already begun this system. When they outsourced the single-window software by paying about Rs.7 lakh, the University of Calicut has taken a step further by using own software and introducing new features.
For the students, the new system offers convenience. They need not apply to different colleges. By making a single application to the university and following it up online, they can get admission to colleges or university departments of their choice. This system will be almost on the lines of the Centralised Allotment Process (CAP) being followed for admissions to professional colleges in the State.
The new system will reduce the burden of colleges in inviting applications and conducting admissions. The students will be saved from the tension of attending admission interviews at multiple colleges, which sometimes get scheduled at the same time.
The system is designed in such a way that admissions to undergraduate programmes can also be included. “Our aim is to introduce it at the undergraduate level. That will be the real attraction. We will bring the undergraduate programmes of our colleges under the single-window system from next year,” says V.T. Madhu, the university's system administrator, who is in charge of the programme.
Unlike CAP, the university's system does not offer choices for courses. Instead, the students will get choices for colleges, a maximum of 20. University authorities say that multiple applications have to be made if the students have a choice of courses.
Mr. Madhu says that through the new admission link on the university website, the students can get to know the details of colleges and departments and the postgraduate programmes offered by them.
The link will provide guidelines of the new admission procedure and other information. Although the application is to be made online, the students will have to pay Rs.100 through challan. The challan payment can be made at treasuries, Friends Janasevana Kendras of Malabar, select branches of the State Bank of Travancore, or the university counter. The challan number has to be entered in the application form.
“We are yet to introduce an online payment system. As it involves additional security steps, it may be a bit delayed. But we will bring it soon,” Mr. Madhu says.
A student applying for a postgraduate programme will get a single-window status code online or through SMS. The code will be important for the admission process.
The student will have to enter the degree registration number in the application form. For students of the university, it means a lot. On entering the degree registration number, the system will automatically generate the details of the student's undergraduate records, including marks.
However, this facility will not be available for the students coming from other universities. “Right now, we cannot verify online the data of students from other universities,” Mr. Madhu says. Neither the University of Kerala nor Mahatma Gandhi University has this facility.
Admissions to the management seats will not be made through the system. The onus is on colleges to fill those. However, several colleges have been pressing the university to include these also within the online system. Self-financing postgraduate programmes will, however, be included.
The admission to community seats will not be made in the first allotment. “The first allotment will generate a special form for community quota, and the admission can be made with the second and third allotments,” Mr. Madhu says.
The allotment process will begin in four days after the deadline for filing the applications. Four allotments will be made within a gap of two or three weeks.
The applicants will get three pages of PDF files as application references. They should take hard copies of those pages, and the first page should be sent to the university with the challan receipt and self-attested copies of qualifying documents. It should be sent to the Assistant Registrar, Internal Quality Assurance Cell, Administrative Building, University of Calicut.
The second page will be for the candidates to keep and the third page has to be given to the college at the time of admission. Students who get their first options can take permanent admission in the first allotment itself, and those who do not get their top choices can take provisional admission in the college available.
For example, if a student gets their fourth choice in the first allotment, then all lower choices given by him or her will be automatically cancelled and the remaining top choices will weigh in in the next allotment.
Students taking permanent admission will have to pay the fees, and those taking provisional admission can do so without paying fees.
“We expect nearly 25,000 applications for the postgraduate programmes of our departments and colleges,” Mr. Madhu says.
The online application page, however, will not display the fee structure of colleges and university departments. Instead, it will provide links to the webpages of colleges.
Mr. Madhu says his team set up the new system within three or four weeks by working even at night. “We knew we could do it in a short period as we had already pioneered in the State online applications for examinations and online issue of admit cards and also by bringing out results in record time with the help of the new system,”