TAMIL NADU

Plus-Two students move High Court against new admission policy

RIGHTS `DENIED': Students coming out of the Madras High Court after filing a petition against the new admission policy for professional courses, on Monday. — Photo: K. Pichumani

RIGHTS `DENIED': Students coming out of the Madras High Court after filing a petition against the new admission policy for professional courses, on Monday. — Photo: K. Pichumani  

Decision to scrap CET has been taken without any detailed study, say students

A. Subramani and Mohamed Imranullah S.

CHENNAI: Expressing "shock and surprise" over the Tamil Nadu Government's new admission policy for professional courses, more than 200 Plus-Two students moved the Madras High Court on Monday, the first day of the new judicial calendar.

Writ petitions seeking to quash the new policy were filed by students both in the Principal Seat of the court here and its Bench at Madurai. Some of the petitioners sought only a stay on the operation of the June 9 order and sought reservation of one seat for himself/herself.

Stating that the admission policy of taking into consideration the marks scored in the examination and the common entrance test was working well for over 20 years, the petitioners said the Government announced a new policy without going into the relevant factors, thereby taking away the accrued rights of several thousands of students.

Those who wrote the common entrance test had merely followed the rule laid down by the Government, and "the State cannot make any amendment to any system or procedure for selection to discriminate a person who had obeyed the rule of law. The State is estopped from making any amendment in the matter relating to admission to professional colleges that will radically change the selection process, divesting the rights of students vested in them by virtue of their performance in the examination."

Some of the petitioner-students, charging the Government with announcing the new policy without carrying out any detailed study of relevant issues, said "the decision is taken in a hurry, may be with an eye on the next Assembly election."

3 types of petitioners

There are at least three types of petitioners aggrieved by the impugned order, and are before the court — the improvement candidates; the Central Board of Secondary Education students and those affected by the cancellation of the entrance examination system alone. Of course, there are some others who are affected by a combination of these factors and more.

C. Anitha (19), who took her higher secondary improvement examinations and stood second in common entrance test with an aggregate of 299.5 marks out of 300 this year, said the Government had passed the recent order for "extraneous reasons" conveniently forgetting the efforts taken by students and their parents for preparing and writing the examinations.

Maintaining that the State had formulated new procedures of admission acting within its administrative domain and within the "four corners of law," another student, S. Moogambiga, a fresh candidate, stated that once a policy was adopted by the Government and students acted upon it with a legitimate expectation that it would be followed scrupulously, it was not open to the Government to withdraw such a policy in the middle of the process.

Most of the petitioner-students said the new policy should have been given prospective effect and made applicable for admissions from the next academic year. The present batch of students cannot be denied their right, after putting in much effort to prepare for the entrance test and improvement examinations, they submitted.

Seeking to dismiss the Government's theory on the lack of opportunities affecting the academic progress of students from rural areas, a common affidavit filed by 50 students said the Government should not drive a wedge among the student community in the name of urban-rural divide. "In fact, the results of the qualifying examinations clearly show that rural areas had fared better than the urban students. In the circumstances, the very basis for withdrawing the entrance examination is clearly arbitrary and unreasonable."

Students from the districts of Chennai, Coimbatore, Dindigul, Karur, Virudhunagar, Erode, Tiruvannamalai, Pudukottai, Vellore, Salem, Namakkal, Kancheepuram, Krishnagiri and Villupuram districts have approached the High Court so far.

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