HC asks HRD ministry for status report on vacant IIT seats

NEW DELHI: A division bench of Delhi High Court, headed by chief justice G Rohini, directed the HRD ministry on Wednesday to submit a status report about its directions last August on the issue of vacant seats in IITs. The ministry has been asked to file the status report before the next date of hearing on February 4.

While the HRD ministry and IITs have agreed for a common counseling for NITs and IITs for 2015-16 academic session, the Joint Admission Board (JAB) of IITs is not in favour of recommending conversion of SC/ST category vacant seats into general category on account of applicable rules and rulings by the Supreme Court. JAB had also not agreed for lateral entry from NITs and other engineering colleges into IITs in the second year on the ground that it may require another entrance examination at the end of the first year, in addition to addressing the common first year curriculum, credit transfer, etc. which are in the purview of the individual senates of IITs. JAB felt that lateral transfer will have no material effect on reducing the vacancies as it only amounts to movement from one institute to another. This point was made in a compliance report by the ministry but since it was not on affidavit, HC has asked for a status report.

Last August, HC had told HRD to sort out the process for common counseling for admissions to NITs and IITs and also ensure that the process is implemented for admissions from the academic year 2015-2016. Petitioner Rajeev Kumar was given the liberty to make his suggestions to the HRD ministry. HC had also asked HRD ministry as well as IITs to also consider whether the reserved category seats in the IITs, if remaining unfilled, can be transferred to the general category. The government was asked to take a decision before November 30 last year. The HRD ministry was also asked to enquire whether there exists any provision for lateral entry into the IITs in the second year, as exists in some universities/colleges.

On his part, Kumar had suggested formation of a common board. The board must be composed of representatives from IITs, NITs, CBSE and the implementing agency- National Informatics Centre/C-DAC. The board, he said, should maintain a web-portal as a single interface with the candidates for admissions to IITs and NITs. Candidates should submit common preference list of their choices through the web-portal. The choices shall be entered by the candidates in order of their preference. The common board will ensure that the candidate gets the best choice in the order of preference. The common board will allocate the seats following admission norms of IITs and NITs. However, a candidate who can get two seats – one each from the courses offered by IITs and NITs based on the ranks in the two examinations — will be allotted a single seat based on his preferences as given.

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