Since the inception of online admission three years ago, colleges have been inundated with applications for the three per cent reservation under the sports quota, from students hoping to take advantage of their excellence in the sports field. However, while students’ preferences are taken into account during the admission process, they are not allowed to choose which college they wish to join. The result is that students are being placed to colleges at random, some of which do not support the sports that they play.
Despite numerous complaints made by sports coordinators of city colleges to the education department about the matter, all appeals have fallen on deaf ears.
Commenting on the situation, Ashok Kunwar, Ruparel college sports director, said, “Our college has been a regular name in many sports like kho kho, basketball, softball, cricket and shooting. However, since the education department has taken charge of allotment of seats to students through the sports quota, students from random sports categories are getting admission to our college, because of which we are unable to form consistent teams for a particular sport.”
Echoing the sentiments of Kunwar, Dr B D Salvi, sports director of Mulund College of Commerce, said, “Our junior college association of sports complained to the sports director that colleges are facing problems in forming teams and that students are being deprived of playing the sports they have been playing in their schools because the colleges they have been allotted may not have the facility for the sport. However, our efforts have fallen on deaf ears, and nothing has been done. Today, even students who have not played sports since Std VIII are getting admission, which is wrong.”
Usha Mukundan, principal of Ramniranjan Jhunjhunwala College, said, “Over a period of time, the policy makers might think that the students getting admissions through sports quota online is a good idea. However, students of a particular sport may land up in a college that doesn’t support that sport. Then it is not only the college’s loss, but a loss for the students as well.”
Sharad Kalawant, district sports officer, Mumbai suburban, said, “Till Wednesday we issued 550 certificates to students who wish to apply for sports quota online. After we verify their certificates and applications, we issue certificates of eligibility, if they have played at district, state or national level. It is true that ever since sports quota admissions have been decided by the education department, colleges have complained that they are unable to form teams for sports they are known for.
The other side
Accepting that the colleges are unable to form good sports teams, NB Chauhan, assistant director of school education, said, “It is true that sports students are allotted to colleges at random under sports quota, after verifying their sports certificate given by district sports officer. If the colleges wish to form good sports teams, one solution is that they can admit these sports students under the management quota.”