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Few takers for science seats

When a few reputed colleges are facing a tough time tackling the admission rush to their undergraduate courses, the city’s lesser-known institutions are caught in a reverse swing.

Authorities of colleges of less repute admitted on Saturday that there has been a sharp decline in the number of applications for admission to their undergraduate courses, especially in the science stream.

Blaming the trend on the private engineering colleges that have mushroomed across the city, principal of Surendranath College, Chinmoy Shekhar Sarkar, said: “The easy availability of seats in engineering colleges has resulted in the dwindling number of applicants for science courses.”

Sources in the higher education department said colleges are recording the lowest turnout in the B.Sc (honours) courses. “The number of applicants for our honours courses in physics, chemistry and mathematics, as well as in subjects like history and political science, is at least 60 per cent less than last year,” said Rupayan Bhattacharya, principal of Gurudas College.

According to sources, the total number of engineering seats has been raised to nearly 12,500 this year with six new private engineering institutions — three of them being in Calcutta proper — coming up.

“The majority of top-scorers has been covered by the engineering seats, while the rest have found berths in well-known colleges. We are left with few good students,” said a teacher of Surendranath College.

The rush of students has, instead, shot up in the commerce stream, said principal Sarkar.

Some college officials, however, think the Calcutta University decision to fix a higher cut-off percentage for admission to the science courses has resulted in fewer applications.

Rape alleged: A 14-year-old domestic help was raped allegedly by a 40-year-old promoter of Kumedan Bagan Lane, in Taltala. The girl, a resident of Barasat, used to work in the promoter’s house, police said.

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