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Edu dept to colleges: Conduct online admission or else...

In the run-up to the admissions for FYJC for the academic session 2012-13, state’s School Education Minister Rajendra Darda has passed the strict injunction to all colleges to register themselves for the online admission procedure, or face the music. Last year, most colleges gave computers and Internet a wide berth and decided to go the old-school way for the FYJC admissions, conducting them offline. But they have to break out of their lethargy this year. 

Ultimatum: The diktat that all junior and degree colleges must conduct FYJC admissions online this year was issued by the education department after it emerged that last year, many of them conducted it offline
 
According to sources, zonal education officers will be held responsible if colleges are found conducting admissions offline within their jurisdiction. An enquiry could be held against them, or they may have to forego part of their pension or salary. At a meeting held by Darda with a committee formed to look into online admissions, it emerged that most of the colleges didn’t register themselves for the online admission process last year.  
 
Hearing of this, the Minister asked for the formation of committees at ward or district level, comprising education inspector, retired professor and principals, who would ensure that all degree colleges and junior colleges conduct admissions online this year. They will also be vested with the responsibility of ensuring that all the colleges are equipped with proper infrastructure, such as toilets, laboratories, seating arrangements. After making the necessary inspections, they will have to prepare reports on the same and submit it to the deputy director’s office. This is being done after several parents complained about the lack of infrastructure in different colleges where their children applied for admission online. 
 
As per the circular sent to education officers on March 23 by the deputy director of school education, a host of problems were observed in seating arrangements at degree and junior colleges during the Higher Secondary Certificate examinations held earlier this month. Colleges are likely to be served notices or memos from the education department if they are caught conducting offline FYJC admissions this year. The verdict or quantum of punishment is to be meted out to erring institutions after they clarify their stand, claimed an official from the education department.
 
Darda said, “It has come to our notice that the colleges try to accommodate 100 students in one class when the capacity is 60-70. There were many complaints last year about colleges that are below standard. So we have decided we would single out these colleges and examine them. We will ask the officers in their zones to form committees that will survey infrastructure available in colleges.” 
 
N B Chauhan, assistant director for school education, said, “The committees will monitor all the colleges at their level. If any complaints come in, the zonal education officer will be held responsible – an enquiry may be conducted against them, or they may have to face problems while claiming their pension or salary.” An education official from South Mumbai, requesting anonymity, said, “We have been asked to check how many divisions there are in every degree and junior college. We will have to send this report to the deputy director of school education before March 30.” 
 
The circular
The circular states that some zonal education officers, without collecting data from colleges, recommended that they increase the number of divisions. It asks zonal education officers to henceforth check the overall facilities of colleges. It also says that some colleges are admitting students beyond their capacity, causing others to have vacant seats. The circular makes online admissions compulsory in every college, and says that the zonal education officer will be held responsible if any complaint is lodged against any degree or junior college during online admissions in his jurisdiction.

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