HC directs MU to qualify intl student for psychology course

Published on Dec 04, 2022 12:21 AM IST

Mumbai: Bringing relief to an international student, the Bombay high court (HC) has directed the University of Mumbai (MU) to qualify Megha Puri to pursue her second-year Master of Arts (MA) in Applied Psychology

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Mumbai: Bringing relief to an international student, the Bombay high court (HC) has directed the University of Mumbai (MU) to qualify Megha Puri to pursue her second-year Master of Arts (MA) in Applied Psychology.

The university informed her that she did not meet the eligibility criteria without being given any reason for the same in any communication, especially in two emails dated November 26, 2021.

The court also ordered the eligibility department of the university to cancel the email sent to her denying her admission eligibility.

Puri, a foreign student and graduate of mechanical engineering from Maharashtra Institute of Technology, Pune, had moved HC early this year questioning MU’s communication dated November 26, 2021, declining her admission to the MA in Applied Psychology. Based on the arguments by both the parties, the division bench of justice SV Gangapurwala and justice R. N Laddha in their order stated, “We find it difficult to approve the email communications of the respondents dated November, 26, 2021, declining admission to the Master of Arts Course in Applied Psychology. Accordingly, we quash and set aside the impugned e-mail communications dated November, 26, 2021. We also direct that the university give admission for Master of Arts Course in Applied Psychology. The university is also directed to issue eligibility for MA part II of the Master of Arts Course in Applied Psychology for the academic year 2022-23.”

Puri had applied for admission to the course based on a circular dated April 16, 2021, that invited applications to admit all international students for the academic year 2021-2022 without any reservations or conditions in respect of such international students. She had complied with all the prerequisites and requirements and submitted all documents required for being eligible for admission and, as per the email dated September 28, 2021, paid 1,28,339 as eligibility fees, application fees, and course fees to MU. Then she attended classes conducted both online as well as off-line and also flew down from Kathmandu to Mumbai amid pandemic.

On December 3, 2021, she issued a communication to the Pro-Vice Chancellor seeking to secure her admission. In response, a resolution was passed by the 3 Member Committee of Senior Faculty Members appointed by MU on 16 December 2021, directing the Head of the Department of Applied Psychology to conduct an online Aptitude Test. She successfully underwent the Aptitude test. MU was ready to accommodate Puri provided she will undergo the 45 days bridge programme and appear at the aptitude test. The order also stated that in the aforesaid factual backdrop, Puri was given to believe that on being successful in the aptitude test, she would be entitled to pursue the MA Psychology course. “Accordingly, an online Aptitude Test of the petitioner was conducted. The university took these steps of its own volition,” read the order.

Advocate Nikhil Kamble, who filed a complaint against the MU admission process to the Chancellor, did so based on a letter written by the head of the psychology department saying that “a candidate who is a foreign national and was admitted through the single window system for foreign students does not fulfil the eligibility criteria as the candidate’s bachelor’s degree is from a different faculty.”

Kamble said, “The University of Mumbai must appeal this impugned order in the Supreme Court as it will set a wrong precedent for future course of action as well as it is discriminatory to Indian origin student as well. The University of Mumbai should take stern action against the delinquent officers who have failed to discharge their duties as per law and help foreign nationals to secure admission by compromising professional work ethics.”

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