TAMIL NADU

Govt. to move SC, but engg. colleges have begun admissions

CHENNAI NOV. 1. Even as educational administrators are preparing to challenge in the Supreme Court a Madras High Court order on eligibility marks for engineering admissions, some self-financing colleges have begun admissions on the basis of the ruling.

A few colleges have issued advertisements. In certain colleges in the Salem area admissions are also being made under the management quota. A representative of a leading college there and an engineering college principal from Erode wonder what will be the fate of such admissions, if the Supreme Court admits the State Government appeal.

On October 17, a Division Bench ruled that students, who had obtained a mere pass in Plus-Two and written the Tamil Nadu Professional Courses Entrance Examination 2003, were eligible for admissions to BE/B.Tech. It set aside two government orders, which kept the minimum aggregate marks at 60 per cent in related subjects for open category candidates, 55 for BC and 50 for MBC. The judges said the admission (already made) of those who appeared for the 2003 entrance test but did not secure the stipulated marks should be regularised. The Government was given three weeks to issue notices to all colleges and start locating students, giving each of them an opportunity to vie for a seat.

In a separate order, the First Bench also recorded the Government's submission that students who were admitted solely on the basis of entrance tests conducted by the respective institutions would not be disturbed. In this case, the petitioner had prayed for an order to permit the colleges to fill up the vacancies under the management quota as per Supreme Court guidelines.

A management representative from Salem says even students with high marks in Plus-Two, who got B.E/B.Tech/B.Arch admissions through regular counselling this year, were struggling to cope with the Anna University's demanding curriculum. In such a situation, students with a mere pass will face an uphill task, pursuing engineering courses.

Even if special classes are held, will they complete 90 term days or 450 hours to become eligible for writing the examinations? (The Division Bench directed that attendance shortage be compensated with special classes on Saturdays, Sundays and other holidays).

When contacted, academic sources said the Government was likely to file the appeal next week. The university also recommended the same course of legal action. Asked whether the students should seek admissions now, a senior administrator said it would be better if they waited until after the outcome of the appeal was known.

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