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Online entry in House

All undergraduate general degree colleges in Bengal will switch to online admission by next year, education minister Partha Chatterjee reiterated his department’s stand during a debate on the education budget in the Assembly on Wednesday.

The education minister said all colleges have been asked to set up web portals within six months to facilitate the switch before the 2015-16 academic year.

“The government is clear about its stand on online admission. We are ready to introduce online admission but only at the college level,” the minister said.

Chatterjee had recently announced that the government was opposed to centralised online admission, which his predecessor Bratya Basu had promised to implement from this year.

Participating in the debate, Opposition leader Surya Kanta Mishra sought to know what had prompted the government to shelve the plan for centralised online admission, which was to be conducted by the affiliating universities.

Chatterjee had said the government was opposed to the centralised system as it would have curbed the autonomy of the colleges, which now enjoy the liberty to fix admission criteria and select students.

“The government is not allowing the universities to start centralised online admission on the grounds that it would infringe on the freedom of the colleges. But the government has curbed the autonomy of Burdwan University, which successfully implemented the online system last year, by asking it revert to the earlier system. Moreover, the college-level online process will not prevent the anarchy that prevails on the campuses during admission,” Mishra said.

The minister, however, asserted that the government would not introduce centralised online admission.

Chatterjee clarified that the government was firm in its stand to maintain transparency in the admission process and will not allow the colleges to admit undeserving students.

He said teams consisting of senior officials of the higher education department have been sent to all colleges from where incidents of admission-related violence have been reported.

Chatterjee admitted in the House that the government has failed to recruit adequate number of teachers in the secondary schools.

Body found

The body of a man, with a history of epilepsy, was found in the pool on the Nandan premises on Wednesday.

Police said Hari Das, 60, used to work at a hotel near Nandan and would often sneak into the complex to wash clothes in the pool.