Finally, the inevitable has happened. The authorities have wrapped up the online admission system and asked colleges to throw open their doors to admission seekers. This was formally announced a couple of hours ago at various meetings conducted by the Education Department officials.

There are two types of 10th pass students in Mumbai right now. Those who were lucky enough to get through to a college through the online system and those that weren’t. Effectively, this order allows the former type of students to dismiss/disregard their allotted college admission and look elsewhere and the latter type of students to approach any college for direct and offline admission.

What a fiasco this has been. If this was how it was going to end, why have the system at all! The number of calls I’ve fielded from anxious parents and students is not funny. I’m sure my colleagues at work have been inundated with queries too.

DNA's op-ed earlier this week said: "Education gets maximum lip service from both our nation's thinkers and from a few savvy politicians. However, our track record and ground reality shows that ad hoc decisions, ill-formed thinking and bad planning are all sending us into a downward spiral. What has happened in Mumbai could well be replicated in Maharashtra next year and may easily happen anywhere in India as well." I totally agree with them.

This is another classic case of a good idea badly executed by our honourable authorities. Instead of creating this huge bottleneck of a centralized monolithic system, they should have designed a distributed system where every college had their own “local” online admission system – monitored centrally. This is exactly how the internet works – democratic, distributed and transparent. The end was to bring about transparency and convenience. The chosen means to that end was not good.

If you put all your eggs in one basket –you’ll soon find yourself become a basket case!


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