After the education department extended the deadline for junior college applications from Thursday evening to until 11am on Friday morning, 696 more students submitted their forms.
The department did not issue an official circular or instructions, but students who missed the 5.30pm deadline on Thursday were given a second chance until the morning.
“Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Limited (the state’s technical partner in the admission process) decided to keep the site open for submissions until Friday because the work on preparing the merit lists was scheduled to begin only after Friday,” said an education department official. “So there was no harm in letting people apply until the morning.”
However, guidance centre officials did not know about extension of the deadline till Friday. “The department did not inform us about this extension, but since we had read about it in the papers we knew the site would be working and we helped students who needed to have their forms approved,” said a guidance centre official.
There will be no further extensions to the deadline. “Students got more than enough time to apply, they cannot expect us to give any more extensions,” said an education department official. The admission website opened for submissions on June 22.
College principals are already concerned about the delayed start to the first year junior college term. The term for Class 12 students began in mid-June, but teaching for Class 11 is unlikely to begin before the first week of August. The department has said that those colleges that fill most of their seats by the second general merit list can begin teaching and need not wait until the online process is completed.
“We will begin classes around the first week of August, but even that is a two-week delay compared to the regular schedule,” said Marie Fernandes, principal of St Andrew’s College in Bandra.
In the past three years, the term did not begin until the third or fourth week of August. This year, students and principals were hopeful that in the absence of admission-related litigation, teaching would begin earlier.