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Presi to seek nod for dereservation

Presidency University

College Street: Presidency University will appeal to the backward class welfare department for permission to offer vacant seats in the reserved category to general category students.

The second phase of counselling for 139 seats at the postgraduate level and 216 seats at the undergraduate level will be held on August 23 and 24, respectively.

Of the 139 seats at the master's level, 105 are in the reserved categories (Scheduled Caster, Scheduled Tribe, Other Backward Classes-A and Other Backward Classes-B). And of the 216 seats at the undergraduate level, 153 are in the reserved categories.

The university will approach the backward class welfare department with a list of vacant seats after the second round of counselling.

"We will need a couple of days after the second round to collate the final figures of vacant seats. Then we will seek dereservation of the seats so they can be offered to general category students," said Arabinda Nayak, chairperson of the Presidency admissions committee.

"Once the department allows the dereservation, the state joint entrance examinations board will conduct a third round of counselling," board registrar Dibyendu Kar said.

The board has been conducting the admission tests and counselling on behalf of Presidency since 2015.

The first phase of counselling for the 705 undergraduate and the 354 postgraduate seats was held in July.

Why were the vacant seats in the reserved categories not dereserved after the first round of counselling? "The (backward class welfare) department insists on making multiple attempts to fill up the seats before dereserving them," Kar said.

Last year, the higher education department had pulled up the Presidency authorities for not dereserving vacant seats in accordance with a state act in force since 2013.

As many as 300 seats at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels had remained vacant in 2017. Half the seats were in the reserved categories.

Presidency vice-chancellor Anuradha Lohia had in November been asked to dereserve vacant seats in the reserved quota so they could be offered to general category students.

The message was conveyed to Lohia by higher education secretary R.S. Shukla when she visited Bikash Bhavan in Salt Lake to explain why so many seats at the premier institution had remained vacant.

The West Bengal State Higher Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act 2013 allows dereservation of vacant seats in the reserved categories.

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