Why are Bharathiar University affiliated colleges denying admission to National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) students?

When contacted, Higher Education Minister K Ponmudy told The New Indian Express that he would take necessary steps on this matter through officials
National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) students share their plight
What are National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) students going through?(Pic: EdexLive Desk)

Students who have completed their Class VIII education through the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), which is an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Education, face immense difficulties in securing admission to private Arts and Science colleges affiliated to Bharathiar University in Coimbatore, stated a The New Indian Express report.

Students alleged that colleges refused admission citing lack of equivalence certificates and other reasons.

A student, C Murali at Selvapuram in the city, told The New Indian Express, "After completing an Industrial Training Institute (ITI) course in Chennai, I studied for Class XII at a tutorial centre in the city through the NIOS mode. I secured 459 marks out of 600 in the Science group in the Class XII exam last year. But I was denied admission to a private arts and science college on Pollachi Road when I applied for the BSc Computer Science course because I had studied through NIOS."

He added, "Subsequently, I tried in another college, where the administrative officials told me that an equivalence certificate must be provided by the school education department. When I visited the Chief Education Office seeking an equivalence certificate, officers said that they do not have the power to issue this certificate. Admission was denied even when I approached a few other colleges too."

"I appealed to the Bharathiar University regarding the matter, but university officers did not respond to it. I felt completely let down. I asked for admission to a Deemed University on Pollachi Road, it gave me a seat for the BSc Computer Science course," he said.

Many NIOS students like me are struggling to get seat in colleges, Murali added.

Another student, S Kabeer (name changed) in Coimbatore city, told The New Indian Express, "The managing authorities of a college located at Kovaipudur asked for an equivalence certificate for admission. I looked for information on this certificate on the official website of NIOS, Chennai, but to my shock there were no important Government Orders on the site. It showed a 404 error under the menu bar of News and Events. The website has not been updated for the last four years!"

"Recently, I went to Palakkad in Kerala and got a seat at a private college," he said.

An officer from a NIOS Coaching Academy in Coimbatore told The New Indian Express, "As per the norm, colleges should give seats to students who studied in NIOS for higher studies. There is no need to submit an equivalence certificate."

"A few top colleges in Coimbatore refuse admission to NIOS students citing various reasons. The management authorities are of the view that students who from the NIOS stream would not come to colleges regularly and they will not perform well in their studies. This issue persists across the state. To regulate this, the higher education department should release a fresh circular regarding admission of NIOS students to higher education institutions," he urged.

A Ponnusamy, President of the Association of Principals of Colleges of Bharathiar University, told The New Indian Express that if students studied through NIOS, and got pass marks, colleges should have admitted them.

When asked about it, Bharathiar University Registrar (in-charge) Rupa Gunasekaran told The New Indian Express that colleges should have given seats to those students and that denying admission is discrimination.

"We will send a circular to all the affiliated colleges soon ordering that they should admit NIOS students as per the government order. Students who are struggling to get seats in colleges can contact the registrar's office," she said.

When contacted, Higher Education Minister K Ponmudy told The New Indian Express that he would take necessary steps on this matter through officials.

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