Newly-inducted school education minister Ashish Shelar, was part of a meeting of college principals, who assembled to deliberate on the fate of first-year junior college (FYJC) admissions. The government has faced the ire of students who appeared for their SSC examination and their parents after its decision to scrap internal marks in subjects, leading to a drop in the pass percentage by over 12 per cent.
More than 100 officials from city colleges were part of the meeting convened by Vandana Krishna, Principal Secretary, School Education and Sports Department.
Sources part of the meeting said the minister heard views of many college principals but refrained from hinting on any decision.
“It was a good sign that he attempted to learn the ground reality before coming to a decision,” said a principal.
Sources close to Shelar said he attended the meeting since the Assembly session had just finished before that.
“He is yet to take charge of the department and will decide on the issue soon,” said a source.
The dip in FYJC results, announced on June 8, has led to a delay in admissions as the government is mulling its options.
Former education minister Vinod Tawde had stated that the government is considering increasing seats in colleges to accommodate students from the state board.
The state government’s previous idea of not considering internal marks of other boards faced severe backlash from concerned stakeholders.
Meanwhile, Gerry Arathoon, Secretary of Indian Certificate School Examinations (ICSE) board, issued a letter to Krishna that stated: “The state government cannot act unilaterally and in a discriminatory manner as sought to be done. The purported move is not only arbitrary but also unconstitutional and is liable to be withdrawn…”
The letter further stated that notwithstanding the foresaid objection, the board is preparing the details of the required subjects (languages and social sciences) as called for.
It will take a couple of days to compile the data and furnish it to the state department, the letter stated, adding that the ICSE council reserves the right to challenge the decision of the state government.