The much-hyped e-counselling for admission into the state’s engineering colleges started on Monday amid confusion among candidates on how to register online and select preferred courses in desired institutions.
Many students complained of lack of clarity in the instructions on the websites of the JEE boards — www.wbjeeb.nic.in and www.wbjeeb.nic.in. They also alleged “harassment” at the branches of United Bank of India where they had to deposit Rs 500 to register for counselling.
Kumar Deb Banerjee, the member-secretary of the board, however, said they had not received any complaint. “We have a toll-free number (1800 345 0050). The students should call us immediately at that number if they face any difficulty. We have not yet received any such call.”
The students can register themselves for the counselling for around 32,000 seats in 100-odd government and private colleges till June 25. Close to 11,000 candidates — of the around 110,000 whose names figure on the merit list — registered on Day 1.
“After logging in at 11am, when the system was activated, we had to fill in a lengthy form. It took me a long time to fill in the form because of lack of clear instructions,” said an applicant.
There were also complaints of the sites or relevant pages remaining inaccessible for hours. “The page was not opening despite repeated attempts. Sometimes the line snapped halfway through the process of filling in the form, forcing us to enter the details repeatedly,” said another student.
Many students claimed that the new system, introduced this year in an attempt to make the counselling hassle-free, has actually complicated the process as after filling in the form they had to visit the local UBI branch to deposit the registration fee.
“Why hasn’t the board introduced e-payment?” wondered a student. Banerjee ruled out e-payment as not all students have debit or credit cards.
Students found submitting their preferences cumbersome as they had to choose from a list containing all the institutions. “It would have helped us had the sites displayed select colleges corresponding to the rank. In that case we could have made a more informed choice,” said a student.
Explaining the problem, a student whose rank is close to 29,000 said: “I found the names of institutions such as Jadavpur University and Bengal Engineering and Science University appear against my name though I am certain I could never make it to either with my score.”
A board member, however, explained the logic for giving the full list. “Rank is relevant not just for selecting an institution, but also choosing a course. A student not entitled to study computer science at, say, Besu may well be allowed admission to some other courses at the institution. So there is no question of making a shortlist of colleges for each student,” the member said.
Many students alleged that the bank authorities had kept them waiting for several hours. The staff at some branches initially refused to acknowledge that the registration fee for the counselling could be deposited there.
A student who had gone to a UBI branch in Howrah said: “The bank staff initially pleaded ignorance about the facility being available there. It took them more than two hours to find out that the fee could be deposited at the branch,” said a student.
A UBI spokesperson, when contacted, refused to comment without a probe.