The age limit imposed by the Madhya Pradesh government on admissions to undergraduate and post-graduate courses, barring yoga, has kicked up a debate in the state.
The maximum age limit on admission to undergraduate courses for male students in MP is 23 years, while it is 28 years for postgraduate courses. However, there is three years’ relaxation for the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe students.
Several educationists told Hindustan Times while there was no age bar on admission to yoga courses, fixing age limit for entry into general courses led to violation of the Right to Education Act.
They said, “As there is no age bar on admission to yoga courses why should there be age limit on entry into other courses? The age limit should be done away with in light of a Supreme Court judgment setting aside the maximum age limit on sitting Common Law Admission Test (CLAT).”
The state government had fixed age limit on admission to undergraduate and post-graduate courses about seven years ago to check the entry of those who prolonged their stay on the campuses and got involved in student politics.
Why there should be two different yardsticks for yoga and other courses: Zamiruddin
“Why there should be two different yardsticks for yoga and other courses? You can’t stop a person from pursuing higher studies. In India, many people are not able to continue their studies due to poverty and certain other circumstances. Later, if their condition improves and they want to attend a college or a university he can’t do so because of this bizarre eligibility criterion,” said Professor Zamiruddin, an educationist.
He said, “Even when I was studying, some retired military officers attended college with me. When a person craves for education how can a government make such rules. That’s why I always emphasised that education policy should be made only by educationists.”
“It violated the fundamental rights of a person. The SC had dismissed a petition of Dr Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University, Lucknow, against a judgment of the Allahabad High Court, directing the university to remove the condition of upper age limit for CLAT. This ruling clearly suggests that there cannot be age limit on admission to any course,” said an educationist, who did not wish to be named.
However, fixing age limit on admission in courses like MBBS, B Tech and M Tech was understandable, he added.
Retired vice-chancellor Arun Gurtoo said, “Maybe, they have taken the decision to keep anti-social elements away from the institutions of higher studies as they create nuisance. But then why have they opened the gate for entry to campuses through yoga? The rules should be uniform.”
This is an RSS agenda to keep tabs on activities in educational institutions: Cong
Congress spokesperson KK Mishra said, “This is an RSS agenda to keep tabs on the activities in educational institutions. While they have fixed age limit on admission to general courses, they have done away with this condition for yoga courses. The Congress will oppose it tooth and nail.”
However, principal secretary to higher education Ashish Upadhyay said, “We don’t have enough resources to impart higher education to all, so we have fixed the maximum age limit on admission to undergraduate and post-graduate courses to promote the younger generation. As lesser number of people takes admission in yoga courses and as government wants to promote this subject, we have not fixed any age limit on admission to it.”