Concerns raised over FYJC admission process

The state education department has made changes in the First Year Junior College (FYJC) online admission system, and the activists which had appealed the Bombay high court have once again raised objections for this. System Correcting Movement (SYSCOM) has submitted a list of concerns in the new course to the education department. Among the changes introduced in the government resolution of January 7 was a 30% reservation for girls from socially weaker sections in the existing 50% quota. However, members of SYSCOM said that this was unnecessary.

“Girls are not a minority when applying for FYJC admissions as more girls pass Class X as compared to the boys. The girls also fare much better than the boys all past results have shown. Looking at the statistics, giving girls a reservation under any category will be unfair to the boys,” said Vaishali Bafna from SYSCOM.

The activists wanted the state education department to check what went wrong in the FYJC online admission process in 2016-17. To avoid a repeat of what happened last year a check was made in the system before opening admissions for this year.

The FYJC admissions last year were carried out through a centralized process but still, there was confusion. There were complaints of students last year that they did not get the seats in colleges of their choice, even after scoring higher than the cut-offs, among others.

However, the audit report released by the government has blamed students for the chaos, according to the reply to an RTI obtained by Pune NGO SYSCOM. “The audit report is a farce. It says students didn’t fill the admission forms properly but doesn’t explore why a large number of students didn’t get admission based on merit,” said Vaishali Bafna, a member of SYSCOM, who had filed a petition in the Bombay high court against the haphazard manner in which the admissions were conducted.

Bafna said the report will not help the department iron out flaws in the process. “The department needs to take a deeper look at the admission process, so students don’t face similar problems. We suspect 35,000 offline admissions in Mumbai were illegal, but the department isn’t ready to examine the problem,” said Bafna.

BB Chavan, deputy director of education, said the report was prepared by third-party firms. “The report is impartial,” said Chavan. “Form-filling is a major problem. Students make mistakes while listing their preferences and then complain that they didn’t get a college of their choice.”

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