In 2020, a fake application in the name of Sunny Leone made it to the top of the merit list of English Literature of Asutosh College inspiring a series of memes online and Sunny herself tweeting how “excited” she was to be back in college which many reciprocated with their desire to be her classmates.
This year, however, colleges are not leaving any stone unturned to avoid such a situation where fake applications or pranks make it to the merit list. Last year, colleges and universities were too busy figuring out the entire online process of admission and the fake application of Sunny slipped through the filter process and made it to the merit list.
But colleges and universities are already alert this time and have incorporated mechanisms to weed out such applications either at the application stage or just before the merit list is drawn up.
The probability of such pranks is higher because there is no application fee and most colleges cannot physically verify documents before admission.
At Asutosh College where the incident happened, the authorities have directed applicants to report online before final merit list is drawn up at every stage.
“The students will be told to upload the copies of their mark sheets, photograph, signature and other documents which we will tally against the one they have submitted while applying. If anybody is trying to play a prank or submit fake details, he/she will be caught at this stage only,” said an official of the college. First online application is scheduled on August18, 19 and 20. “We want to avoid any incident like last year and we are taking proper measures for that.”
Presidency University, too, has directed applicants to report online before every provisional merit list is published. “Students will be required to upload the copies of mark sheets, signature and other documents which will be matched with the ones submitted at the application stage. This will help us eliminate any fake applications,” said an official. First online reporting is scheduled on August 30 and September 1.
Many autonomous colleges like Ramakrishna Mission Vidyamandira and St Xavier’s will have online interaction or viva voce before admission.
The admission portals of all colleges are maintained by “professional” companies who design the software and incorporate mechanisms for various calculations and to identify fake applications.
Before the admission process began this year, college authorities held meetings with the companies and instructed them to ensure that fake applications like last year do not make it to the merit list.
“Colleges too have made their teams to watch out for any fake applications or pranks at the application stage. The incident last year involving the fake application of Sunny Leone was a very embarrassing one for all of us,” said the principal of a north Kolkata college.