Many colleges were puzzled when students who applied for degree courses this year produced marksheets indicating they had given their Std X and FYJC exams the same year. They had no idea that appearing for both the exams was allowed under the ATKT (Allowed to keep terms) system, which had come into effect in 2009.
Earlier, if a child failed Std X, he or she was required to sit out an entire academic year and prepare for the board examinations. They were not to take admission to Class XI in that year.
In 2009, however, the ATKT system was started for SSC students. Students who had failed in two subjects were allowed to take admission to FYJC, and were given two attempts to clear the failed subjects -- once in October and then in March.
A case in point is Rafiq Sheikh (name changed), who faced problems while he was seeking admission into a degree college, as the administration was not aware of the system. When Sheikh approached a college in South Mumbai he was questioned about his marksheets, which the administration felt were erroneous or forged. Sheikh then approached the enrollment centre of the University office at Fort. An official there called up the college and explained the ATKT procedure.
Sheikh, said, “I got scared when the college refused to give me admission on the grounds that I had cheated. I had no option but to approach the University.”
A Mumbai University official requesting anonymity said, “The colleges that don’t know about the ATKT system must be new. Some students may have faced a few problems but our enrollment centre intervened and helped them get admission.”
Laxmikant Pandey, chairman of the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education, said, “If students face problems, they can show the colleges the government resolution that was passed in 2009 on the ATKT system for SSC students.”
The chairman of the Association of Non-Government College Principals Association (ANGCPA) T Shiware said, “Most colleges were informed about the ATKT system. It could be that the officials manning the admission were not aware. Colleges have also got permission to increase the number of seats this year.”
The University has also allowed colleges to increase the number of seats for degree courses by 40, pushing the admission deadline to July 31.