|The decision was taken at META’s first meeting in Nashik
In a bid to rewrite the annual story in the state of vacant seats in engineering colleges, their faculties have come up with a plan to help more engineering aspirants be eligible for seats by creating a question bank based on the previous year’s JEE-Main. These tests will be available online to Class XII students at regular intervals.
The initiative is being taken by the Maharashtra Engineering Teachers’ Association (META). The Association, formed as recently as September, held its first meeting this month where the decision was taken to bring quality students to engineering courses.
Dr Gajanan Kharate, dean, faculty of engineering, University of Pune and president, META, said, “We are planning to start in February 2014 and conduct at least two to three sessions of these tests. We are aiming to increase this to 10 sessions in the next academic year. This year, JEE-Main is the only nationwide engineering admission test.”
Karan Kumardas, a Class XII student at KV-1 at Air Force Station, Lohegaon has plans to enroll in an engineering course. He said, “It is certainly helpful. It will be one more practice session for JEE-Main. But those who can’t attend coaching classes can use this initiative instead.” Sumit Rane, Karan’s classmate, added, “This will give me another option for practice and will help me compete at the state level.”
Deans of engineering faculties in several universities have expressed support for the META initiative. Dr J B Patil, dean, faculty of Engineering, North Maharashtra University, said, “Till last year, the state-level CET (Common Entrance Test) was being held. This year, it will only be the JEE-Main. Though both exams are more or less the same, there are some differences, like JEE-Main has negative marking unlike CET. Many students from rural areas are unaware of the change, and application procedure for JEE-Main. Our university has worked toward helping students apply for JEE, so I think these online practice tests will be great help to engineering aspirants in Class XII.”
Dr S K Ukrande, dean, engineering faculty, Mumbai University, said, “To reach out to as many candidates as possible, junior colleges across the state will be approached by META members in each university’s area of operation.”
Madhura Kulkarni, principal, NMV School and Junior College, said, “These tests will give students an opportunity to check their level of preparedness among a bigger group of students. Until now, only the coaching classes they join were conducting such practice tests. This initiative will give them vast exposure.”
Jayashree Venkatraman, director, Indus World School, said, “Such an initiative will give students an extra edge. There are many intelligent students who cannot afford popular coaching classes, and since these tests will be made available online, many can avail of the facility. Moreover, since it is coming from the engineering professors, it has credibility.”