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2015 deadline for online entry

- Govt against centralised system: Partha

Education minister Partha Chatterjee said on Monday the government would ensure that every college switched to online admission from next year but it was opposed to a centralised system.

“Introducing online admission at colleges is a dream of chief minister Mamata Banerjee. The government’s policy is to cover every college under the system from 2015. But certainly the online system will function at the college level. There will be no centralised online system,” Chatterjee said at the Assembly.

“As the situation stands now, our main concern is to develop suitable infrastructure at every college for the introduction of online admission next year.”

Asked why the government was opposed to centralised online admission, Chatterjee said such a system would curb the autonomy of individual colleges.

“Every college enjoys autonomy to conduct admission and fix the eligibility criteria for students. The principal of a college has the final say in admission matters. In a centralised system, the principals will have no say as the admission process will be controlled by the affiliating universities,” said Chatterjee.

The minister had on Friday said the centralised system, cleared by predecessor Bratya Basu and stalled by him, would be implemented later.

But his statement on Monday ruled out any such possibility.

The minister’s statement on centralised admission surprised teachers and principals as such a system would have made the admission process hassle-free for students and transparent.

Chatterjee, however, said the government had cautioned the colleges to maintain transparency in the admission process and to take in students “strictly” on the basis of merit.

The minister made the statement after meeting SFI and Trinamul Congress Chhatra Parishad (TMCP) delegations. Chatterjee said he had made it clear to the TMCP, which controls the students’ union at more than 90 per cent colleges, that the government expected it to cooperate with the college authorities for peaceful admission.

The government has set June 10 as the last date for the colleges to start the admission process.

The government will run a toll-free helpline (18001037033 and 9223225477) at Bikash Bhavan from Tuesday to receive admission-related complaints and suggestions from students, guardians and college heads and teachers. The helpline, to remain open till the admission season ends, will function from 9am to 6pm.

Chatterjee pointed out that a survey by the education department has revealed that 519 of the 594 colleges across the state still did not have the facilities to conduct online admission. “The figures suggest how difficult it is to start the online process this year,” said Chatterjee.

The colleges that do not have the online facilities will continue with the old system. But those that have can go ahead with online admission this year, he said.

The colleges that lack online facilities have been asked to introduce them in six months.

Admission flip-flop

  • Feb. 7: Mamata Banerjee announces colleges will admit students online
  • Feb. 28: Government issues a notification announcing a centralised online system for college admission
  • May 10: Calcutta University finalises the methodology for implementing the system
  • May 27: Then education minister Bratya Basu says centralised online system to be introduced partially
  • May 29: New education minister Partha Chatterjee scraps centralised online system for this year
  • June 6: Chatterjee clarifies individual colleges can go ahead with online admission
  • June 9: Chatterjee says no to centralised online system