Education minister Partha Chatterjee in a file photo.
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Kolkata: Bengal government has issued a directive asking the colleges in the state to do away with the process of document verification or counselling in the physical presence of students seeking admission to undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

The move comes in view of the widespread allegations of extortion from students for admission to colleges by student union leaders from the ruling Trinamool.

According to education minister Partha Chatterjee, after receiving applications from students via the online mechanism, the colleges should prepare a merit list and communicate the concerned student who has been shortlisted for admission.

The student then will be required to pay the prescribed fee on the e-payment mode or at the bank branch designated by the said college. He said that in case of need for clarifications, the college can e-mail or phone the student.

“But under no circumstances, a student can be called to the college for verification of document or for counselling during the entire admission process. “The point is clear. Merit shall and will be the only criterion for admission,” Chatterjee told a news conference today.

The minister added that physical verification of documents if required, can be done only when the students turn up at the college to attend the classes in the new session. The state higher education department has sent a fresh notification detailing these to all the state-aided colleges and universities in the state.

Chatterjee alleged that as regards the cases of extortion or demand for extortion from students that have come to light so far, the accused are mostly “outsiders” who have no authorisation to be in the colleges.

“The college student unions shall not have any role in the admission process. We will not tolerate any outsider to meddle into the affairs of the college,” he said.

Meanwhile, Trinamool has dissolved the Trinamool Chhatra Parishad units at Gurudas College, Vidyasagar College, City College, and Ananda Mohan College in Kolkata over allegations of their involvement in the admission extortion racket.

Police had yesterday arrested Tetan Saha, a Trinamool youth leader and former general secretary of Jaipuria College student union, for demanding money from students for admission to colleges in the city.

His arrested aide Ratul Ghosh, a Group D staff of Surendranath College, was today served with a show-cause notice asking why he had accumulated admission forms and educational documents of students at his residence.