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IIMs fate on hold till Wednesday

The HRD Minister sets all speculations to rest stating that the earlier ministry directive stands, reports Chetan Chauhan.

delhi Updated: Apr 25, 2007 02:32 IST

HRD minister Arjun Singh is allow some admissions in IIMs in a bid to break ice with fledging top B-schools. A directive in this regard is expected on Wednesday, a day after the government’s plea for early hearing of OBC quota case by a higher bench was accepted by the Supreme Court.

A senior ministry official told HT that all the facts have been placed before the minister and a decision is likely to be taken tomorrow. The ministry had weighted the pros and corns of delaying the admissions in IIMs till May 8, the date for hearing the case. The ministry had favoured allowing admissions in IIMs on basis of consistent demand of the IIM directors.

The ministry officials had spoken to most of the IIM directors after the court accepting the government’s plea for early hearing seeking their views on further delay in admissions. Most IIMs favour early resolution of the crises citing that further delay in admissions can have adverse impact on the academic session of IIMs.

Government officials said the IIMs have suggested different models for admissions to avert any crises including allowing admissions to OBC candidates once the issue is resolved with the Supreme Court. The IIMs have told the ministry that admitting OBC students now could result in contempt of the court.

The government is also wondering whether to allow additional intake of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe candidates along with general category students or with the admissions for OBC students later. The seats of SC/ST candidates have gone up in wake of the government deciding to increase intake by 54 per cent to accommodate 27 per cent reservation for OBCs without reducing admissions for general category students.

Arjun Singh has raised some hope for resolution of the issue when he said that the ministry would try to resolve the issue by Tuesday evening. But, the decision was deferred till Wednesday by Singh after holding discussions with ministry officials till late in the night. Singh in the afternoon had said that the government was considering various options available to resolve the issue with IIMs and reiterated that all IIMs were cooperating with the ministry.

The minister wondered whose rights were being violated by implementation of OBC quota. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has made it clear that quota would be without any prejudice to other general category students and also insisted on the increase in the intake so that the ration of general category was not reduced, he said.

On the court’s observation that why government was rushing through the implementation when it has waited for 57 years, Singh snapped, “I am not getting any out of this. It was Parliament’s decision to give OBC’s reservation”. He also ruled out a possibility of an all party meeting on OBC quota saying there is unanimity on the issue among all parties.

First Published: Apr 24, 2007 20:35 IST