Odisha Government has an organized system called Students Academic and Management System (SAMS), for +2 and degree level admission. In present-day age, it is the other name of e-admission.
The task of this systematized organisation is to maintain the academic and financial records of admitted students. Conjoining that, they make rank, selection and generation of intimation for the aspirants.
It was set up in the academic year of 2009-10, initially taking 60 junior colleges. It later expanded upto 169 junior colleges, along with 53 degree colleges in the year 2010-11.
All junior and degree colleges of both autonomous and self-financed colleges were taken into the fold of SAMS, in the year 2012-13. After that, all vocational and Sanskrit colleges were assuredly involved from the academic session of 2016-17.
From current year of 2018-19, it inched one step ahead, by adding all Government ITI, sports and diploma institutions under SAMS e-admission provision.
There is a segregation of +2 and +3 level admission with the separation of Schools and Mass Education Department, one taking charge of the junior levels and the other Higher Education Department is assigned the charge of degree level admission, including Sanskrit colleges.
The main objective of SAMS is to bring a single window system of admission. It makes the admission process cost-effective and transparent, which diminishes the anxiety and tensions of students and parents.
Another motto of SAMS is to reduce the workload of colleges. The standardized system has considerably decreased the possibilities of corruption, in terms of seat allocation, selection and fee structures, as per demand.
Any online admission process draws in online procedure to follow, same is with SAMS. The percentage of students or parents who are computer literates in Odisha, is meagre. There is no comprehensive data on this, but it is sure that a significant number of urban elite English medium students can complete the process, having their own online form.
It is, therefore, a relying task of parents and students on any computer operator of a private party, for students belonging to indigenous Odia background schools. To lower the tasks at hand of colleges, a commercialisation of admission process takes place, which benefits semi-professional computer centres financially.
SAMS claims to be economical in terms of application fees, by bringing all colleges into a sole fold of single window system and price, but it is an expensive affair for rural parents.
Coming down to the geographical situation of Odisha and internet access facility, it is only the urban and semi-urban areas, where residents can avail quality internet facilities, in their respective localities. Smartphones with internet facilities are feasible in every corner of rural pockets.
But it is quite risky to fill up the Common Application Form (CAF) and check necessary requirements in a smartphone. 16.7 percent of people live in urban areas of Odisha, but a massive proportion of 83.3 percent dwell in rural areas.
It could be well-imagined how the parents and students in rustic regions of the state might be undergoing trauma and anxiety during admission season, to register through SAMS. It also constraints the choices of students in terms of subject selection, in the name of maximisation of opportunities.
A student can opt for maximum 20 colleges and minimum 5 colleges, as stated in their guidelines. But the selection is based on choice options of colleges, no matter what courses a student has picked. Hence the students are not provided enough opportunities to select their preferences of subjects, which they were able to do earlier, in offline mode of admission.
Another shortcoming of SAMS is putting up both general and self-financing courses in the same category. General courses like Zoology in BJB or Rajdhani college is made similar with self-financed courses such as Microbiology in Basic Science College, whereas both of them differ in nature and fee structures.
Self-financed courses in Government colleges are nothing great. It is a backdoor understanding between public and private partnership, under the same roof of a public educational institution, for profit making and indirect commercial dealings of education.
Even questions are arising that, why isn’t the Odisha Government enrolling the self-financed courses same as general courses, with minimal fees, when other universities and colleges outside Odisha are doing the same?
A certain student has given eight options of colleges in a series, but in terms of subject selection, he was presented two options, Zoology and Microbiology. Similarly, in terms of stream, it is of two kinds – biological science and self-financing course.
The essentialities of courses are different in terms of general course and self-financed course. So the cost of both the programmes are also different.
Course fees for Zoology costs around 10,000-20,000 rupees per year and course fees for Microbiology costs around 42,000 rupees per year, neglecting hostel and mess fees.
In the first selection of admission, if a person has been named under second preference of college, in a certain course, such as Microbiology, then the candidature of the student is blocked in low preferred colleges, otherwise that person could have been selected as per his/her choices.
A limitation of SAMS arises here, when the student is not granted the liability to choose as per their subjects. Problem prevails in the selection procedure, based on the concept of high preference and low preference, which takes into consideration the options of colleges, basing upon previous class marks, without taking into account the nature of subjects.
In this case, the ideal selection could have been that the student be permitted two choices in the subject of Zoology and Microbiology, which could have been possible on the other hand, in the former mode of the application process, with handwritten offline methods.
Present rule lays down that once someone gets selected on high preferred college, next low preferred college will not recognize his/her candidature for the selection. This is the violation of the student’s rights to get selected in every college of their wish.
According to the existing norm, sufficient options are not there for a student in terms of both college and subject alternatives. It is, therefore, a harsh rule which confines the choices of students, due to which many students and parents enter into distress and nervousness.
Numerous students are unable to take admission, owing to narrow technological limitation. For that reason, it has not yet achieved its targeted aim and it wouldn’t be possible in a similar implementational form.
Immediate rectification should be brought out, keeping the interests of students in view. The Government must modify its policy and frame new rules, built on the principle of maximum probabilities of selection, for the concernment of larger students’ community, with instant effect.