FYJC Admissions amidst the COVID 19 Pandemic
FYJC Admissions in a time where the world is on a standstill will be a challenging affair.The state government has been stalling the FYJC (First Year Junior College) admission process for nearly 2 and a half months. And now finally the government issued a resolution that implements the Supreme Court’s interim that stayed the Maratha quota in education.
The Bombay expressed disappointment regarding the delay of the admission process and stated that several months of lakhs of students have already been wasted. The court further directed the state government to respond to the plea that seeks formulating a strategy to start FYJC admissions.
A plea was made by advocate Vishal Saxena who also happens to be a parent of a teenager who is a part of this years FYJC admission process which was heard by the division bench of Chief justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish S Kulkarni. The plea stated that the process of FYJC admissions had been stalled due to supreme courts interim stay on Maratha reservation and since then almost 2.3 lakh students in Mumbai have been uncertain about their higher education.
The writ petition (filed on 18th October ) added that the process of admission had been delayed this year due to the ongoing pandemic of Covid-19 and that the process of admission have always started right after the SSC results’ declaration in the past years. It also added that the first round was FYJC admission was completed and later the Supreme Court’s order to stay the Maratha quota in the 9th of September caused the entire process to stop.
The Impact of the Pandemic on the FYJC Admissions
The pandemic has already caused a lot of loss in the field of education and has affected students adversely. Thus the petition requests the state government to formulate strategies to resume the admission process in order to relieve students from their ongoing stress and anxiety. The petitioner further added that this would secure the future of the students and benefit them at large.
Later the state government lawyer asked for one week’s time to respond to the above plea, the bench observed “Petition was filed last month. We are almost nearing December. Half of the academic year is almost done and wasted. That is the anxiety of the petitioner and over 2 lakh students. You cannot be delaying the decision. Otherwise, in the short term of nearly five months the academic year will come to an end. It is a very serious issue. How do they complete the academic term?”
According to the GR, all the admissions for this academic year would be done without the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) quota. Although the admission completed before the SC’s order on September 9 wont be affected.
“If a student has applied under the SC BC quota the phone 9 September but is yet to be admitted the student will be given a seat under the open category” said the government resolution until the supreme court final order on the Maratha quota GR would remain in effect. “We are ready to implement the changes in the system and the seat Matrix will be updated at the earliest the admission can then resume” said a source
The second merit list for the FIR JC admission was due on the 10th of September but was stayed due to supreme courts order. And since then the admissions have been stalled. 75000 students out of nearly 2.1 lakh FYJC applications in Mumbai have and 2309 were allotted a seat managed to secure a seat in the first round. Out of these 2934 students applied under SEBC Kota and 2309 were allotted a seat.
Although, Vinod Patil, a petitioner for the battle of Maratha quota expressed his disappointment and called out the decision for being unjust towards the Marathas. “ Its absolutely wrong decision full stop this is not the way. How can the state government ignore Maratha candidates in the admission process? It would be injustice to them” said Patil. He further stated that he will definitely seek legal opinion and will then decide further steps. Four requests were submitted by the state government to the Supreme Court to set up a constitutional bench. Then the matter was adjourned for four weeks on the 27th of October.
The Maratha Qouta and the aftermath
Meanwhile the students who had been allotted seats and had secured admissions in junior colleges after the first merit list was out are demanding colleges to start online lectures. Karishma Venkatesh one of the many outrageous 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”
Along with the students who already had been allotted seeds there are also students who are impatiently waiting for the admission process to resume. Jignesh Shah a student said “It is unfair towards those who belong to the open category because we’re being forced to wait for no reason. The state government should assume the admission process as there has been a delay already”
Not only student but even junior colleges are in a fix as well as they cannot start regular classes if 75% of the seats are not filled. Principal of a junior college in the vicinity of Dadar said “Some students have written to ask 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 the directions from the state government”
Varsha Gaikwad the School Education Minister said that the decisions regarding the first year Junior College admission is most likely to take place in a couple of days she said “We are
waiting for a go ahead from the law and Judiciary department. Our systems are in place to incorporate changes and start admissions within three days of the Government’s decision”
Until then the education department roped in teachers of various junior colleges to conduct online classes as a stop gap arrangement until the admission resume. The online sessions have between 4000 to 4 lakh views as against nearly 17 lakh class 11th students in the state!