On-Line Admission Fiasco

This year, the Minister of Education of the TMC Government of West Bengal, Mr Bratya Basu, had decided that all the admissions to the undergraduate and post-graduate courses would be made on the on-line basis by the respective universities. Recently, Mr Basu was replaced by Mr Partha Chatterjee, and thereafter an announcement was made that admission forms would be separately distributed by the colleges. A slippery and patently false argument that the necessary infrastructure was absent, although according to software experts, creation of such softwares does not need much time and effort.

The real reason is that in most of the colleges, students' unions have been getting student- applicants of their choice forcibly admitted and taking money from them in lieu of such favours. If the process of admission, ranging from the collection and submission of the forms to the depositing of fees, is conducted on the on-line basis, there is virtually no scope of the TMC-hooligans to create pressures on the respective college authorities and to collect bribes from the applicants. It has transpired that the scrapping of on-line admission has been due to the pressure created by TMCP, the students' wing of the Trinamul Congress.

One example should suffice to illustrate the hypocrisy and mendacity of the government and its stooges ruling the roost in the sphere of college and university education. Last year, the University of Burdwan, which was set up in 1961, regulated the admissions to the undergraduate courses of the affiliated colleges on the on-line basis. This year, the existing vice-chancellor has brazenly declared that they are unable to arrange this process this year. Why this reversion to the old and obsolete method is anybody's guess. Reports are there of principals pleading their helplessness, because they cannot resist the corrupt practices—threatening, intimidation and extortion—of the leaders of students' unions. Those who are familiar with the scenario of college education in West Bengal know that even during the period of the earlier Left Front Government such malpractices were there. But barring some utterly unscrupulous 'educationists', all impartial observers would perhaps agree that in this respect the TMC and the TMCP have surpassed the CPI(M) and its students’ wing the SFI.

Yet there are flickers of hope. The principal-in-charge of a North Bengal college did not relent under the pressure of the TMCP and sent his resignation to the vice-chancellor of North Bengal University. The self-styled student leaders had to relent finally. The principal-in-charge has thus effectively resisted corruption. Not all principals are, sadly, made of this stuff. The entire episode is a poignant pointer to the degeneration of students' politics in West Bengal.

Vol. 46, No. 50, Jun 22 - 28, 2014