Government of West Bengal
Department of Higher Education
Bikash Bhavan, Salt Lake, Kolkata- 700091
No. 908-Edn(CS)/10M-95/14 Date: 17.11.2014
Subject: Introduction of Online Admission into Under Graduate and Post Graduate Courses from Academic Year 2015-16
Whereas the Government in the Department of Higher Education has been receiving feedback on the difficulties and physical hardship being faced by students seeking admission to Under Graduate and Post Graduate courses in the State-funded higher education institutions;
And whereas the Government desires to streamline the admission procedure of Under Graduate and Post Graduate courses in such a manner that the admission process becomes hassle-free and transparent, and offers convenience to students, their parents/guardians and renders the college/university authorities more accountable in completing a merit-based admission process in a time-bound manner;
And now, therefore, the Governor is pleased to issue the following instructions on introduction of Online System for admission into Under Graduate and Post Graduate courses from the Academic Year 2015-16
i. From the Academic Year 2015-16, admissions to Under Graduate and Post Graduate courses (Honours and General) in the State-funded higher education institutions in West Bengal (except institutions recognised as minority institutions) shall be through an online, merit-based admission system. Government Colleges, Government-aided colleges, University Colleges, Universities and the like shall fall within the scope of this exercise. Institutions located in remote and difficult areas that lack the telecom infrastructure for running an online system may prepare a case and subject to the satisfaction of the affiliating University, and with prior permission of the State Government be allowed to remain outside the purview of this exercise
ii. Each higher education institution will operate the online system on a standalone basis, i.e., the online system will not be a centralised one but be specific to each institution. The Head of the institution i.e. Vice Chancellor, Principal/ Officer-in-charge/ Teacher-in-charge (as the case may be) will be responsible for implementing this system, and he will head a Committee for online admission comprising key officials of the institution.
iii. This Committee, inter alia, will (where necessary and to the extent required) arrange to amend the Statutes/Rules/Regulations/Ordinances/guidelines, as the case may be regulating the admission process so as to enable conduct of online admissions. The necessary amendments, where necessary, may be done as per the due process laid down in the University’s Statutes/ Rules/ Regulations/ Ordinances, as the case may be.
iv. Planning the exercise shall cover all aspects of the exercise, namely, installation of requisite hardware (including servers/ fail-proof UPS etc.), preparation/ customisation of software tailored to the specific requirements of each individual institution, training of personnel for operating the system, widely publicising the important dates related to the admission process, tying up with banks for deposit of fees including all fees related to admission (to the extent possible, and as a principle, fees should not be accepted on the campus), and bringing out a detailed advisory for admission seekers guiding them on the various procedural modalities/steps involved in the preparation of merit list, counselling and admission, along with a calendar of dates.
v. The hardware planning should be done so as to ensure a robust, crash-proof system but with due regard to economy. The objective is to minimise expenditure to the extent practicable but ensuring that the hardware and software deliver a seamless and interruption-free delivery of service. It is expected that the institutions already have procured hardware including computer, servers, UPS, printer etc. However, where new acquisition or augmentation of hardware is necessary, the same may be done by the institutions concerned. A reliable, high-speed internet data connection will be an important component of the hardware system.
vi. It needs to be kept in mind that the reservation of seats for the OBC students (10% for category A and 7% for category B) has commenced from the ensuing Academic Year 2014-15. This is in addition to the existing reservation for SC and ST students, and the software will have to cater to this requirement too. The full 17% reservation has to be achieved in a phased manner over a six-year period starting from 2014-15. New institutions having the required infrastructure may go in for the full 17% reservation of seats for OBCs in 2014-15 while the other institutions may make such number of seats available to OBC students in 2014-15 as are afforded by the available infrastructure.
vii. The software preparation would be done by each institution since the choice of subjects on offer would be different from one institution to another institution, and the software would have to cater to the varying requirements of different institutions and be able to generate a list of successful candidates based on merit. For this, each institution will have to prepare information relating to the courses on offer (Honours and General), number of seats, combination of subsidiary subjects available for Honours, fee structure, etc. Further, the interface with banks (where available/feasible) will have to be carefully planned and suitably catered to in the software. This institution-bank interface and its level of sophistication will vary, depending upon the type of electronic service the relevant banks are able to provide.
viii. For software preparation, each institution will be at liberty to entrust the work to any reliable agency subject to the observance of due diligence and rules in this regard. Credentials of the agency would have to be verified thoroughly since the exercise does not allow any margin of error. The target should be to have the software ready and tested not later than the end of March 2015. The work can even be entrusted to an agency on turnkey basis, i.e. covering all aspects of the exercise such as procurement of hardware, development of software, training of personnel, generation of merit list, etc.
ix. Each institution may charge a one-time registration fee from each candidate for the Bank’s service charge. The students applying online will have to be informed beforehand the registration fee chargeable for this service along with the other “dos” and “don’ts” related to the exercise. Sufficient publicity through the institution’s notice board, website (where available), email/ SMS or other available channels, would be advisable. Necessary provisions should be there in each system so that the Higher Education Department may access the website as an ‘admin’ (without power to edit/alter) to view the status.
xi. This e-governance initiative is in the interest of the students and will be a major step forward for the State’s higher education system in bringing about greater transparency, efficiency and accountability in the annual admissions exercise. The State Government will not countenance any lack of interest or negligence in implementing the online admission system.
xii. The overall responsibility of implementation shall rest with the Head of the institution, i.e., Vice Chancellor/ Principal/ Officer-in-charge/ Teacher-in-charge (as the case may be) and he shall be held responsible for smooth delivery of the scheme. All aspects of the matter viz., procurement of hardware including high-speed internet connectivity, development of software, training of personnel etc. will have to be ensured.
xiii. This is a highly time-bound exercise involving considerable number of applicants across the State, and hence, it requires sustained efforts by a dedicated team of officials in every institution. During the admission season the Higher Education Department will create a help line to monitor and review the admission process undertaken by all the higher education institutions. For any further clarification relating to online admission, the concerned institution may bring it to the attention of the Higher Education Department.
xiv. Time frame for time bound implementation –
1. Procurement of hardware ……………… latest by 31st January, 2015;
2. Development of software ……………….. latest by 28th February, 2015;
3. Software to be ready and tested ……… latest by 31st March, 2015.
By order of the Governor
Sd/- Vivek Kumar
Principal Secretary to the
Government of West Bengal