Thapar University's claim that it had to abolish the 50% domicile quota due to dearth of quality students from Punjab, falls flat when scrutinised on the basis of admission data.
Documents available with HT show that several times in the past two years, students from Punjab who have been admitted to Thapar University (TU) have outscored those from other states in the admission eligibility test, the All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE).
A scrutiny of the AIEEE ranks of TU students from the six most popular streams in undergraduate engineering study - computers, electronics, mechanical, electrical, civil and electronics instrumentation - shows no significant difference between the performance of students from Punjab and those from the rest of the country.
When HT had exclusively reported the abolition of the quota, the university had said that guidelines of the University Grants Commission (UGC) were the only reason behind doing away with the 50% reservation.
But in another statement on Thursday, it had tweaked the stance and said that "dearth of quality students is the reason behind scrapping the quota, as the gap between the AIEEE ranks among the students from Punjab and outside was widening every year".
But in 2011-12, students from Punjab led the ranking in electronics, mechanical and in civil engineering, whereas in 2010-11, Punjab students were ahead in two streams, electrical and civil. The university had said that throwing open all seats for national competition will "also ensure that no seat goes vacant".
The university's deputy registrar for academics, Gurwinder Singh, refused to comment.
Meanwhile, the Youth Organization of India (YOI), a students' body from the Punjabi University here, on Saturday staged protest outside Thapar University, demanding the quota be brought back. "The move is anti-Punjab," said the president of the organisation, Rajvinder Singh Dhanaula.