The online admission procedure which has been strictly enforced in most of the colleges this academic year might have benefited lakhs of students, but has hit the students’ organisations hard.
Till last year, the smaller colleges followed both online and manual procedures of admission. But this time, students’ groups in most colleges would have to wait till counseling is done in order to interact with the newcomers.
“The students’ unions have no role to play in the admission procedure this time. Till last year, the submission process was manual. This time, the whole process is online. We help those who turn up with doubts,” Faizam Khan, sports secretary in Trinamool Chhatra Parishad (TMCP) controlled students’ union at Maulana Azad College said.
“We have set up our help desk and interact with the small number of students and their parents who turn up. Students mainly have doubts regarding the enrolment and counseling procedures and we try to address those,” Chitra Mukherjee, president of TMCP controlled students’ union at Scottish Church College, said.
In Ashutosh College, all major students’ unions —TMCP, SFI, CP, All India Democratic Students Organisation (AIDSO) and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP)—have setup help desks. But with the role of students’ unions being drastically reduced, help desks are running near empty. “Last time, the admission process was conducted both online and manually. This time, it is fully online. We have been able to interact with the floating crowd, those who have problems filling up the admission form or depositing money. Crowds are quite thin at our help desks,” said Pritam Dutta, SFI in-charge at Ashutosh College.
The admission process is considered crucial for students’ organisations as they get an opportunity to showcase their presence in the colleges and universities. It also gives them a chance to influence newcomers to join their party.
In Bidhannagar College, where clashes broke out between the TMCP and SFI during last year’s students’ election, submission of admission forms has been made online this year. “Though we have not set up any help desk, our workers are around to assist the newcomers. We are making our presence felt at this juncture, so that later we can convince them to abstain from joining the SFI,” said Suvakshan Dutta, TMCP in-charge at Bidhannagar College.
But TMCP has failed to make a mark in the prestigious Presidency University, where SFI and Independent Consolidation workers could be seen assisting aspiring students. Even in Jadavpur University (JU), it is mostly SFI and Faculty of Arts Students (FAS) who are thronging the premises. The TMCP has little presence in JU’s engineering departments and it has been going all out to increase the party’s support base among new entrants.
But while, the entire admission process in Presidency and JU are conducted online, the admission tests for different subjects give the students’ organisations a chance to interact with aspiring candidates.