The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Seat-hike decree in first-division rush

Twenty-four hours after the publication of the Higher Secondary 2005 results, the Calcutta University authorities on Thursday directed affiliated colleges to increase their seat strengths in BA, B.Sc and B.Com courses if their existing capacities were not enough to accommodate the admission-seekers.

The university took the decision because this year, 10,000 more students have passed the examination in the first division over last year.

'The demand for seats in all the three streams ' BA, B.Sc and B.Com ' is definitely going to be higher this time. The colleges can approach us for permission to increase their seats if they find that they are getting an unusually high number of applications for admission,' said Suranjan Das, Calcutta University pro vice-chancellor (academic).

He, however, made it clear that the university would not allow seat strength to be increased if the colleges did not have the required infrastructure for capacity expansion.

Under the existing system, there are nearly 102 colleges in the city with a lakh seats.

Since most schools had completed distributing Higher Secondary marksheets on Wednesday, a large number of students and guardians assembled in front of reputed as well as middle-ranking colleges throughout Thursday to collect admission forms.

Many colleges, like Presidency, started issuing forms from Thursday. The sale of forms on the first day was high, compared to previous years. 'We will distribute admission forms on June 10, 13, 14 and 15 and will be able to get a clearer picture on students' demands after that,' principal Amitava Chatterjee said.

Anxious students and guardians waited in front of almost every college to find out the seat strength in the courses they want to pursue.

'It is not difficult for me to get a form. But I wonder if I will get selected after the screenings,' said Priyanka Chakraborty, who has scored about 65 per cent in humanities and wants to take up English honours in Gokhale Memorial.

The competition will be toughest for those who missed the first division by a small percentage but are keen to pursue B.Sc courses. They may not find a place even in middle-ranking colleges.

The All India Council for Technical Education's drive to cut down on seats in engineering institutions has deepened the science seats crisis.

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