Junior colleges in Mumbai will begin classes from this week even though parents and the education department have locked horns over allotment of first-year junior college (FYJC) seats in the online admission process.
The education department said that it was coming up with a policy to conduct more admission rounds for over 30,000 students who did not claim the seats allotted to them. It will be announced in the Assembly on Thursday. Officials said that as part of the new policy, the admission process was likely to drag on till August 15.
But colleges are not willing to wait for long because this will delay the start of their session. Some colleges began from Monday and many others will start from Thursday although many seats remain vacant.
Sathaye, Vile Parle, a favourite for science students, has around 100 vacant seats in science, another 100 in arts and 40 to 50 seats in commerce. Yet, the college will start from Thursday. “We are actually getting worried about the vacant seats but we had to start classes before it’s too late,” said college principal Kavita Rege.
Rege admitted that there were some problems in the seat allotment this year. The college wasn’t allotted to a lot of students in the fourth list though there were vacancies. “We don’t have students with good percentages this year even though they applied to the college,” said Rege. “Hundreds of students are waiting outside my office everyday but I can’t do anything to admit them until we get further instructions from the department.”
Jai Hind, Churchgate, which begins from Saturday, said that they will hold special orientation sessions for students who are admitted late. “There is a lot of confusion regarding online admissions this year and it looks like there will more rounds,” said Ashok Wadia, principal of the college. “Instead of waiting, we will begin the college right now and our teachers will help those who join late in catching up with the syllabus.”
Many students are unhappy with the seats allotted online and are not claiming them. “My son was allotted two colleges but they were far away from our residence and did not offer biology, which he wants to study. So we want to change the college,” said M Upadhyay, a parent.
However, officials said that allotment is based on the options and order of colleges filled in by the students. “Students don’t fill the option forms properly and then claim that they did not get the college of their choice. Allotments are made according to the merit and preference of the students,” said BB Chavan, deputy director of education, Mumbai region.
What’s the problem?
Students are unhappy with the colleges allotted to them online. They said that the institutes are either far from their houses, not in their top five preferences or did not offer subjects of their choice. Students are also comparing the cut-offs of different rounds and saying that they did not get a go at a particular college even though its cut-off fell in the next round.
Until last year, students unhappy with colleges allotted to them online used to take admission to other colleges on their own but they cannot do so this year as the Bombay High Court has ordered that all admissions for general category will be done online to bring in transparency.
What officials say
Because allotments are based on the option forms filled by them, students should not have filled in the names of colleges they did not want.
The policy containing guidelines for students who did not claim their seat or did not apply for online admission will be announced in the Assembly today. It is likely to give students another chance to claim the seats allotted to them if the college still has vacancies. If not, the education department will help them with admission to their college of choice in case they have vacant seats.