The IITs, Delhi University and all other central higher educational institutions may need to change their admissions policy for reserved category students as per a recent Delhi HC judgment against Jawaharlal Nehru University.
The IITs, DU and other central institutions set their cut-offs for Other Backward Classes students based on a policy that the Delhi HC has dubbed “contrary to the concept of reservation”, sources told HT. The HC order has been challenged in the SC by former IIT Madras Director PV Indiresan.
Like JNU, the IITs set their cut-offs — in individual subjects and aggregate score — for OBC candidates at 10% below the general category cut-offs. IIMs also decide OBC cut-offs based on general category cut-offs.
DU and other central universities also do the same. Their levels of “relaxation” in cut-offs for OBC candidates generally vary between 5% and 10% below the general category cut-offs.
The HC argued that by setting OBC cut-offs based on general category cut-offs, the eligibility of OBC candidates is determined by general category performance.
“By requiring OBC candidates to secure marks within 10% bandwidth of the last candidate admitted in the General category amounts to requiring the OBC candidates to compete with the General category candidates which are contrary to the concept of reservation,” the court had said in its indictment of JNU’s quota policy earlier.
Officials from JNU, DU and the IITs told HT their policy of setting OBC cut-offs based on general category cut-offs is drawn from an April 2008 HRD ministry order.
The order, while asking institutions to balance reservations and academic quality, does not specify limits to the relaxation that institutions are allowed for OBC cut-offs. It allows each institution to set its own OBC cut-off determining process.
Officials at DU and the IITs however argued it does hint at linking OBC cut-offs to general category cut-offs by referring to a balance between “the standards of education” and filling quota seats.
The HRD ministry order refers to the April 2008 SC order where the apex court held the UPA’s controversial 27 per cent OBC quotas legal.