Shivani Rai was excited to know that she had scored 80% in her HSC exams. But the teenager was shocked when she did not find her name in the first list for the Bachelor of Mass Media (BMM) course at a popular south Mumbai College.
With the declaration of the first merit list for admissions to degree courses on Wednesday, the wait was finally over for students, but many were left disappointed as cut-offs to professional courses continued to be in the 90s and 80s in top colleges. The reasons, said colleges, are the rage and demand for such programmes over conventional BA or BSc.
For instance, while Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS) cut-off was 90% (for science students) at St Xavier’s College, it was 96.4% at HR College. Other popular self-financing courses like BCom in Banking and Insurance (BBI), BCom in Accounts and Finance (BAF), BCom in Financial Markets (BFM), BSc in computer science or Information Technology (IT) also saw cut-offs ranging between 83 to 93% across colleges.
“Most students apply only to top colleges for job-oriented or professional courses, so cut-offs will be above 80%,” said Kiran Mangaonkar, principal of Mithibai College, Vile Parle.
“We had sold about 1,900 forms for BMS for just 60 seats and over 1,300 for BMM. This goes on to show the craze for these courses,” said Kirti Narain, principal, Jai Hind College in Churchgate.
However, most elite colleges like St Xavier’s, Ruparel, Ruia, HR, Jai Hind or KC, observed only a marginal increase from 2009. For instance, while the BMM cut-offs at Ruia College increased by 0.34% to 2.84%, BSc-computer science saw a 2% rise, biotechnology went up by 1.67%. At KC College, BBI, BAF and BFM cut-offs were up by 1.2%, 1 and 3% respectively. There were few exceptions like HR, where BMS was up by 5% and Hinduja College where BMM cut-off in arts increased by 5.9%.
“The first list cut-offs are generally high because most students apply to multiple colleges. We’ll get a correct picture by the second list. Even then, cut-offs will dip by maximum 2% for professional courses as seats are limited,” said Manju Nichani, KC College principal.
However, the cut-offs for BAF and BBI at HR College went down by 0.33 and 3% respectively. “We have put up names of more number of students because the same students have applied to three courses. To ensure that seats are filled up faster post-cancellation, we’ve dipped the cut-off marginally,” said Indu Shahani, HR College principal.
Among the regular BA, BCom and BSc, commerce continued to remain popular. “There are usually more withdrawals in BSc,” said Father Frazer Mascarenhas, principal of St Xavier’s College.
Hinduja College has no seats for outside students for regular BCom. At Mithibai, the list for outside candidates will be released after admissions of in-house students.