Kolkata, July 2 (IANS) Amid allegations of extortion of money from students in the name of admissions in Kolkata colleges, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday paid a surprise visit to Asutosh College here and warned of “strong action” against anyone indulging in irregularities during the admission process.
“I was also into student politics. I have spent nearly six-seven years of my student politics in this college. That’s why I have come here to know the situation. So far, I have not received any complaint from the students or their guardians,” said Banerjee, who was a student of the South Kolkata college.
Banerjee said the students’ unions should be “helping hands” for the students and make sure that those from poor families also get a chance to pursue higher education.
“Some students come from economically weak background but that is not their fault. They should be given chance to pursue higher education. If some people are demanding money in lieu of admissions, this is absolutely wrong. I will ask them not to do it. Otherwise, the government will take strong action according to law,” Banerjee said.
“I appeal to all student unions and college staff and principals to keep an eye on the situation and help out aspiring students, who should be able to get admission according to merit; money should not become a deciding factor here,” she added.
Education Minister Partha Chatterjee also paid a surprise visit to north Kolkata’s Seth Anandram Jaipuria College on Monday afternoon and said he had asked the college authorities to check any financial irregularities during the admission process.
He said a section of the media was blowing the issue out of proportion and appealed to the students and their families to lodge a police complaint if they face any issues.
“I think a section of the media is playing to the gallery. I request the students and those who have such complaints to directly approach the police. Appropriate action will be taken if anyone is found guilty,” Chatterjee said.
The Minister, however, said that the government is not considering making the college admission process a centralised one as there are certain infrastructural shortcomings.