Maratha Reservation: Students fume as quota row halts FYJC admission
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It has been almost two months since the first merit list for First Year Junior College (FYJC) online admissions was declared on August 30. Soon after that the FYJC admission process was halted over the Maratha quota row.

Students who have been admitted in the first merit round have demanded junior colleges to start lectures. On the other hand, large number of students are demanding resumption of the admission process to secure seats.

The state government has halted and postponed the FYJC online admission process until further notice due to the Supreme Court (SC) direction regarding the socially and educationally backward class (SEBC) reservation. As the matter is being heard in the court, no merit lists have been announced after the first list was declared on August 30, 2020.

Students who have been allotted seats and have secured admissions in junior colleges after the first merit round are demanding colleges to start online lectures. Karishma Venkatesh, a student said, "I have been sitting idle with no academic syllabus to pursue despite having secured admission in the first week of September. The college should conduct virtual lectures instead of wasting the academic year."

On the other hand, students have been persistently demanding for the resumption of the admission process. Jignesh Shah, a student said, "It is unfair towards those who belong to the open category because we are being forced to wait for no reason. The state government should resume the admission process as there has been a delay of almost two months."

In addition, junior colleges are in a fix as they can only start regular classes after 75 per cent seats are filled. A principal of a junior college at Dadar said, "Some students have written to us demanding online lectures. We will start introductory virtual classes for now. We will conduct these lectures again once the FYJC admissions are done. We will wait for further directions from the state government."

The FYJC admission online process has been halted since September 9. The second merit list was scheduled to be declared on September 10. But on September 9, the SC stayed reservation in government jobs and educational institutions for candidates belonging to the Maratha community in Maharashtra. Following which, the state education department announced, "With reference to the orders of the SC of India (regarding SEBC reservation), the rest admission process is postponed until further notice."

This year, 12 per cent seats were reserved for SEBC in FYJC admission. Over 2.75 lakh students have registered for around 3.20 lakh vacant seats in 844 colleges in the Mumbai region. The SEBC or Maratha quota reservation matter will be heard on October 27 in the SC.

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