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Friday, Oct 18, 2019

98 of 849 junior colleges in Mumbai set to get extra seats

FYJC ADMISSIONS: Nearly 12% colleges eligible till now; colleges wanting to add seats can apply: officials

mumbai Updated: Jun 20, 2019 00:58 IST
Ankita Bhatkhande
Ankita Bhatkhande
Hindustan Times
In 2018, more than 72,000 seats had remained vacant across 800 junior colleges in MMR after nine admission rounds.
In 2018, more than 72,000 seats had remained vacant across 800 junior colleges in MMR after nine admission rounds.(Kunal Patil/HT Photo)
         

As many as 98 of the 849 colleges in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) are set to get 5-8% additional junior college seats this year after the state government decided to increase the intake on Tuesday. On Wednesday, these 98 colleges — nearly 12% of all colleges in MMR — were considered eligible for additional intake of students.

On Tuesday, newly appointed state education minister, Ashish Shelar, had announced that the state would increase 5% seats for Science stream and 8% seats for Arts and Commerce streams at 50 prominent junior colleges in Mumbai to ensure state board students do not lag behind their counterparts from other boards. The decision, likely to add 6,622 seats to the existing 3.13 lakh seats, was taken after state board exams saw a massive drop in the pass percentage.

On Wednesday, officials said they are yet to calculate how many seats will actually increase now. “While prominent colleges from the region will have additional seats, even those colleges, which feel that they need more seats, will get them if they fulfil necessary conditions,” said Rajendra Ahire, deputy director of education for Mumbai.

Officials from the education department said the deputy director would have the right to decide the criteria on the basis of which colleges would be given approval to add seats. “We will see the demand for the college in the previous years and decide accordingly,” said Ahire. However, the state education department is yet to lay out a set of criteria for colleges to be considered eligible for additional intake.

In 2018, more than 72,000 seats had remained vacant across 800 junior colleges in MMR after nine admission rounds. The Mumbai Junior College Teachers Union (MJCTU), an association of city’s junior colleges, protested the government’s decision to increase seats, stating it would adversely affect smaller junior colleges. “We oppose this step of granting additional seats to colleges to make up for the mistakes in the policy,” said SL Dixit, vice-president of the union.

Meanwhile, even though the admission process finally began on Wednesday morning, several parents and students were confused as they had trouble finding the list of colleges and cut-offs on the education department’s official admission website. “The information is available only after logging in. We have to select each college individually to check the cut-off…this is a big hassle. The department should put out one comprehensive list,” said a parent.

Parents also said they faced difficulties accessing the website as the server was down for brief periods of time throughout the day. “We tried opening the site, but it was too slow,” said a parent. However, education department officials said no glitches were reported and the system ran smoothly, barring a little delay during the first few minutes of the day owing to heavy traffic.

First Published: Jun 20, 2019 00:58 IST

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