About External Admissions

Registration and Admission of External Candidates to the University of Pune
A large number of aspiring students cannot undertake regular courses in the Colleges or in the departments of the University of Pune either due to lack of financial resources or non-availability of time to attend full-time courses or because they stay at remote places far away from the colleges. Some of them are either employed or housewives or even senior citizens unable to join regular courses.

University of Pune for last several decades is facilitating such students through its External Registration Program which allows them to register for certain courses, undertake self-study of the stipulated syllabi and directly appear for the examinations leading to graduate or post-graduate degrees in certain faculties.

Under this program, University of Pune awards graduate degrees such as B.A. and B.Com. and Post-Graduate Degrees such as M.A., M.Com, M.Sc. (Maths), M.A. (Maths), L.L.M. and Class Improvement of certain examinations. This facility is being availed by about 50,000 students annually.

Problems of the Old Process

Upto the academic year 2003, the registration and admission process was carried out in a traditional manner with paper and print medium and communications through postal service. In many cases aspiring candidates had to undertake the journey to Pune and visit the University Campus or face the postal delays and occasionally also suffer from the loss of documents in transit. All this was causing a lot of undesirable time and cost burden to them in addition to anxiety and inconvenience.

In many cases the information and rules and regulations printed on the forms and prospectus could not be clearly interpreted by the candidates especially in understanding the eligibility and ATKT criteria, required documents to be attached to the forms, choice of subjects permitted as per the University rules, fee structure, due dates, examination formalities, etc.

The printed information was too general and at times rather too comprehensive than what was specifically applicable to a particular candidate in his specific context. Instead of reading this huge amount of general information the candidate needed personalized help to finish his registration fprmalities. All this needed face-to-face interactions of a large number of candidates with a limited administrative staff of the External Section of the University of Pune. This led to severe delays and inconveniences to the candidates apart from an inadvertent load on the administration.

In order to facilitate the candidates, University of Pune distributed the same process and made the services available at 9 colleges in the year 2002. However, the limitations of the traditional system prevailed and the relief to the candidates could not be ensured at the desired level.

New Internet based Process
After a careful analysis of the present system and the experience of of the past, it was decided to completely reengineer the traditional process in the overall interest of the candidates by exploiting the advances in web technology. Main objective was to facilitate the candidates by cutting down their costs and avoiding delays and inconvenience. University of Pune has entrusted the task of design, development and deployment of this system to the Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Limited (MKCL).

From the academic year 2003, the entire process of application for registration and admission of the External Candidates has been brought on a website on Internet so that candidates can now apply from anywhere and any time. The application form can be filled in either from any cyber café or any home computer connected to Internet. The candidates do not have to undertake journey to Pune or physically come to interact with the administrative staff of the University. The candidate can finish the “Apply Online” process within 15 minutes with the help of a computer literate person.

Mass Personalization
The website specially designed for this purpose contains all the information and rules about the courses including the syllabus, eligibility conditions, fee structure, due dates, etc. However, the software hosted on this website for filling in the Application Form on Internet has been so designed that the candidate is presented with a step-by-step and guided process to fill in the form. The next piece of information requested from him is based on online processing of his previous entries and interpretation and applicability of various rules to his specific case.

Thus, the candidate gets a feel that the Application Form is, as if, specially designed for him or personalized for him. As this is simultaneously applicable to a large number of candidates, the application process gets transformed from a generalized faceless process to a mass personalized service suited to the real need felt by the candidates. It is in this way a transition is being made by the External Section from a role of education administrator to a new role of education facilitator.

Call Center and IVRS Facility
 In addition to this, the candidates shall also be facilitated through a Call Center. They can call the facilitator over the telephone line in Marathi or Hindi or English and get their difficulties solved so that the registration and admission process can be completed smoothly.

Student Facilitation Centers
MKCL has also setting up Student Facilitation Centers in the tehsils of the Pune, Nasik and Ahmednagar districts and at all other district headquarters. Candidates can get the counseling, personalized help-desk, computer operator assistance and Internet facility at reasonable rate at these centers so that they will not face any difficulty in the electronic form filling process.

Post-application value-added Services
The candidates can always check the status of their cases or revise the information directly on the website and also instantly receive by email (in addition to printed communication by post) the acknowledgement of form, certificates and documents sent by post, demand draft of fee and photograph; eligibility status,; discrepancy report (if any); examination schedule; notices and reminders; status checks on SMS; printed Registration Card and Examination Admit Card, etc.

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