FYJC Admissions: Maratha students shun quota, demand meritocracy

Mumbai: Students wanting to secure admissions to First Year Junior College (FYJC) are protesting over the new reservation policy initiated by the state. In fact, students who can now avail of the Maratha quota claim there should be no special privilege given to them based on any caste or social background and admissions to FYJC should be done purely based on merit.

Students are strongly opposing the new rule of the state to set aside a mere seven per cent seats in the open category. Also, only 10 per cent seats are allotted for in-house admissions, whereas 16 per cent seats are reserved for Marathas, including the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC). Vinod Tawde, state education minister of school and higher secondary education, announced these new policies on Thursday.

In response, students claimed the reservation criteria, on the whole, are unfair and unjust. In addition, Maratha students claimed there was no need for any special reservation of seats for them. Pritesh Kadwadkar, a Maratha student from the SEBC category, said, “We do not want any special privilege as there is no need to treat us differently.

Our social and financial backgrounds have improved over the years and there is no need to get the whole caste difference in the picture in the 21st century.” Students claim times have changed now and it is the 21st century, where merit should rule. Jayeshri Mane, another student, said, “Why are we still differentiating based on our social norms and caste systems which existed centuries ago?

We have friends who belong to the open category and are fighting for seats. The admissions should be based purely on our scores, where all of us are treated equally.” With the new reservation policy, students in the open category, who do not have any social, economic or caste privilege, will only have limited seats.

Asifa Zaveri, a teacher, said, “Students will also have to go beyond their own school and secure admissions in other colleges, as there are only 10 per cent seats for the in-house category. Also, the state should realise that students from different boards apply for FYJC and so there will be large numbers of students from the open category who will face a tough deal securing admissions.”

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