With all major school education boards having announced their results for this year, the admission process to colleges all over the state have begun. But, what remains missing is the familiar sight of huge crowds of parents and anxious freshers outside colleges, waiting to pick up the admission forms. Instead, most colleges have put out boards saying that one should fill up the online admission form and they need not physically come to the college. Now, the transition of the admission process from offline to online has been done keeping in mind the rampant corrupt practices that surrounded the earlier process. It was pretty common earlier to be approached by 'Dadas' or 'Didis' and promised admission (even if your marks weren't making the cut) in return of a certain sum of money. This sum of money could be a meagre amount or huge. The obvious impact of such malpractices was that if one could not afford to pay these 'Dadas', one's chances of acquiring a college admission were as good as bleak. Although, if one did cough up the demanded amount, that also did not guarantee that they would manage to get a seat. Needless to say, asking for money in return of college seats is unlawful thus, often this money is said to be for the 'union' or the 'college fest'. Last year we witnessed how this practice had far-reaching effects as a 17-year old girl hung herself and a TMCP leader from Vidyasagar College was said to be responsible for the girl taking such drastic measures. Apparently the girl had already paid the said TMCP leader five thousand rupees in hopes of getting a seat at the Vidyasagar College in an honours course because her marks were not making the cut. Not only did the TMCP leader not arrange for a seat, it was alleged that he made inappropriate advances towards the girl, he also asked for further money for the 'union' and when the girl got suspicious and refused, he told her to go hang herself.

Thus, the unfortunate death of the young girl brings to the fore the extent to which corruption had seeped into the process and so, the online admission process is a welcome initiative. The fact that the government implemented this system, at the cost of cutting off the quick buck the representatives of their students' wing were making, only goes to show the seriousness of the problem at hand.

But, some questions still remain with regard to implementation of the online procedure. It has to be made sure that no loopholes are left which can be utilised by the 'well-meaning Dadas'. Further a lot of candidates are either confused by the online process or cannot access it, these candidates have to be facilitated adequately. If the online admission process can be implemented as it should be, we can hope that no other young people will be forced to take drastic measures and acquiring a college education will not be equated with how deep one's pockets are.

20th June, 2016