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Number portability in education mooted; retain your marks, change institute

25, Nov 2010 By Pagal Patrakar

New Delhi. Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, who is also the Telecommunications Minister now, is planning to introduce the number portability service in the education sector as well. Mr. Sibal is reported to be too impressed with the idea of Mobile Number Portability (MNP), a service that was launched in Haryana today by him, and thought it was pretty relevant to the education sector as well.

“Imagine a meritorious and hardworking guy, who studies earnestly and tops the merit list of IIPM,” Mr. Sibal said setting the premise of the proposal, “He’d still be considered an ordinary and fraud candidate for a job by many employers just because he has this IIPM tag on his certificate.”

“It’s just like you are stuck with a bad service provider even though you have a decent looking and well publicized mobile number,” Sibal added.

Kapil Sibal
Kapil Sibal thought of the idea while launching Mobile Number Portability service in Haryana

If the proposal is implemented, such IIPM guys can pay a small fee to the institute of his choice and get a new certificate with the same marks. The service is being called Academic Number Portability (ANP).

“Yes, IITs and IIMs too would be brought under the ambit of ANP,” Sibal informed, though he clarified that the basic terms and conditions of the service was still to be worked out and it was still at the proposal stage.

But the news has already outraged many students, especially those at IITs and IIMs, who feel that ANP would rob them off of their hard earned reputation and social status.

“Many girls would not mind accepting my friend request on Facebook just because of my institute’s name in my profile,” a student from a premier institute confided on conditions of anonymity, “Now one can befriend beautiful girls just after paying 19 rupees? Bullshit!”

Experts believe that the fee for ANP would not be as low as 19 rupees, which is the case in MNP.

“This could be a nice source of revenues for IITs and IIMs, which otherwise have to depend upon government grants for meeting their expenses,” said Pratham Pandit, an education sector expert, “I believe that the transfer fee should be made as high as 19 lakhs rupees or more.”

Institutes like IIPM, which are being seen as the major providers of users for the ANP service, have hinted that they could accept the proposal if the students were required to pay a fee to the old institutes as well.

“Let them pay the same amount as severance fee to us and go to any of those ubiquitous IIMs or any other institute, which are intellectually far inferior to us,” IIPM Dean Arindam Chaudhuri said and promised all support to the HRD Minister.

The proposal would be discussed in the parliament, once it (parliament) starts functioning normally.