Petitioner claims around 1170 seats under govt. quota will fall vacant once students opt for medicine

The Madras High Court Bench here on Tuesday ordered notice to the Secretary of the State Higher Education department, the director of Technical Education Directorate, the Secretary of Medical Education Department, the Vice-Chancellor of Anna University and the Secretary of Tamil Nadu Engineering Admission Counselling on a public interest litigation filed seeking a direction to the officials to fill seats that fall vacant in the engineering colleges after the selected candidates abandon engineering courses to study medicine.

The petitioner, P. Vellaichamy, the secretary of Public Welfare Association from Tiruchi, claimed in his petition that around 1170 seats under government quota in engineering colleges all over Tamil Nadu would remain vacant for the academic year 2013-2014 because the meritorious candidates who got seats in engineering colleges through the Anna University’s single-window counselling opted for medical courses, after being selected in the second and third rounds of the medical counselling. The seats allocated to meritorious students in the top-notch engineering colleges remain vacant every year as the engineering counselling system denies a second opportunity to the deserving students under the merit-quota, who did not get admission in top-notch colleges through the single-window counselling, the petitioner alleged. The top-notch engineering colleges fill in the seats abandoned by the meritorious students in the end under the management quota, wherein they demand Rs. 20 lakh to Rs. 30 lakh for each seat, Mr. Vellaichamy claimed.

The officials should be directed to disclose the number of seats in engineering colleges that fall vacant during the second and third rounds of counselling for the medical courses, he pleaded.

“The object of the single-window counselling is not achieved in full and the welfare measures of the government do not reach the students in the existing system of engineering counselling. It only helps private colleges mint money from the students”, he claimed in his petition.

In his petition, he pleaded that the officials be directed to disclose the details pertaining to the number of seats under government quota falling vacant after the second and third rounds of medical counselling for the academic year 2013-2014.

The court should restrain the engineering colleges from filling the vacant seats under the management quota until the case is disposed of, he pleaded. A Division Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice R. K. Agarwal and Justice N. Paul Vasanthakumar ordered notice to the officials and adjourned the case to Friday.

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