Midterm exams just days away, but...backdoor admissions still on at SP college

 Layer by layer, the veneer of propriety is peeling of Sir Parshurambhau (SP) College at Tilak Road, as the pathetic state of affairs become more evident. After MiD DAY raised the issue of women’s safety, or the lack of it at the institution (‘SP college turns into haven for goons as female students, teachers face frequent harassment’, October 4), it has now emerged that the college is creating a new record by opening its ‘back door’ to admit around 75 students in class XI, just ahead of the midterm exams.

On queue: Prospective students at SP College yesterday. Pic/Sachin Thakare

The whole drama of allotting seats was held at the office of Shikshan Prasarak Mandali (the society that runs the institution) yesterday, which revealed some shocking facts. For example, many students who are yet to be enrolled have been attending the college for the past two months.

Since morning, the society’s office situated at the rear of SP College was teeming with prospective students, parents and many self-proclaimed activists.

MiD DAY’s inquiries revealed that the college has been running these October admissions without intimating or taking permission from class XI centralised admission committee, which had authorised class XI admissions till the end of July2013.

When MiD DAY contacted SP College principal Dr Dilip Sheth, he remained largely silent during the three-and-a-half-minute conversation regarding this ‘unique’ admission procedure. However, he conceded that the college has not obtained official permission of government authorities before initiating the admission process.

“Today (Monday), we were checking the number of students present. We will contact the deputy director of education, Suman Shinde, regarding this,” Sheth said.

It has also come to light that the junior college teachers at the institution were opposing these additional admissions since the beginning.

“What I’ve heard is that the principal has personally gone to Mumbai twice and managed to get authorisation for these additional 10 per cent admissions from Mantralaya. However, no one knows about the exact number of enrolments and how the college will adjust these students, when the first term is almost over,” a female teacher said on the condition of anonymity.

“We are still firm on our stand that the college administration should not exceed the admissions, which will ultimately result in academic loss for students,” she added.

According to parents, since the past two months, the college management has been giving them assurances of admission, but now it has become an emotional issue for them.

“We are doing continuous follow-ups with the principal. Finally, he called all of us today to the society’s office. But after receiving a call from deputy directorate’s office, which objected to the admissions, the process was stopped. After we all protested, the college has called us on Tuesday afternoon with the assurance that our children will get admitted,” said Prasad Kulkarni, one of the parents.

On the other hand, the office of the deputy directorate of education, which oversees Class XI centralised admissions in the city, is in the dark about the goings-on at SP College.

“After completion of centralised admissions, like other institutions, SP College too has provided us the final list of students it has admitted in class XI. Also, the college has not applied for the additional 10 per cent admissions, which were held in August-end. I am astonished that the college is carrying out Std XI admissions now, and that too without intimating our office,” a top official from deputy directorate, education.

According to him, the office would soon initiate action against SP College, if it were proved that the establishment has granted admissions by going against rules. Youth activist Suresh Jain, who was present during the admission process yesterday, said, “Today (Monday), the college principal has checked documents of around 75 students and all of them have been called tomorrow for Class XI admissions.”

Jain, and other student union members who were pressing for SP College admissions, referred to the intervention made by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar during the Class XI centralised admissions earlier.

However, it should be noted that Pawar had clearly mentioned that the college should approach deputy directorate’s office before granting further 10 per cent admissions, which the college has not done.

Another point is the deputy CM had intervened in the admission process in August and SP is giving additional admissions after two months.  

Go figure!
Stream-wise Class XI admissions done by SP College through centralised admission procedure in July 2013
>> Science: 696, Commerce: 465, Arts: 237

Stream-wise cut-offs for Class XI of SP College this year
>> Science: 90 per cent, Commerce: 78.73 per cent, Arts: 85.82 per cent

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