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34% seats in state colleges lying vacant

Kolkata: Even as the Higher Education Department extended dates of admission on more than one occasion, around 34 per cent college seats across the state have remained vacant this year. In 11 districts, the vacancies exist between 30 to 40 per cent.

There are 7.8 lakh seats in the colleges that offer degree courses. Among these, over 5 lakh seats have been filled up. The admission process this year started after the Durga Puja.

As per data available with the state government, the highest number of vacancies exist at Kalimpong (59 per cent) followed by East Midnapore (47 per cent) and Alipurduar (44 per cent). Amid the COVID-19 pandemic situation, students have preferred to seek admission in colleges of their own districts. "A large section of students, who otherwise would have sought admission in a reputed college, have not done so to avoid travelling," said Principal of a North 24-Parganas-based college.

In 2019, more than 30 per cent of college seats had remained vacant but for different reasons. "The craze for engineering and medical was the main reason," said an Education department official.

The admission scenario in Kolkata colleges has been better with 36 per cent seats remaining vacant. The figure was nearly 40 per cent in 2019. "Most of the seats that have found no takers are reserved ones," said principal of a North Kolkata college.

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