For the first time this year, 5% seats will be reserved in first year junior colleges (FYJC) for students affected by projects or earthquakes in Maharashtra, starting Friday. Those aspiring for open category seats, however, are worried this will eat into their seats.
Major infra-structure projects in Mumbai such as the Metro-III corridor and the Eastern Freeway have required rehabilitation of people in the past few years. Across Maharashtra, PAPs include those affected by the Latur earthquake — three years after builders completed the Koyna Dam, a 6.5-magnitude earthquake hit the area in 1967, killing more than 100 people.
All 778 colleges under the University of Mumbai — including those run by minority groups — participating in the centralised admission process for FYJC will follow the new reservation while allocating seats, said education officials.
This reservation is in addition to the existing quota such as 50% for students belonging to the same minority community as the college, 20% for in-house students, 5% for management, 2% and 3% for cultural and sports quota, and 3% for differentlyabled. Adding to this, the department will ensure that at least 30% seats are filled by women.
Students will need certificates issued by the collector or district rehabilitation officer stating that project-affected or earthquake-affected persons (PAPs) or their dependents are eligible for the seats.
The new quota effectively means that of the 2.92 lakh seats available in the 2017-18 FYJC admission process, 14,604 will be set aside for PAPs. “We are providing constitutional and parallel reservations in the online admission process this year. This category was long due,” said Vinod Tawde, education minister. The provision is mentioned in the new information booklet containing the rules and regulations for the new ‘studentfriendly’ admissions this year. “Rehabilitation of people has become a major issue owing to government projects or natural calamities,” said Suvarna Kharat, deputy secretary of the state school education department.
"Students from the general category always have to face the brunt of such reservations in every educational institute — be it medical admissions or engineering," said Shraddha Gokul, an FYJC aspirant from Vile Parle.