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The Supreme Court on Thursday (18th August) ruled that unusual high cut-offs for general category students cannot be used as eligibility criteria to deprive admission to OBC students under 27% quota to central educational institutions, including Jawaharlal Nehru University and Delhi University.
A bench clarified the confusion between cut-off and eligibility criteria and said: Where the minimum eligibility marks in the qualifying examination are prescribed for admission,say as 50% for general category candidates, the minimum eligibility marks for OBCs should not be less than 45% (10% less than 50). The minimum eligibility marks for OBCs can be fixed at any number between 45 and 50 at the discretion of the institution. Or, where the candidates are required to take entrance examination and if the qualifying mark in the entrance examination is fixed at 40% for general category candidates, the qualifying marks for OBC candidates should not be less than 36%, said the bench. The court had expressed concern at the argument for fixing the last cut-off marks for general candidates as the base from which 10% concession could be given for OBCs. This means, if the last general category candidate to be admitted had secured 80%, then the eligibility for OBCs was to be fixed at 72%. The bench said it meant though additional seats were created in CEIs to accommodate 27% quota for OBCs without disturbing the available seats for general category, by applying a high cut-off the OBCs would be deprived of the quota seats and the vacant seats revert to the general pool. No candidate who fulfils the prescribed eligibility criteria and whose rank in the merit list is within the number of seats available for admission, can be turned down, by saying he should have secured some higher marks based on the marks secured by some other category of students, the bench said. A factor which is neither known nor ascertained at the time of declaring the admission programme cannot be used to disentitle a candidate to admission, which is otherwise entitled for admission. Giving an example, the court said if there were a total of 154 seats available in a course and the seats reserved for OBCs were 42, then these seats should be filled by OBC students in the order of merit list of OBC candidates possessing the minimum eligibility marks prescribed for admission.
Courtesy: Times of India
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