Legislators in Maharashtra pressed for reintroduction of offline admissions for SSC-passed students into junior colleges, despite court directives against it. Complaining of confusion and panic among students over the ongoing online admission process, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s MLA, Raj Purohit, even demanded a 50 per cent quota for local students. The South Mumbai MLA had earlier led a demonstration against the BJP-controlled government raising the demand.
Echoing Purohit’s demand, Shiv Sena’s Sunil Prabhu said colleges should be asked to admit local students as a “special case”. While Prabhu claimed that all Assembly legislators were in favour of the move, BJP’s Sunil Deshmukh opposed the suggestion. “The admission process must be merit-based. How can we suggest that a meritorious student from the suburbs or far-off suburbs should be deprived of admission to a top South Mumbai college just because he does not stay there?” Deshmukh asked.
The offline reservation demand was raised during a calling attention motion raised by the Leader of Opposition, Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, alleging that there was chaos and confusion regarding online admission. Education Minister Vinod Tawde, who had earlier spoken out against political interference in the admission process, reiterated the court’s directives mandating online admissions but went on to announce that a separate meeting of legislators and opinion of the Advocate General would be sought to review the demand for admission of local students.
During the discussion, Tawde admitted that complaints regarding deficiencies in the online process and inconvenience to students had been received. “Action has been initiated against the company (Nyasa Asia Private Limited) appointed for these,” said Tawde, adding that the process would be streamlined further. Congress legislators had demanded action against the company.