The State Government on Wednesday went on appeal against a single judge order of the High Court last month upholding AICTE norms that set a higher eligibility criteria for admissions to UG technical courses for students under the SC and ST categories.
The first bench comprising Chief Justice M Y Eqbal and A Arumugasami ordered status quo in the matter after accepting the appeal and issued notices to respondents returnable within two weeks. The appeal, filed on behalf of the government by Joint Secretary to Government, J Uma Maheshwari, said that it was only in the case of the SC and ST category that the norms set by the government, through an order on June 14, 2010, were lower than that of AICTE.
While the AICTE had prescribed a minimum eligibility of 40 per cent for all reserved categories in Class XII examinations, the State had prescribed 35 per cent as minimum marks for those belonging to the SC and ST categories.
Submitting elaborate arguments in support of the government order, the appeal stated that the AICTE had not taken into account the very meager representation of these weaker sections of society in technical education. “Large number of seats earmarked for these communities remain vacant even with the mere pass criterion while fixing the minimum eligibility marks,” the petition said.
The submission said that not just marks obtained at admission level but an array of factors influence the quality of technical education, including infrastructure. “Large number of students belonging to SC/ST/SCA community who have obtained a mere pass has been admitted into engineering degree courses as per State norms and such students have completed their engineering degree with good academic record,” it said.
The appeal prayed that the court issue a direction permitting the government to continue the selection process as per government norms and stay the operation of the single judge order.