As many as 1,736 seats for bi-focal courses at junior colleges in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad have remained unclaimed this year too. At the end of counselling-based table-round admissions for Class XI on Sunday,only 3,214 seats were claimed by students as against the available 4,950 seats.
Large number of bifocal seats going unclaimed in junior colleges is not a new phenomenon. It has been happening for years now. Students do not prefer lesser known colleges for pursuing bi-focal courses. This year,many colleges,especially those on outskirts,have few takers for these courses, said Dheeraj Nevse,Deputy District Vocational Education Officer.
He added,Around 20 per cent of total bifocal seats are reserved for SC and ST categories. A considerable number of these seats also go unclaimed. Also,students turn their back towards bi-focal courses offered by colleges on non-grant basis owing to relatively high fee structure.
The authorities said the vacant bifocal seats would be merged with the regular science stream seats.
Bifocal courses are part of the junior college syllabus where students can opt for any vocational subject in lieu of the second language and another subject,biology in case of science stream.
The vocational subjects for science include computer science,electronics,mechanical and electrical maintenance,scooter and motorcycle repair and civil engineering among others. For commerce and arts stream,bifocal seats are filled up at the institute level.