Annually many thousands of students apply for admissions in public colleges throughout the province of Punjab. The process is a tedious one for students as it is both time consuming and expensive. And for college staff, it is all about long waiting queues, plenty of complaints and an unlimited amount of never-ending workload.
The Higher Education Department (HEC) in collaboration with the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) developed a standardised admission system that is simple yet convenient and cost-effective.
The Online College Admissions System (OCAS) is developed for a number of reasons which includes:
- for keeping the admissions process simple, easy, convenient and fair—completely transparent
- for the reduction in the number of visits a student and parents have to pay at the college physically during the admissions season
- for reducing the application compilation and merit list making time
In recent years more than almost one million admission applications have been processed through the OCAS. The key features of the Online College Admissions System (OCAS) are:
- a dedicated helpline and online help guides available for facilitating the students
- 24/7 availability—which means anybody could apply anytime from any place just by logging on to www.ocas.punjab.gov.pk
- The system is integrated with the BISE results, thus the chances of data entry and reduction errors are minimized
- The nominal application fee of rupees twenty-five per programme could be paid through a network of bank branches present throughout the nation
The application status could be kept a track on via the OCAS website.
Many colleges prefer now that the students should apply online because that saves a lot of time and also saves the staff from engaging in manual data entry and report tabulation hassle. The colleges prefer this system to the extent that they do not even mind providing computer lab facilities to the applicants during admissions.
There are plans underway for the upgrade of the OCAS and to integrate it with mobile payment platforms for further modernizing the application fee payment procedure.
OCAS would also be developed to facilitate the BA/BS college admissions.