The state CET cell's decision to change the eligibility criteria for the 15% all-India quota for engineering seats for the academic year 2017-18 has not gone down well with students and parents among other stakeholders.

Advocacy group Sajag Nagrik Manch has filed a complaint with the state's higher and technical education department alleging that the authorities were treating students like guinea pigs.

Vivek Velankar, group activist and educational counsellor, said the frequent changes in eligibility criteria for claiming 15% quota for engineering is highly condemnable.

“Till June 2015, the eligibility criteria for admissions under the all-India quota seats in private unaided institutions was on the basis of the score of paper I of JEE Main. Last year, it was decided that the criteria for these admissions would be the MH-CET score and not JEE. Assuming that the same would be followed this year, many students decided not to attempt JEE Main and instead started preparing for MH-CET. But the state CET cell has decided to accept JEE scores this year,“ he said. Velankar said the state CET cell informed about the change in the decision hardly a week before closing the applications for JEE Main.“While the application process for JEE ended on January 2, the state CET cell issued the controversial circular on December 23 last year,“ he said, adding that a majority of students are still in the dark about the eligibility criteria.

Kalpesh Pathak, an HSC student, said he was not aware of any change in the eligibility criteria for claiming the 15% quota. “It is shocking that the state CET cell has arrived at such an important decision in a clandestine way .“

Accusing the government authorities for its vacillating stand on an important matter, the stakeholders said that such `unmindful' functioning would spell doom for students' careers.

In a letter addressed to the government, the Manch has blamed the education department for taking adhoc decisions every year and thereby affecting the morale of students.

Chandrashekhar Oak, the director of the state CET cell, could not be reached for comment.