Steps to check OBC, EWS quota admissions

Tough mechanisms have been mooted to check students from the creamy layer category illegally cornering benefits of Other Backward Classes (OBC) and Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) to secure admissions in professional colleges.

Incidentally, even well-off Non-Resident Indian (NRI) students in Gulf countries apply in these categories to gain admissions at National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).

The matter would be more complicated from this year with the Centre in August approving 27% reservation for OBC-Non Creamy Layer and 10% EWS categories within the all-India quota for National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), the uniform entrance examination for medical and dental colleges across the country.

The National Testing Agency (NTA), a government agency conducts the NEET as well as the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) - Main for admission to NITs. “In the engineering stream, the preference is for the institution, while for medical, it is the MBBS seat. A strong mechanism is necessary to check this,” a former chairman of admissions said.

To qualify for the OBC and EWS quotas, the gross annual family income of the candidate should be below ₹8 lakh (income from any farming sources not included). However, the eligibility criteria for the EWS for those in unreserved category differs in many States, including Kerala, but it is uniform across India.

Usually the certificate is issued by the Tahsildar when the candidate applies through the village office after submitting documents with an affidavit. Applicants from better-off and wealthier business families who should be actually treated in general category manage to obtain OBC and EWS certificates to clinch seats in prestigious government colleges.

“Thus deserving candidates are deprived of the quota eligibility. Institutions basically rely on these certificates,” a professor at NIT-Calicut said. Previously, when the NITs admitted students in State-wise quota, students even had secured domicile certificates from other States especially from North East to unlawfully gain admissions. Now admissions are based on home quota and other States quotas.

Also, he said, lobbies used to operate to provide admissions to BTech courses in the category under Direct Admission of Students for NRI, Person of Indian Origin and Overseas Citizen of India when the system of first-come-first- serve basis existed. Later the admission was conducted based on Scholastic Assessment Test. But from this year onwards, candidates had to qualify JEE (Main).

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2021 9:05:08 PM |

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