West Bengal Polytechnics: In a significant shift, admissions to government, government-sponsored, and self-financed polytechnics in West Bengal for the academic year 2024-25 will be conducted solely based on merit. This announcement was made through a public notice issued on December 12, 2023, by the Department of Technical Education, Training & Skill Development.
Previously, entrance exams played a crucial role in the selection process for polytechnic admissions in the state. The Joint Entrance Examination for Polytechnics (JEXPO) and the Vocational Open Learning Credit Transfer (VOCLET) were the primary modes of entry for aspiring students. However, the new order moves away from this system, placing emphasis solely on the marks obtained in the qualifying examinations.
This decision has been met with mixed reactions.
Some students and experts laud the move, believing it simplifies the admission process and provides equal opportunities for deserving candidates. They argue that relying solely on merit eliminates potential biases and unfair advantages associated with entrance exams. Additionally, focusing on marks in qualifying exams may encourage students to perform better in their pre-diploma studies.
However, others express concerns about the feasibility and potential consequences of the merit-based system. They fear that dependence on pre-diploma marks might disadvantage students from different educational backgrounds, particularly those from less-privileged or rural areas. Moreover, anxieties prevail regarding the standardization and comparability of marks across diverse educational boards.
The West Bengal State Council of Technical & Vocational Education and Skill Development (WBSCT&VE&SD) has not yet released detailed guidelines for the merit-based admission process. It remains unclear how ties will be broken in case of identical marks, and whether any reservation or weightage will be applied for specific categories of students.
While the long-term impact of this shift remains to be seen, the merit-based admission system marks a significant change in the landscape of polytechnic education in West Bengal. Its success will depend on careful implementation, ensuring a fair and transparent process that prioritizes access to quality technical education for all deserving students.