The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) has decided to write to the Bengal government to keep the 12 hill colleges out of the centralised web-based online admission system for undergraduate courses.
The state higher education department issued a gazette notification on April 24 that the department would use a centralised online admission system for admission to undergraduate levels in all colleges/ universities under the administrative control of the department from this academic session.
Sanchabir Subba, the deputy chief executive of the GTA, who is also in charge of the higher education department of this body, told The Telegraph that the GTA had decided to pursue the issue with the Bengal government.
“A group of students recently expressed to us their reservations against this new system. We had a talk with the GTA chief executive (Anit Thapa) and have decided to pursue this issue with the state government,” said Subba.
The group of students who met Subba recently were members of the Hamro Yuwa Shakti, the youth wing of the Hamro Party, sources said.
Rabgay Rai, the president of the Hamro Yuwa Shakti, Darjeeling subdivision committee, said: “We need to give preference to local students as the colleges (under the GTA area) are meant to cater to local students. The centralised admission system may lead to the inflow of more students from non-GTA areas.”
The state government came up with this single-window admission process to ensure that students need not apply to many colleges or pay admission fees to colleges with different admission timings.
The state government also stated this centralised policy would also bring uniformity and transparency to the admission process.
Rai, however, said that the state government provided a provision for exemption to this centralised admission policy, if need be.
In its notification, the state government said that the “the higher education department may at its discretion keep any course or college/university out of the purview of this centralized admission portal".
Hill academics said colleges in the region should be exempted from the centralised system for basic reasons such as differences in the medium of instruction in the hills and the plains.
“Every hill student can't study in any college of the plains as the mode of teaching in many colleges there is Bengali. The hill colleges, on the other hand, use English as the medium of instruction," said a hill academic. "Moreover, many hill students from financially weak backgrounds such as those from tea gardens may not be able to travel to the plains for their college education.”