Except for the cut-off marks in the science stream in Laxmanrao Apte Prashala, which increased by two marks to 97% from 96.6%, in a majority of the other colleges, the cut-off marks have reduced, in all the three streams.
At Fergusson College, a student needed 96.4% this year for admission to the science stream, down from last year’s 97%.
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For arts in the same college, a student had to have scored 97% this year, a slight fall from last year’s 97.4%. The admission to the same stream in Symbiosis college closed at 93.4% , a dip from last year’s 96.6%.
The top commerce colleges in the city, BMCC and Symbiosis, commanded 95.2% and 91% this year. Last year, it was 96.4% and 94.2%, respectively.
Principals said fewer high scoring students from the Vidarbha-Marathwada region applying in Pune colleges due to the Covid-19 situation as well as financial constraints because of the pandemic could be the reasons for the cut-off marks falling.
The decrease in cut-off marks in the merit list also proved the assumption wrong that since the board exams were cancelled, students were randomly given high marks in Std X using the internal assessment formula.
Seema Purohit, principal of Brihan Maharashtra College of Commerce, said there was a decrease in cut-off marks across the streams in the city colleges, this year.
“We would know more when the actual admissions happen, but there is a chance that students from Marathwada and Vidarbha areas have chosen colleges near their homes instead of Pune colleges due to the Covid-19 situation in cities,” she said.
In BMCC, 40-45% of the students are from this region and many from the Latur region scored very high, increasing the overall cut-off marks, she added.
The second reason could be the deep financial crises brought on by the pandemic that most families from the rural areas face. “ It will stop them from sending their children to colleges in Pune as the expenses are high here,” Purohit added.
Medha Sinnarkar, principal of the Laxmanrao Apte Prashala , said she is unable to understand the phenomena, a sentiment shared by many other educators.
The fact that so many students scored high in Std X should have reflected in the FYJC admissions in the increase in the cut-off marks. That it has not happened is surprising, she added.
“As for the increase in the cut-off marks in our science stream, parents prefer a school-like atmosphere for their children for Stds XI and XII, especially in these uncertain times. We follow the school pattern in FYJC too, which means no loitering around, compulsory attendance, completing your classwork and homework. Our online classes are also strict and is an added reason for students and parents choosing our school,” Sinnarkar said.
Hrishikesh Soman, principal of Symbiosis College of Arts and Commerce, said while the merit list is baffling, it also proves that there was no random award of marks in Std X.
“The Std X marks were based on the internal marks obtained by the student in Std X and Std IX. While it is true that more students passed Std X this year compared with the last year, maybe the top scorers were rationalised. Also, there is a chance that more students who scored high also opted for diploma/ITI courses among others,” he added.