Criticising the slipshod manner in which the online admissions to first year junior college (FYJC) were conducted this year, educationists have recommended changes fora smoother process for the next academic year. They suggested decreasing the number of reserved seats to 50%, linking option form in which applicants list their preferred colleges to their choice of subjects and extending the process to non-state board junior colleges.
Though 2.3 lakh students secured admissions in the lengthy admission process, spanning over three months from June to September, multiple rounds were conducted as students did not get their preferred colleges despite scoring well.
Considering these complaints, the System Correction Movement (Syscom), a non-government organisation (NGO) recently submitted a report to the state education department with suggestions to improve the process. They had also filed public interest litigation (PIL) in the Bombay high court last year to make admissions transparent.
One of the major suggestions is to include Indian School Certificate (ISC) and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) junior colleges in the centralised admission process. This will help students wanting to switch boards. “This will increase accountability in non-state board schools,” said Vaishali Bafna, a parent and petitioner from Syscom.
Increasing the number of seats in the open category, which has the highest number of students, is another recommendation. So far, at FYJC level, 50% seats are reserved for minorities, 20% for in-house students and 5% for management. Since most coveted colleges are minority-run, they have only 25% seats for the general student. This drives up their cut-offs- the minimum score required to get a seat in a college. “At the higher education level, there is only 50% reservation. So the department needs to restrict quota in FYJC too,” said Bafna
The quota admissions must be completed in 10 to 15 days before regular admissions so that the leftover seats can be added to the general category from the start, added Bafna. “This will help in conducting fair and merit-based admissions,” she said.
If applicants list their subject choice along with colleges, it will ensure that they are allotted colleges that offer those subjects. Asking applicants to “This year, many students complained that they were allotted colleges that didn’t offer information technology even though they wanted it,” said Bafna.
Education officials said that they will study the report. “After the chaotic admissions this year, we were also planning to bring in some changes for the next one. We will try to incorporate some of the recommendations made in this report,” said a senior education official.