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Since 1st March, 1999
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Fresh counselling for engineering aspirants
Tech story
Seats - 13,000
Slashed this year: 1400
Seats for which counselling
was held -11,600
Students called for
interview in 1st counselling
JEE rank holders
between 1 and 30,000
Called for second interview
JEE rank holders
between 1 and 25,000
Govt colleges - 12
Private colleges - 42

Calcutta, July 22: The government today ordered another round of counselling for students seeking admission to engineering colleges in the state.

The recent seat slash by the All India Council for Technical Education and its subsequent decision to restore most of them this month has prompted the government to make the never-before decision.

The 're-counselling' for allotting seats according to rank in the joint entrance examination (JEE) merit list will begin on August 1.

That means the admission of students who have already joined engineering colleges ' including the prestigious Jadavpur University and the Bengal University of Science and Engineering, Shibpur ' stands cancelled, an official of the JEE board's central selection committee said. The earlier counselling was held between June 22 and July 7.

The official, however, clarified that many of the students might be readmitted to the same college after the round II of the counselling.

The government has asked the JEE board to start interviewing students placed between 1 and 25,000 on the JEE merit list afresh to fill up the 13,000-odd seats in about 55 engineering colleges.

The technical education council had slashed nearly 1,400 seats in June on the grounds that the colleges did not have the infrastructure and teachers required. At the same time, it also asked the colleges to give a declaration by July 7 on whether they would be able to fulfil the requirements this year.

After going through the declarations, the council has restored most of the slashed seats and given its nod to the government to admit students in the current academic session.

'We are happy that the seats have been restored. The re-counselling is being held to ensure that no student is deprived of a seat in a subject of his choice if he deserves it,' said Ajit Chattopadhyay, the coordinator of the central selection committee.

A higher education department official said the decision was taken to avoid legal complications.

After the seat slash, admissions were held this year for about 11,600 (instead of the earlier 13,000-plus) seats. A candidate ranked 22,600 occupied the last seat at the end of the first round of counselling.

The higher education official said that there was apprehension among students and guardians that candidates placed beyond 22,600 on the merit list would take up the seats restored by the council. Such a decision would have invited court cases as students ranked less would have got some of the better streams to pursue.

The official said: 'Say a student had opted for information technology, but the committee was unable to provide a berth because seats in that particular subject were slashed. Now, after the seat slash order has been revoked, many colleges have got back their seats in IT.

In the changed situation, it would be unfair not to give an opportunity to that student to pursue infotech and, instead, allow a candidate of a lower rank to study the subject.'

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