Special Correspondent

JAIPUR: Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani, has clarified that it stands by the principle of merit in admissions.

"Merit only should be the criterion for admissions and BITS Pilani does not make any commitment on setting aside a quota for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes or Backard Communities as it was reported in [sections of] the media on Friday," the institution maintained.

"According to BITS, merit must be the only criterion for admissions so as to ensure homogenous input into higher education system. A provision has to be made in schools to provide special coaching so that candidates of weaker sections can compete with other students," said M.K.Kashiramka, chief of Public Relations unit of BITS, Pilani, in a statement on Friday. Reacting to reports on the outcome of the meeting the representatives of certain private unaided institutions had with Union Human Resources Development Minister Arjun Singh in Delhi on Thursday, Dr.Kashiramka said BITS Pilani could not attend the meeting. However, the institution had already submitted a note to the HRD Ministry expressing its views on reservation of seats for weaker sections in admissions, he informed.

Friday's newspapers and some TV channels had listed BITS Pilani also as one of the deemed universities discussing the controversial reservation issue with the HRD Minister and agreeing to set aside a quota.