It is no secret that competition is increasing at a fast pace for admissions to top colleges. Sheer volume of students passing from Grade 12 & looking for college admissions has almost doubled in the last 10 years. Not just that, everyone seems to be getting 90% marks. In the last 10 years, students getting top grades has more than tripled. 

Besides the obvious challenge this poses for the students, this has posed an interesting challenge for the universities themselves.

Huge Growth in Grade 12 StudentsInflation in Grade 12 Marks

With this trend, Universities don’t have a way to differentiate between students by JUST USING MARKS. Recently, the admissions director of a top university went on record to say that she saw 147 applications with an aggregate score of 95.6% in Grade 12 exams. The university is forced to look at innovative methods to distinguish between students and hence they are going beyond academics while granting admissions. 

A majority of Indian parents & students think that Government universities only look at your marks or performance in entrance exams. This is because everyone thinks about the popular entrance exams like JEE or NEET. 

In fact, even IITs have now started to talk about assessment of student personality & fitment as selection criteria but no action on that yet.  It is true that at this point, to get admission into IITs, it is only the entrance exams that matter. However, there are many other top Government institutions that are looking beyond academics. 

Marks & grades are very important but for many colleges, their function is just to “Eliminate” the students that don’t qualify. They can make you get you through the first round, but beyond that, it is all about YOU. The final selection is made on the factors beyond academics. 

Here are 9 TOP Government Colleges That Are Going Beyond Grades to Grant Admissions.

1. National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT)

NIFT was established in 1986 and was the pioneer in Fashion Education in India. Today, it has 16 campuses in India spaced across different parts of the subcontinent. The core departments at NIFT are Fashion Design, Textile Design, etc.

NIFT has produced many talented designers & artists. Some of them include Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Manish Arora, Neha Sharma. 

Admission Process: NIFT is one of the pioneers in government colleges to move away from the strict ‘academics only’ admission process. You will be tested for your Creativity and Situation based on problem-solving skills.NIFT Admission Weightage To get into NIFT, you don’t need to focus on class 12th exams but on doing courses that will boost your creativity in the relevant fields. Acquiring experiences in design and fashion through internships will provide you with the knowledge you need to ace the process.

2. Indian Institute of Management (IIM) – Indore 

IIM Indore was established in 1996 and is the 1st IIM to offer a 5-year Integrated Programme in Management focused on the school students. They attract students from all over the country who are interested in business management straight after school.

Admission Process: You need to have a minimum of 60% in Grade 12 to be eligible to apply. For this institute, that’s where the focus on school grades end. 

If you are aiming for colleges like IIM Indore, it is important to decide early on. Setting your goal early, will give you the time & opportunity to work on various other aspects of your profile that will aid your chance of admission.

IIM Indore Admission Weightage

The 35% weightage that your personal interview holds will make all the difference & will be the DECIDER. Hence, it is important that you work on yourself enough, to be able to showcase a spark to the admission committee and establish how you are different.

While in school, you can focus on specific extracurricular activities, summer enrichment programs, certifications that demonstrate your interest in business management. There are so many programs to choose from that it is important to choose the ones you like and are aligned with the objective of admission to IIM Indore.

Watch Prof. Ranjeet Nambudiri, Dean of IIM Indore, explain their admission process for Integrated program in Management.

3. Indian Institute of Management (IIM) – Rohtak 

Established in the year 2010, IIM Rohtak is one of six new IIMs announced under the 11th Five Year Plan. IIM Rohtak took after IIM Indore and also started to offer a 5-year Integrated Programme in Management. 

Admission Process: Here also, your academic scores from school do not play a key role as the weightage given to them is only 10%.

IIM Rohtak - Admission Weightage

The admission committee is looking for students who exuberate confidence, leadership qualities & have a zeal to give back to the community. To get into the gates of IIM Rohtak, you should be able to showcase that you have all those qualities in YOU during your personal interview & writing ability test. That combined 40% is what will play a crucial role in your admission process. 

4. Jamia Millia Islamia

Jamia Millia Islamia is one of the oldest universities to be established during the British rule in 1920. It is located in the national capital and its core departments include Mass Media & Sociology. Jamia Millia Islamia is the alma mater of famous people like Shah Rukh Khan, Virender Sehwag, Barkha Dutt

Admission Process: You only need a 50% in Grade 12 to be eligible to apply for admission, but that is just the ability.  It is to clear the Elimination process and not the Selection.

Your admission depends on your knowledge & passion around the course you are applying for. This knowledge is tested through an entrance exam that carries 85% weightage. The remaining 15% depends on your personal interview. 

You should easily be able to articulate why you are passionate about the course you are applying for. What have you done to explore that subject while you were still in school? That is what will SET YOU APART from the rest

5. Indian Institute of Crafts and Design (IICD)

Indian Institute of Crafts & Design is located in the artistic city of Jaipur. It was established in the year 1995 to act as a catalyst in the craft sector. The core subjects offered at IICD are Fashion & Material Design. 

