Legislators demand change so that students are not forced to travel long distances
MUMBAI: After demands by legislators, the state government is considering reserving seats in colleges for students who live close to them.
Saying that junior college students were forced to travel longer distances despite having many colleges near their homes, legislators from all parties on Thursday demanded that a few seats be reserved in colleges for students living in the vicinity. The state education department said it will hold a meeting with elected representatives and stakeholders to consider admitting students in colleges near their homes and request the Bombay high court to amend the existing rules.
Legislators said since online admissions were based on the marks student secure, students from Colaba and Fort are made to travel as far as Borivli or Ghatkopar and students in Ghatkopar get admission in Goregaon colleges.
Colaba’s BJP MLA Raj Purohit said it was unfair for students living in south Mumbai, which has the most colleges, as they are forced to travel to suburban colleges because of their marks.
Congress’ Aslam Shaikh and Shiv Sena’s Sunil Prabhu supported Purohit and said a certain amount of seats should be reserved for students living nearby.
Education minister Vinod Tawde said the department would convene a meeting of all stakeholders and legislators to discuss the issue. “Admission norms are based on merit and the marks obtained by students. The procedure we follow has been approved by the Bombay high court. We are positive about changing the norms to allow students to bag seats in colleges near them,” he said.
BJP’s Sunil Deshmukh, however, opposed the demand and said admissions should be granted based on merit and that would be unjust for high-scorers as they could be denied admission to good colleges.
While updating legislators about this year’s junior college admissions, Tawde said, “About 2.68 lakh students in Mumbai have sought admissions in FYJC and the government has made arrangements for 15,000 more seats. The students faced difficulties after the website crashed. About 10,000 students changed their minds after filing the forms and figuring in the first list. This too inconvenienced other students.”
He added, “When we conducted a survey to study the reasons behind students’ such decisions, we found that students were in two minds about admissions owing to the absence of counselling.”