There is clear value associated with OCAS in terms of time and cost savings, as well as convenience of the applicant and colleges. A brief comparison between the traditional manual process which has been in practice since 1947 and the current online via web process; OCAS which is now providing following parameters to its stakeholders, is as follows:
|Manual Admissions||Online Admissions (2011 – onwards)|
|Processing time for local applicants||4 hours||Less than 1 hour|
|Processing time for non-local applicants||24 hours||Less than 1 hour|
|Estimated cost* for local applicants||Rs 350||Rs 100|
|Estimated cost for non-local applicants||Rs 2000||Rs 100|
|Number of visits to a college||2 to 3||0|
|Application submission time per applicant||10 minutes||Nil|
|Error percentage in data entry (based on feedback from colleges)||5 to 10%||Nil|
|Higher Education Department|
|Monitoring and Evaluation||At the end of
|* The cost includes prospectus fee, estimated travel cost as well as application fee of Rs 25 in case of OCAS
Note: In above mentioned table, the local applicant means the applicant applying in college located in same city or town. The non-local applicants are the ones who intend to get admissions in colleges located outside of their cities or towns.
Manual Form Submission
Before OCAS, applicants used to queue-up at the college admissions office to acquire the admissions form. It would take at least 3 to 4 hours, to submit the admissions form, if all pre-requisites are met. This time is spent to do the following:
- Travelling to the college
- Standing in queues to get the admissions form/ prospectus
- Correctly filling up the admissions form
- Arranging all the required documents /photographs duly attested by government authorities
- Standing in queues again to submit the admissions form with all required documents
- For out-of-town applicants it could take more than 24 hours to complete the admissions applications process.
Online via Web
OCAS has reduced the application submission time to minutes, rather than hours or days. All that is left to do, is to go to the nearest branch of Bank of Punjab to submit the application fee (which may take up to 45 minutes in case the applicant needs to wait for a while at the bank).
Similarly, the manual admissions system was far more costly and required 3 to 4 visits to a college. Buying college prospectus and travelling back and forth to a college had a substantial amount of cost associated to it, especially for the applicants travelling from other cities. Female applicants, intending to apply in colleges outside of their cities/ towns, usually are accompanied by their fathers/ guardians, hence the travel cost and time is increased even more. Probably, this is one of the reasons why many students from small towns acquiring A+ grade still prefer to get admissions in colleges in their towns or cities, instead of getting admissions in Tier-1 colleges in big cities.
OCAS does not require physical visits to a college, instead an internet facility and a visit to nearest branch of Bank of Punjab is required to complete the application submission process. An applicant needs to visit college only if he/ she qualifies for the college merit list and intends to get admission in the college.
College administrators find OCAS convenient as it reduces their data-entry time and associated costs and eliminates the chances of incorrect data entry in the system. BISE Gazette Verification and authentication was also a cumbersome, time consuming and tedious task at the admissions staff's end. This time was saved, as OCAS has made the BISE’s data available in the system.
Similarly, preparation of merit lists for some colleges used to take up to 24 hours. OCAS makes the applicants’ data available to the college admissions staff in exportable MS Excel files. The admissions staff downloads these Excel files for each offered program at just a click of a button.