Admissions to firstyear junior colleges (FYJC) this year were meant to be simpler.
The state government said it revamped the process to make it more “student friendly”, but students said this revamp has only made it tougher for them to get a seat in a college of their choice.
For the first time this year, the department will conduct a ‘zero round’ before it opens admissions for the general category. The zero round is for admissions to reserved seats — in-house, minority and management quotas — and will be held between June 16 and June 30.
But here’s the catch: Students who apply in the ‘zero round’ cannot apply again for the general round. If they forgo the quota and decide to go through the online admission process, there is still no guarantee they will get a seat in the college they want.
What does this mean? Where the quota seats used to be a back-up plan, this year it becomes a choice — and before the admission process begins, students will have to decide which way they want to go.
This puts many student, including the high-scorers, are in a fix and are unsure of getting a seat in their preferred college. To add to their woes, the extra marks scheme this year — under which students were given up to 25 marks for excelling in sports and cultural activities — boosted the overall percentages of some students in the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) results announced on Tuesday.
“My school told me if we took admission in the in-house quota, we cannot apply for online admissions,” said Shruti Kadam, a student from Kalyan who wants a college close to her home.
“I am confused over what should be done because there is only one reputed junior college in my neighbourhood, but I doubt if I can meet its cut-off in the regular admissions. If I wait for it, I will lose out on my in-house seat,” Kadam said.
Earlier, quota aspirants could try their luck at better colleges in the regular category and if they didn’t get a college of their choice, go back to the quota. But the rule has been changed in favour of general category students said officials.
“What happened so far is some students would block two seats, one in the quota category and another in the open category. It has resulted in fewer seats for students who cannot fall back on any quotas,” said BB Chavan, deputy director of education. On the other hand, private coaching classes, unaware about the rules, are misinforming students and giving them false assurances.
“I did not know that if I apply for quota, I will lose out on online admissions. Our classes assured us we will get a seat in general category if we don’t get through minority," says Roshni Parmar who scored 87% in SSC and is aspiring for a seat in Mithibai College or NL Dalmia College in the science stream.