Colleges and state universities across Bengal will have to admit all students to undergraduate courses online from the next academic session.
A higher education department official said on Monday the notification on online admission was issued following wide-spread complaints of manipulation during student entry.
“The student unions were making a mockery of admission rules. They controlled the entire admission process, denying seats to deserving candidates to favour those who had struck a deal with them. Online admission, to be introduced in the 2014-15 session, will make the process transparent. The new system will also make admission hassle-free,” the official said.
Admission this year is expected to start around July.
In the new system, a student will have to apply for a seat through the website of a college or the affiliating university. The merit list will be posted on and admission conducted through the same portal. Fees can be paid offline. “In case of admission to colleges, the process will be supervised by the affiliating university,” the official said.
Presidency University, Jadavpur University and several colleges under Calcutta University have already started admitting students online. In some colleges, like St. Xavier’s, Brabourne and Asutosh, the process was introduced several years ago. Burdwan University is the only affiliating institution that stopped offline admission last year.
The universities and colleges have also been asked to set up help desks at various levels, widely publicise important dates, tie up with banks for payment of fees and issue a detailed advisory for admission-seekers. “It should not take the colleges more than two months to implement the system,” the official said.
Smritikumar Sarkar, the vice-chancellor of Burdwan University, said it took his institution about that much time to put in place the online-only admission system last year. “There were some colleges in remote areas where there was hardly any facility to admit students online. But we could set up the facilities within two months. We are trying to make the system more user-friendly,” Sarkar said.
A higher education department official said all colleges in the state have the basic infrastructure to start online admission.
Kausik Gupta, the vice-chancellor of West Bengal State University (Barasat), said they had asked the 48 affiliated colleges to state by March 10 if they were facing infrastructural problems in implementing the system. “Assuming that the government could issue such a notification, we held a meeting last Friday with the principals, seeking their opinion. Though most of the colleges are ready, some said they have infrastructural shortcomings. We will find out what kind of help they need,” said Gupta.
The vice-chancellor of Kalyani University, Rattan Lal Hangloo, said they get students form areas in Nadia and Murshidabad where there is no Net connection. “The idea of online admission is to enable students to fill in forms even from home. But there are areas where there is no Internet connection,” said Hangloo, whose university has 104 colleges affiliated to it.
The notification says that colleges in rural areas, where students do not have Net facilities at home or in the neighbourhood, must set up a dedicated help desk for data entry and registration.
An official in the higher education department urged the universities to follow the Burdwan model. “If they still face any problem, they should get in touch with us. We will help them in whatever way possible,” said the official.