When online registrations were introduced this year to the Centralised Admissions Procedure (CAP) for Std XI, it was supposed to make the process easier and more transparent for students, guaranteeing that everyone would get a seat in one of the city colleges. Ironically though, after three rounds of admissions, as many as 3,000 students have not found any seats through CAP, even though more than double the number of seats (6184) are still vacant in colleges across the city. Several of the city’s prominent colleges still have many vacant seats.
Wild seat chase: Students will now have to make individual applications to every college they hope to get a seat in. Representation Pic.
Fergusson College has 23 vacant seats in the Science stream, including aided and unaided courses. Abasaheb Garware College has 30 seats available, Nowrosjee Wadia Junior College has as many as 103 seats, while Poona College has vacancy of 113 seats. The scenario is similar even in the Arts and Commerce streams. Surekha Dange, vice-principal of Sir Parshurambhau (SP) College said, “There are several reasons behind these vacant seats in junior colleges in the city. As there was a chance for seats in better colleges, many students have cancelled their admission in the college allotted to them after the second merit list was published. In other cases, outstation students could not complete their admission procedure in time.”
What now? Worried parents thronged the office of deputy directorate of education in Pune Camp on Tuesday
Although the introduction of the online interface to CAP enabled admissions to commence on Tuesday, a fortnight earlier than last year, it has failed to deliver on its basic objective: providing guaranteed, hassle-free admission to each student who follows the procedure. Instead, the 3,000 students now have to apply individually to every college with vacant seats where they hope to find a seat. This has created a two-fold problem for students and their parents. Not only do they have to chase down vacancies in each college one by one, the unstructured offline process could increase chances of backdoor admissions through agents and student unions.
Several worried students and parents were spotted at the office of deputy directorate of education, based in Pune Camp, on Tuesday. Amol Bhosale, the parent of one of the students said, “My daughter scored 54 per cent in the SSC exams and she wants admission in Commerce stream. Despite following the admission procedure and accurately filling her college preferences, she has not got any seat. Now I really don’t know what to do to ensure her admission.” He went on to add, “This centralised admission procedure is only helpful for top scorers and it is useless for students securing comparatively low marks, as merit of almost all colleges are extremely high. At the beginning of the admission procedure itself, CAP authorities should have ensured admission to each and every student who participated in the process.”
Asked why CAP didn’t just increase the number of admission rounds, Dange said, “In our recent meeting we have urged CAP chairperson Suman Shinde for it. But at that point it was difficult to arrange additional rounds. Hence, after completing three rounds now, the procedure for remaining admissions has shifted to colleges.”
Despite several attempts, CAP chairperson and deputy director of education Suman Shinde could not be reached. While parents think the CAP system is at fault, CAP officials blame students for not filling the preferences of junior colleges correctly. “This is the first year of online admissions to class XI. Hence we have made available college cut-off marks from last year as well. All these 3,000 students, who are now blaming us for not allotting a college, had filled in preferences for colleges having high cut-off marks, because of which they have not received admission in any college,” one of the CAP officials said on the condition of anonymity.
According to the schedule laid out by CAP, junior colleges started accepting admission applications from all remaining students on Tuesday. The process will continue till July 17, while the merit list will be published on July 21. Giving assurances of continuing transparency in the process, the principal of another college said on the condition of anonymity, “As the class XI admission process has come to us suddenly, student unions and admission agents will get active to take advantage of the situation. We are not entertaining them, and have made it clear that this year the whole admission procedure is transparent. Though it has now shifted to colleges, the CAP authorities have records of each and every admission that will take place in coming days.”
The total number of junior colleges
Total number of seats
Number of seats in Arts stream
Number of Science seats
Number of Commerce seats