During the admission season, principals of some of city’s reputed schools and colleges keep their mobile phones switched off to escape calls from politicians trying to secure seats for students recommended by them.
However, they are unable to escape the scores letters-sometimes as many as 70 to 80 from politicians demanding seats.
At IES Manik Vidyamandir School, Bandra, which is affiliated to the ICSE board, authorities receive letters from all the major political parties.
“Every admission season, we are flooded with such requests. In many cases, the underlings of politicians also trouble the school by frequent calls and by dropping names,” said Satish Lotlikar, a trustee of the school.
Lotlikar said the school takes a firm stand with such requests. “If there are no seats available, we inform them about it.
Admissions are based on merit and not influence,” he said.
A school in Santacruz also admitted that they received 20 to 30 letters from government officials including income tax (IT) officials during admission season.
“Often we are forced to succumb to such requests and give admissions to such candidates. If we refuse, they come in through the management,” said the school principal on condition of anonymity.
A Christian minority school in Byculla, too, said it received more than 75 letters for admissions this year from politicians of all parties. “We cannot oblige everyone.
We stand up to them occasionally, but it’s not always practical,” said the principal.
Dadar’s Balmohan School, ICSE section, is one of the few schools which did not receive such requests.
“We do not get requests from politicians because we have never entertained them in the past. We have a strict policy in place,” said Rupa Roy, principal of the school.