First the normalization of class XII marks and JEE (Main) score dogged the admission to NITs and other Central government technical institutes and now a clear mishandling by NIT-Rourkela - in-charge of the admission process - has created a daily nightmare for students and parents alike.
To begin with, admission information brochure has been amended daily, something that the Supreme Court had clearly said cannot be done. Also, till last year after each round of allocation of seats, complete list of admitted students in the institutes used to be available online. This year no such list was available even at the various reporting NITs.
Trouble started with the very first list of July 12. A student with rank of more than a lakh was allotted prestigious NIT- Calicut, while a student with 40,000 rank was strangely allotted NIT-Allahabad. A day later, the list was taken down and a revised list was compiled.
After the second round of reporting was over on July 18, the updated list was not published the next day. But suddenly on July 19, one lakh students were given admission in NIT-Patna. Again a corrigendum was published to make amends.
Finally, the updated list was published on July 19-20. Students who had been allotted seats in the evening made their travel plan. Next day the allocation of seats were changed again. A student who was allotted BIT-Mesra in the evening list was allotted NIT-Surat in the morning. More hilarious is the case of another student who was allotted NIT-Kurukshetra in the evening. He even took admission in NIT-Kurukshetra, but later he was shifted to NIT-Rourkela.
Sunil Sarangi, director of NIT-Rourkela and chairman of Central Seat Allotment Board (CSAB), admits mistakes have been made and there can be no justification. However, he says unlike previous years CSAB had only 20 days to complete the admission process. He also says C-DAC-Pune is doing the technical work on principles devised by the CSAB.
Sarangi says what happened in Patna was a programming error, but a single command created the problem. As for other mistakes, he says, "I am responsible." He says unlike four rounds of counselling last year only two rounds were allowed this year. "This happened because earlier there was a plan for single counseling for NITs/IITs and IIITs. "As a result our flexible system became more rigid. In the end, single counseling did not take place but we did not get enough time to revert to our flexible system," he explains. However, he says to rectify the mistakes, a third round of counseling has been done. He says as part of the sliding system when a vacancy is created a student who has not been given a popular engineering branch moves to a better branch and vacates the seat. But this year, Sarangi says, reasonable toppers had not given weak branches as their choice so they could not be part of the sliding process. "But we are doing our best," he adds.