LLB aspirants can make changes in their online application forms till November 8 as the Maharashtra State Common Entrance Test Cell on Tuesday extended the last date for the three-year course by four days. The deadline was extended after just 7,923 seats of the total 15,113 for the course in colleges across the state were confirmed after the third round of counselling.
Blaming a “mismatch” in admission process conducted by the CET cell for vacancies on more than 7,000 seats in LLB courses, a section of academics have said college administrations were left without any power to give admissions in institutional round despite vacant seats. They also blamed the cell for failing to convert reserved seats into general category to fill up seats. The CET cell, meanwhile, has accused colleges of “mischief” and wanting to sell seats for fees equivalent to management quota.
An October 26 letter by a Satara-based law college principal to principal secretary of state law and judiciary department stated, “In spite of being online, why should this admission process continue for four months, leaving barely three months for teaching in a semester?”
It added, “Due to delayed admissions, teachers have to work during summer and winter vacations… Colleges have vacant seats, there are students desiring to take admission, but due to non-conversion of NRI/OMS (Other than Maharashtra Students) seats to other categories, many seats would be vacant, causing further distress to students who have taken the CET in April…”
A group of colleges have also sought representation of an advocate to present their matter in the High Court.
“Despite so many admission rounds, several students have not secured admission. Moreover, there are vacancies in colleges too. There is a big mismatch. The number of seats are more than the number of applicants,” said a lawyer, who has approached to represent a group of law colleges.
Student law council president Sachin Pawar said the council had requested the CET cell to complete admissions sooner, but it reportedly went unheeded. “Students have viva, practicals, project work and exams to deal with in the first year. How will they prepare for all this in such little time?” he asked.
Former commissioner of CET cell, Anand Rayate, who was transferred recently, told The Indian Express: “The admissions were held up because of a delay in accounting results of law stream by Mumbai University. Moreover, the colleges were saving their seats by rejecting marksheets and academic details of students due to minor errors. Due to this, students were forced to appear in the next round.”
He added, “We are only providing a list of students and their merits to colleges against their vacant seats. For physical applications in institutional round, students were being made to run door to door. Here, we provided them a single window for all applications. If the college isn’t getting students, it means their quality of teaching is not up to the mark.”
Rayate also denied the claim that seats were not being converted. “Some colleges sell their seats as management seats, playing mischief. Here, we provided students an opportunity to all students. Some students apply, but don’t approach colleges…” he added.