FOR TOP city colleges, 5 per cent seats for students of science stream and 8 per cent seats each for arts and commerce will be increased during the first-year junior college (FYJC) admissions, said School Education Minister Ashish Shelar on Tuesday at the ongoing monsoon session of the state legislative assembly.
For Pune and Nagpur divisions, 10 per cent seats in select colleges will be increased for arts, science and commerce streams, the state government has decided. The provision is only for this academic year 2019-2020.
According to sources, nearly 60 top colleges in the city will be part of this implementation. This decision was made after the state government got flak for the dip in the overall pass percentage of students who appeared for the SSC, owing to its decision to scrap internal marks for languages and social science.
However, principals of some top city colleges expressed concerns about increasing the number of seats within such a short span of time. Some have also questioned the government’s decision to increase seats in popular colleges at a time when thousands of seats in other colleges go vacant. Shelar had attended a meeting with principals of select city colleges on Monday.
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“Why is the government not keen on uplifting colleges where seats go vacant? This was suggested at the meeting. It seems there is pressure on the government to push state board students to good colleges,” a principal said.
“While it appeared that the minister intended to have a discussion with principals, taking our opinion was a mere farce. What is the guarantee that the decision is only for this year, as the state might not reintroduce internal marks for SSC? We had voiced issues such as lack of space, ad hoc teachers, no approval for recruitment, provisions in the science laboratory…Is the decision fair?” the principal further asked.
At the meeting, some principals had suggested that there should be a different cut-off list for each board. There were also suggestions of coming up with a formula that equates marks of different boards, as practised by some institutes in the country.
“They have declared the decision but we don’t have clarity on how to implement it. They have requested principals to cooperate for this year, and we will need to work on accommodating students,” another principal said.
“Increasing seats for science stream is difficult since the provision for conducting practicals needs to be looked into. For increase in arts seats, it adds a burden on the infrastructure and classrooms. While we had suggested that an increase was not feasible, we were requested that this would be the case only for this year. Also, there is no guarantee that the seat will go to an SSC student. We are being made to choose quantity over quality,” a principal said.
For students who appear for supplementary Class X exams in July, seats for FYJC will be increased based on their demand, and in phases. The process of FYJC admissions will start from Wednesday.
Memorial for Vajpayee proposed
The state government on Tuesday mooted a plan to build a memorial for late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Mumbai.
State Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar in his Budget speech said that the government proposed to build a memorial in Mumbai for Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Mungantiwar said the memorial will be similar to the Yashwantrao Chavan memorial and the Balasaheb Thackeray memorial, which is under construction.
The Budget, meanwhile, also made a mention of the administrative approval for the Rs 775.58 crore for construction of a third bridge on the Thane creek, connecting Navi Mumbai and Mumbai.
The Budget has made a provision of Rs 150 crore for upgrading the facilities of Sir J J School of Arts, Architecture and Applied Arts. Out of the outlay, a sum of Rs 25 crore has been reserved for 2019-20.