Special online admission rounds for Class 11 students — allowing already admitted students to change their seats — are creating a menace in Mumbai’s junior colleges. Over 62,000 seats opened up in colleges when the special round-1 concluded last week as students cancelled admissions in colleges, where they bagged seats earlier, and moved to the ones allotted in this round. If these seats are unfilled in the ongoing second round, it will prove to be a huge financial setback for colleges and they might even have to reduce staff, said principals.
Majority of the colleges (except those attached to schools) had filled up their seats in the fourth and fifth rounds, which ended in July. However, the subsequent special rounds, which began from August 5, led to several last-minute cancellations, complained principals.
“Just when we thought we could finally begin our academic year as the admissions were completed, the special rounds were announced and brought us back to square one. They have caused a great amount of upheaval as students are shuffling between colleges,” said Marie Fernandes, principal, St Andrew’s College, Bandra.
Colleges such as Sathaye in Vile Parle said many of their aided seats are vacant. “Nearly 70 to 80 seats in our aided divisions in the arts and science streams and 30 to 35 in the commerce stream are vacant,” said Kavita Rege, principal, Sathaye College, Vile Parle.
Teachers also said the government will cancel the aided divisions in the college, if there are less than 120 students in each. “This means that salaries of teachers of those divisions will be stopped and teachers might lose their jobs if the college can’t afford to pay them on their own,” said Anil Deshmukh, general secretary of the Maharashtra Junior College Teachers Federation.
Education officials said it was necessary to hold special rounds because of public pressure. “Thousands of students used to throng our office demanding better seats, they were unhappy with the allotment in the earlier rounds,” said BB Chavan, deputy director of education, Mumbai region.
Allaying principals’ fears, Chavan said they will continue to hold admission rounds until all the seats are filled. “We will ensure that none of the applicants miss out on admission. If there are vacant seats, we will invite applications,” Chavan added.