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mid-day editorial: Stop pulling strings in admissions

Tired of government officials and politicians making endless demands for college admissions under the management quota, prominent institutes in the city have decided to give up these seats altogether. A good 5% of seats come under the management quota.

Among the top colleges that have already surrendered their management quota seats are DG Ruparel College, SK Somaiya College and SIES College, a report in this paper said yesterday. This means more seats will now become available in the current online admission process. As of June 29, a total of 1,762 seats were surrendered by colleges in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai). This is good news for students clamouring for admission with barely any time to go now.

Every year we see that the demand and supply ratio for admissions is skewed, resulting in colleges being inundated with requests and pressure to admit certain students out of turn. Power and influence brings unbearable pressure on college principals. They are forced to bend and cave in to thinly veiled requests, to allow certain candidates into colleges.

We have so many instances of politicians and government servants pushing in candidates, using their money and clout to pile pressure on the institutes. This problem has become endemic to the system, which then ends up with undeserving students who cannot cope with academic demands. Deserving candidates who cannot get into a college of their choice end up disillusioned and bitter when they have to watch a lesser student go one-up on them because of influence or 'pull'.

Let's make the big 'M' in admissions stand for merit, not Management quota. Merit must be the only criteria for admissions. Zero donations, zero influence and no pulling strings. Even quota seats need to be given on merit, within that parameter. This is a vital aspect in the clean-up in the corridors of academia.

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