The school education department is worried whether the First Year Junior College (FYJC) online admissions will be able to start on time this year. The worries have stemmed from the fact that preparations for the admission process have been delayed by nearly a month-and-a-half owing to the confusion over Maratha and Muslim quota in educational institutions.
While for Marathas the reservation is slated to be 16% of the seats, number of seats reserved for Muslim students hasn’t been decided yet. Although preparatory work for admissions, including registering colleges and upgrading the website, usually begins in February, this year the department has not started the work, as the deputy director’s office was waiting for clarity on the quota.
“We could not start work until a final decision on the quota was taken,” said BD Phadtare, deputy director of education, Mumbai region. “If the quota was implemented this year, it would have meant changing our online system to make provisions for reservation of 16% seats for Marathas.”
However, even though the government has finally decided not to introduce the quota this year, the deputy director’s office has still not received any instructions on starting the online process.
“It’s already the third week of March and we generally open the site for form filling in April. We need to begin work as soon as possible or else we will not be able to start on time,” Phadtare said.
Changing the nodal agency that conducts the online admissions — from Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Limited (MKCL) to National Informatics Centre (NIC) — is also causing further delay.
“The department is considering handing over online admissions to NIC this year, since they are also handling this year’s admissions to RTE seats,” said Phadtare. “We advised them against it this year, as we do not have time to change the website. But we have not yet been given final instructions.”
Over 2.3 lakh students applied for FYJC online admissions last year and 1.9 lakh seats from colleges across the city were available.