Tamil Nadu

HC judge lauds 7.5% horizontal quota

Landmark decision: The judge said the 7.5% reservation would be a turning point for government school students.  

Justice N. Anand Venkatesh of the Madras High Court on Wednesday lauded the enactment of the Tamil Nadu Admission to Undergraduate Courses in Medicine, Dentistry, Indian Medicine and Homeopathy on preferential basis to students of Government Schools Act, 2020.

The judge told Advocate-General (A-G) Vijay Narayan that the 7.5% horizontal reservation for government school students in medical college admissions was “the greatest” thing to have happened in the State in a long time.

“This will be a turning point for government school students and will change their family status altogether,” he said.

The observations were made while hearing petitions filed by the parents of students R. Dharshini and A. Elakkiya of Cuddalore district. Senior Counsel P. Wilson said the students had been offered seats under the 7.5% quota in private colleges, but were kept in the waiting list because they were apprehensive of paying the fees.

Entire expenditure

However, the A-G told the court that the government had now decided to bear the entire expenditure to be incurred for educating all students admitted under the 7.5% quota, even if they get allotted to private colleges. “These students need not pay even a single paisa. Even their food will be sponsored by the State,” he said.

At the time of counselling, a government order to this effect had not been issued. However, the officials gave an oral assurance to the students that the government would bear the expenditure.

“About 95% of the students accepted the oral assurance, obtained the allotment letters and joined the colleges allotted to them,” the A-G said.

However, a small section of students did not join private colleges despite accepting the allotment letters as they feared that they would not be able to pay the fees.

“We will revalidate the allotment letters of these students and make sure that they join the colleges. There was a third category of students who did not accept the allotment letters at all,” he added.

“The present petitioners fall under the third category. We are trying our best to accommodate this category also after the return of unfilled seats to the State government from the all-India quota. Every year, the Centre returns 100 to 150 seats to the State government. Apart from that, some private colleges also surrender their seats to the government quota,” he said.

“After these seats are returned, the 7.5% quota would be applied to them, too,” the A-G assured the court.

The judge recorded his submission and adjourned the two writ petitions for December 11, since it was represented to the court that the number of unfilled seats under the all-India quota would be made known by the Director General of Health Services by December 8.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2021 1:51:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/hc-judge-lauds-75-horizontal-quota/article33235485.ece

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