Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Admission tangle ends, students rejoice

In a significant verdict that will have far-reaching implications on the status of deemed universities, the high court has held these universities are bound by University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines with respect to admissions as they have statutory force. With this path-breaking judgment, the 32 students caught in an admission tangle can heave a sigh of relief, what with barely 24 hours left for admissions to close.

"Having acquired the status of a deemed university -- after giving an undertaking and signing an MoU that they would surrender 25% of seats to the state government when obtaining an NOC -- they cannot contend that those conditions on which they were accorded recognition are bad in law and cannot be enforced. They cannot take a U-turn and challenge the very same undertaking as well as the UGC Act's regulations, which had given them deemed status. According to UGC guidelines, the institution should follow the state policy," the special Bench comprising Justice V Gopala Gowda and Justice K Bhakthavatsala observed, after quoting and analyzing various apex court judgments, including the Inamdar case, in their order.

Nitte not yet a university

"As per records made available, Nitte is not yet disaffiliated from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Science (RGUHS). They are not yet a university. They are only a private professional college. They are governed by Rule 2(l), relating to government seats. All such colleges are governed by consensual agreement on seat sharing. The prayer in their petition is untenable. It is luxurious litigation," the Bench strongly observed while dismissing the petitions filed by both the Universities

The court held that all excess admissions made by the two medical colleges run by Nitte and Yenepoya Universities are bad in law. The court also directed the two institutions to make over the excess admissions of this year above their 75-seat management quota to the KEA quota for the year 2010-11. As per these, 13 seats in Nitte and five in Yenepoya would now go to the state government.

Meanwhile the three-judge Bench of the apex court headed by Justice B N Agarwal will hear the SLPs filed by MCI and Nitte Universities against the August 19 interim order passed by the high court on Wednesday. On September 2, the Bench had stayed the HC's earlier order.

The MCI has alleged that the Karnataka high court's order was nothing but allowing excess admission, which is not permissible as per various orders, passed by the apex court.

On August 19, the high court had directed the KEA to accommodate all students including the 47 allottees who were turned away by the two deemed universities.

Both universities contended that as per the guidelines, the NOC they obtained had no value or bearing and it is the central government which is the competent authority in the matter.

However, the state government had told the court that these two colleges had voluntarily surrendered 25% of their quota while seeking an NOC and have made made admissions in both UG and PG categories.

Apart from this, these two colleges also have been notified in the February 5 notification regarding CET.

It was no classroom

They were waiting for weeks together. On Tuesday, some of the students were in the court right from 11.30 am, anxiously waiting for the judgment. When the dictating order process started, the tension ran high. It was about 5 pm in the evening when the court ultimately passed an order in their favour; and they couldn't hide their glee. They clapped with relief. But the division Bench didn't appreciate it. "Is this a classroom?" asked Justice V Gopala Gowda, and it was followed by pin-drop silence.

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