The Supreme Court on Thursday revised the counselling schedule for engineering admissions in the country for the academic year 2014-15. As a result the first round of counselling for engineering admissions announced by the Anna University in Tamil Nadu, earlier scheduled to begin on Friday, would be postponed.
In its order a vacation Bench of Justices Vikramajit Sen and Shiva Kirti Singh directed the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to complete the process of approvals of 521 engineering colleges within one week from Thursday.
The first round of counselling which was to be completed by June 30 would now have to be completed by July 15; second round of counselling by July 22 and the third counselling by July 29.
The Bench passed this order on an application from the AICTE seeking extension of the Schedule laid down by the apex Court in Parshvanath Charitable Trust and others vs. AICTE.
As per the earlier order the first round of counselling should be completed by June 30; second by July 10 and other types of counselling by July 30 and the courses should commence from August 1. Last date up to which students could be admitted against vacancies arising due to any reason was August 15. (No student should be admitted in any institution after the last date under any quota)
In the plea, the AICTE submitted that it had received 7,280 applications from existing technical institutions in the country, of which 6,751 applications had been processed already and the remaining 529 applications were pending consideration as on June 4. It could not complete the process of approvals by June 10 as mandated by the apex court. It sought a week’s time for grant of approvals.
Accepting the plea, the bench in its order said, “There can be no gainsaying that every eligible student/candidate desirous of participating in further education, especially where resources and institutions are available, should be accommodated so long as academic standards are not undermined. We are satisfied that if the respondent - AICTE is granted seven more days within which to decide all pending applications, these overriding interests shall be addressed.”
It further said: “The AICTE shall first take up the applications in which it has already expressed willingness to grant approvals, but have not done so in deference of the Orders of this Court. Thereafter, the concerned Universities/State Authorities/Bodies which have the powers of granting affiliation shall take a decision on that subject within one week. It is for these reasons that the first round of counselling/admission for allotment of seats which was to be completed by June 30 will now be completed by July 15; second round of counselling shall be completed by July 22 and the last round by July 29. In this manner, the date of commencement of the Academic Session, as laid down by this Court above, shall not be disturbed. It is made clear that all the Colleges who have been cleared for intake of students for the Academic Year 2014-2015, as envisaged in the process above, shall be cleared and considered for admitting students for the current Academic Year.”
Referring to the plea of various engineering colleges from Tamil Nadu, which also sought extension of time for approvals that Anna University should not commence its first round of counselling from Friday, the bench said “We think that that would not be appropriate in view of the present order.”