The Karnataka High Court on Monday directed the Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) to conduct supplementary exam for nearly 30,000 BE students who had become ineligible to join the third semester after failing in more than four subjects in the first and the second semesters during the academic year 2011–12.

It will be for the first time that the VTU would conduct supplementary exam as its regulations have no provision for it

Justice Ram Mohan Reddy passed the interim orders while also directing the VTU to notify all students [even those who had not approached the court] about it and issue the calendar for conducting exam within a week.

Students who cleared the required number of subjects in the supplementary exam as per the VTU regulations would be eligible to join the third semester, and the VTU would have to conduct additional classes for such students to make up their attendance requirement and loss of classes, as by then the regular third semester classes would already have commenced, the court said.

However, the court refused to extend the same benefit to students, who became ineligible for joining the fifth and seventh semesters respectively as they could not clear the minimum number of subjects in the preceding semesters as per the regulations.

Justice Reddy passed the orders on the petitions filed by some of the students, who are studying in the non-autonomous engineering colleges. These students had failed to clear about 5 to 10 subjects of the first and the second semesters, and hence were disqualified to join the third semester as per Regulation 7.2 of VTU’s Regulations for the Bachelor of Engineering/Technology courses.

The students complained that there were serious discrepancies in the academic regulations governing the autonomous engineering colleges and the non-autonomous colleges.

Students studying in about 17 autonomous colleges have the benefit of taking make-up exam at the end of each semester and supplementary exam at the end of each academic year as per the self-regulations framed by each of the autonomous colleges.

However, the petitioner-students contended that those studying in the non-autonomous colleges were at a disadvantage as VTU’s regulations had no provision for make-up or supplementary exam.

The students claimed that different sets of regulations for the same course were illegal.

Validity

The court, while noticing the discrimination, said that it would decide later about validity or otherwise of the provision for make-up or supplementary exam in the regulations of autonomous institutes.

The court did not order for conducting supplementary exam for those seeking admission to the fifth and the seventh semester as these students had not challenged the regulations when they first encountered it while joining the third semester.