West Bengal college admission racket: Mamata Banerjee government tweaks admission procedure, six held so far

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New Delhi | Published: July 9, 2018 1:41:04 PM

Despite West Bengal government and police keeping a strict vigil in the institutions days after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited the Calcutta University, the operation of college admission racket remains unabated.

While candidates have alleged that student leaders of the ruling political party have been demanding Rs 10,000 to Rs 1 lakh for admission, police have arrested six in this connection, including former general secretary of the Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad, the TMC’s student wing.

Despite West Bengal government and police keeping a strict vigil in the institutions days after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited the Calcutta University, the operation of college admission racket remains unabated. While candidates have alleged that student leaders of the ruling political party have been demanding Rs 10,000 to Rs 1 lakh for admission, police have arrested six in this connection, including former general secretary of the Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad, the TMC’s student wing.

CM Banerjee, who has already removed the president of Trinamool Chhatra Parishad (TMCP), has sent a stringent message for those who are involved in this racket.

In the aftermath of the furore over the entire racket, the West Bengal Higher Education Department has now changed admission procedures. Kolkata Police directed all college authorities to ban the entry of student union members and leaders at the time of admission. It has also posted men in uniform at around 20 government colleges in the city, set up a special team to investigate, and said complaints could be directed to a special number or made over WhatsApp.

The Higher Education Department has also asked college authorities to admit students on merit and go for verification and counselling only after classes start. This is to prevent students from being targeted while they are waiting after applying when they are approached with promises to facilitate admission.

Amidst the reports of the extortion money, West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee has sought to know from the college authorities what they have done with funds allocated for starting the online admission process. According to reports, close to 550 colleges across the state were provided Rs 1.5 lakh in 2015 and Rs 50,000 in 2016 each. Now the government wants to know what is the status of the online admission process and whether the funds are sufficient for the online process.

Many in Bengal believe that the online admission process would have curbed the extortion menace in colleges.

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