In case of junior college admissions in Mumbai, numbers just don’t tell the true story.
On paper, the first year junior college section of Mumbai has got 5,210 more seats. But here’s the catch — most of them have been added to junior colleges attached to schools, which are not quite popular with students. So effectively, the intake capacity of Mumbai’s sought-after colleges hasn’t changed.
The new divisions opened at 49 junior colleges in the city have brought the number of seats available to 2.88 lakh, from last year’s 2.83 lakh. The divisions have been set up on self-finance basis in areas such as Dadar, Vile Parle, Jogeshwari, Malad, Kandivli, Borivli, Bhandup, Navi Mumbai and Kalyan, along with some in existing junior colleges.
Education officials fear the seats may not find many takers. “As these seats have been added to relatively unknown junior colleges, only low-scorers opt for them,” said BD Phadtare, deputy director of education, Mumbai region.
Being self-financed, students securing these seats have to pay around Rs 10,000, much higher compared to the Rs 700 paid for aided courses. “The main problem is students apply only to a handful of popular colleges in the city. Unless these colleges increase their seats, the cut-offs will remain high, even though the overall number of seats has gone up,” said Phadtare.
Students, however, have a different approach. “I don’t mind studying in a junior college attached to a school, as long as they are lenient with attendance. I have joined coaching classes for engineering entrance tests, so the college doesn’t make a difference,” said Paras Raikar, an FYJC aspirant, who wants to pursue science.
In case of degree colleges, the scenario is slightly different. While a considerable number of seats at engineering colleges in the state remain vacant at the end of the admission process, the number of students opting for medical and paramedical courses has increased.
Last year, more than 40% of seats in engineering colleges (undergraduate courses) in 367 engineering colleges across the state were unoccupied, according to the data from the state’s higher and technical education department. With no new engineering colleges for the next academic year, experts said the trend is likely to continue.
In case of undergraduate medical courses, the number of students across the state has increased substantially. This year, around 1.94 lakh students have registered for MH-CET 2015, compared to 1.53 lakh candidates last year. Around 7,500 seats are available for undergraduate medical courses, including MBBS, BDS, and BSc Nursing, conducted by the state colleges.
Pravin Shingare, director, Directorate of Medical Education and Research, which conducts the entrance test, said, “The decline in engineering aspirants, scrapping of negative marking and a test based on the state board syllabus have resulted in a rise in the number of medical aspirants. The trend will continue for the next few years.”
Snehalata Deshmukh, former vice-chancellor of Mumbai University (MU) and former dean of Sion hospital, said, “Not just MBBS, several students are opting for paramedical courses including physiotherapy, pharmacy and other streams such as Ayurveda, Unani and homoeopathy.”
FYJC Admissions 2015-16:
Last year’s figures
First FYJC merit list: Last year’s trends
* St Xavier’s College, Fort: The cut-off percentage at one of the most popular colleges for arts stream rose to 93%, from the 91.66% the previous year
* Jai Hind College, Churchgate: The cut-off for arts jumped to 86.4% from 85.4%, while the cut-off for science stream dropped to 88% from 89.27%
* NM College, Vile Parle: With increasing number of high scorers opting for the commerce stream, its cut-off was 93.4%. The highest score in the merit list was 97.2%
* St Andrew’s College, Bandra: The cut-off for arts rose to 77.2% from 71.64%
Cut-offs in the first merit list in other colleges:
* HR College, Churchgate
* DG Ruparel College, Matunga
* Sathaye College, Vile Parle
* ML Dahanukar, Vile Parle
* RA Podar College, Matunga
* Ramniwas Ruia College, Matunga
* Birla College, Kalyan
* Mithibai College, Vile Parle
* MCC College, Mulund
* KC College, Churchgate
* KJ Somaiya College of Science and Commerce, Vidyavihar
* KJ Somaiya College of Arts and Commerce
* Patkar College, Goregaon
* Bhavans College, Andheri
* SIES College of Commerce & Economics, Sion
* SIES College of Arts and Science, Sion
(The cut-off percentages are according to the information provided by the deputy director of education, Mumbai region. They might differ by a few points than the actual cut-offs at certain colleges owing to cases of transfer of students)
* Number of seats available for undergraduate engineering courses for academic year 2014-15: 1, 56,067
(With no new colleges to be included, the number is likely to remain same for an academic year 2015-16)
* Number of seats available for undergraduate courses at state medical colleges for 2015-16: Close to 7,500