ollege principals in the city,surprised by the state Education Department move to seek an increase in junior college seats by 20 per cent,have said it would be a tough task to meet.
They said the colleges are not equipped with the necessary infrastructure and it was not possible to accommodate more students. T Shiware,principal of the Hinduja College at Charni Road,said,Only some colleges have been asked to increase capacity. Some have been told to increase capacity by 20 per cent while others have been told to hike 10 per cent seats. An increase of 5 to 10 per cent will not be a problem,but 20 per cent will be too much. Moreover,we were not consulted while taking the decision and were informed all of a sudden.
In Hinduja,there are eight divisions with 124 students in each class in the junior college. However,according to the allocation this time,each class will have to accommodate 144 students,Shiware said.
The additional seats allotted in Sydenham College at Churchgate and Akbar Peerbhoy College were 72 and 144 respectively.
However,all the top colleges in the city have not received instructions to increase capacity. V K Wankhede,deputy director of Education,Mumbai region,said,We have not asked colleges that have filled 70 per cent (or more) seats after the first merit list to increase seats. The rest of the colleges have been asked to increase the seats. This has been done to ensure that all students are accommodated. There will be several students who will opt for the betterment option (to take admission to a more preferred college) thus making seats vacant in colleges they opted for earlier. So,there wont be a problem of excess students, said Wankhede. If at all there are colleges that have problems,we will inspect them,he added.
Meanwhile,the first day of admission of students on the second merit list saw several distressed students and parents queuing up before Wankhedes office to register complaints. In most cases,students blamed the submission centres for giving incorrect information. Rekha Patel,who came with a written complaint,said,We were told that in the preferences of colleges column,we would have to fill in our preferences in the ascending order. But we got to know later that was not so. As a result,my son Amit,despite scoring 80 per cent,secured admission to an unknown junior college which we wanted as last on our preference list. Now,he will not be able to get admission anywhere else even though he meets the cut-off at some top colleges.
There were several others who failed to make it to the second list because,despite instructions from the DDE,they had not secured admission to the college that had been allotted to them after the first round and after which their names were automatically removed from the online admission process.