Mumbai: Junior Colleges Held On To Vacant Quota Seats

Mumbai: Junior Colleges Held On To Vacant Quota Seats

While a little less than half of the vacant minority-quota seats (49,266) were given away by the junior colleges, as many as 18,330 (18%) seats were vacant.

Musab QaziUpdated: Saturday, May 04, 2024, 02:00 AM IST
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Fewer than 38% seats reserved under minority, management and in-house quotas at Mumbai’s junior colleges were filled in 2023-24, while more than 21% of those spots went unclaimed as the colleges refused to surrender them to the general pool.

The information was recently revealed by the state school education department in response to a Right to Information (RTI) query filed by the president of System Correcting Movement (SYSCOM), a Pune-based organisation. The data made available indicates that the junior colleges across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) were unable to fill a large proportion of seats, including those for minorities, in-house and management-quota, despite the prolonged admission process. The organisation has sought to overhaul the centralised admissions to ensure that students can enter junior colleges of their choice.

Concerns Over Low Seat Fill Rates And Quota Utilisation

Out of 3.9 lakh seats available for admission in the First Year of Junior College (FYJC) or Class 11 in MMR, only 2.68 lakh or 69% were filled. While 306 junior colleges that participated in the Centralised Admission Process (CAP) had all their seats taken, 242 didn’t get a single candidate. As many as 443 institutes couldn’t fill even half of their seats, with 320 registering fewer than 20% admissions.

The fate of quota seats was even worse. The minority-run junior colleges, which reserve 50% seats for students belonging to respective religious and linguistic minority communities, could fill only 36,379 out of 1.04 lakh (35%) seats on their own. The junior colleges attached to schools saw only 37% of the 5% reserved seats claimed by ‘in-house’ students. The situation of 10% management quota seats was relatively better, with 56% of them filled by the institutes.

Underutilisation Of Reserved Seats In Junior Colleges Raises Concerns

The admissions to these reserved seats are carried out before the regular CAP rounds in a so-called ‘zero’ round. After completion of these admissions, the junior colleges are allowed to ‘surrender’ the remaining quota seats in the general pool for other students. However, many of these colleges opt to hold on to these seats and continue offering them during the remainder of the admission cycle.

While a little less than half of the vacant minority-quota seats (49,266) were given away by the junior colleges, as many as 18,330 (18%) seats were vacant. Similarly, 36% and 27% of management and in-house quota seats, respectively, were neither surrendered nor filled.

SYSCOM also found that almost half (240 out of 481) of minority junior colleges chose not to surrender their vacant reserved seats, while 79 of them held on to their vacant seats. Of the remaining institutes, 127 gave away all of their unclaimed spots and 35 chose to part with only a portion.

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