A day after 10 minority-run schools in south Mumbai were issued show-cause notices, the state government has trained it guns on colleges across the state.
The government has ordered a probe into the representation of minorities in the city’s minority colleges.
It has also brought in a new law that gives the government power to get involved in admission procedures of professional, minority-run colleges and take over seats reserved for the category, if the college fails to fill it with students from the community.
According to norms, 51% of students in higher educational institutes run by minorities should be from the same community.
The state minorities department has ordered a probe to ascertain whether this condition has been followed by colleges in the past three years.
State minorities’ minister Eknath Khadse said he had received many complaints in the recent past. “We have asked the higher and technical education department to look into the data they have and confirm if minority students have received 51% representation in the institutes. We will get the report within a week,” he said.
Khadse said the new ordinance — the Maharashtra Unaided Private Professional Educational Institutions Ordinance, 2015 — will help curb any malpractices. The ordinance proposes that if a college fails to have the required number of minority students for three consecutive years, the government can take action against it, including cancelling its minority status.
Sources in the department of higher and technical education said colleges often bypass the rules by claiming they do not find enough minority students and then allot the seats to other by charging hefty donations.
The ordinance also proposed that the commissioner of the state common entrance test (CET) will take over the empty seats and fill them up, on merit basis, with students from the minority category. It goes on to add that if it cannot find minority students, it will fill up the seats with students from the open category.
However, there is a fear that such a law may not be practical.
“In principle, the new law is welcome. However, the government must remember that if it regulates every small thing, then it may not be able to do anything efficiently,” said Kamal Kishore Kadam, former state higher and technical education minister and president of the association of private unaided medical colleges.