Admission Process: For a career in fashion & material design, you must focus on various other elements like creativity and practising certain skills at an early age. 

IICD Admission Weightage

Indian Institute of Craft & Design has a very SPECIFIC mission to revive art. Their admission process is designed to check the depth of knowledge of the colour wheel, design thinking, creativity, etc. They evaluate the commitment & consistency with which a student approaches art & design throughout the school life. 

To be able to prove that you have all of it in you in the interview & to come out with flying colours in both the tests, you should make up your mind very early on.

6. St Stephen’s College – Delhi University

Who wouldn’t want to study in classrooms in which the likes of Shashi Tharoor, Kapil Sibal, Konkona Sen Sharma, etc studied? If your heart is in subjects like Math, Physics, Chemistry, Economics & History, then St Stephen’s College is a top college you can aspire for. Such superlatives only mean one thing. A super difficult admission process. 

Admission Process: St Stephen’s College is one of the most prestigious colleges of Delhi University. 85% of the admission weightage depends on the board exams. But, doing well in board exams WON’T BE ENOUGH when it comes to St Stephen’s College. The class 12th marks only serve as the Elimination Round for students aspiring for admission.  Even if you score 96%, there will be hundreds others at the same score and above.

The final selection is made on the basis of the personal interview and aptitude test.  Typically, for every 1 selection in the interview, 4 shortlisted students are called.  That means, the final competition is between 4 students all of who got similar grades in class 12.  The differentiating factor is YOU and your experiences.  

The more clearly you are able to show DEEP INTEREST in the subjects you are applying for the stronger your chances become.  Various activities done during school years like summer courses, internships, extracurricular activities, volunteer work help shape your profile.  It is your profile that helps the admissions committee understand your ability to take initiative and deep interest in the subject.

7. Mount Carmel College

Mount Carmel College is a premier institution for women’s education in India, established in 1948, just a year after India became a free nation. The college is located in the heart of Bengaluru and its core offerings are in Communication Studies.

With noteworthy alumni like Anushka Sharma, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Deepika Padukone and many thriving personalities, Mount Carmel College sets a high standard of excellence.

Admission Process: Mount Carmel College is a strong believer in a holistic admission process designed to evaluate you as a whole & not just based on your marks. To be eligible to apply, you just need 60% in Grade 12.

Mount Carmel College - Admission Weightage

The entrance exam and the interview dive deep into the subject you want to pursue. Hence, any prior experience in the subject in the form of internships, summer courses, extracurricular activities which are course-specific will provide you a disproportionate advantage over the rest. 

To match the standards of successful alumni, your confidence, your go-getter attitude and your ambition is evaluated in the personal interview. 

8. National Institute of Design (NID)

National Institute of Design is located in Ahmedabad and was established in 1961. It was the first Design institute in India and was founded with the aim to encourage critical design thinking. National Institute of Design nurtured eminent people like Dibakar Banerjee, Aparna Rao etc. 

Again, you need a 60% in Grade 12 to be eligible to apply but other than that, your school grades have no weightage. NID Design Aptitude Test (DAT) Prelims carries a 70% weightage which tests your design thinking, design capability and aptitude. Remaining is with NID DAT-Mains, which includes a personal interview. 

To get into the gates of NID, you should be able to substantiate your passion for design through various activities you have done in the past & your proficiency in design.

9. Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies – Delhi University

With its core in Business Management & Economics, Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies (SSCBS) was established in 1987.

For a college that is highly selective in its admission process, it is important that you have an action plan. SSCBS had a Personal Interview & Group Discussion process as an integral part of admissions till recently.  However, due to certain activities, Delhi University decided to remove the interview from the admissions process.  Now, Grade 12 marks carry a 35% weightage and the DU – Joint Admission Test (DU-JAT) carries 65% weightage.

This entrance exam is not just about the subject, but is designed to test your personality, & diversity of knowledge. You need to maintain the right balance between grades & extracurricular activities to emerge successful in the admission process. Watch the exclusive talk by Dr. Poonam Verma, Principal of Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies on maintaining balance.

So, if you still think ONLY marks can get you through TOP government colleges, you need to think again. 

Set a goal, work towards it, demonstrate interest, build a profile & enhance your chance of getting into the most sought after colleges in India. 

 HELP ME SET MYSELF APART

Sneha Mashetty
Author

Sneha Mashetty is a former journalist who covered state politics. With a degree in Journalism & Masters in Electronic Media, she combines her research techniques, versatility in writing for the web, and love for education at Univariety. She has written extensively for International schools, Ed-Tech products, emerging learning technologies for half a decade. An avid reader, a travel lover & a movie buff who loves to have meaningful conversations

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