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Admission under quota to amount to contempt: IIM

IIM-A is ready for quota admission only after the issue is resolved. Rathin Das and Chetan Chauhan report.
None | By Rathin Das and Chetan Chauhan, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 31, 2007 08:55 PM IST

With Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad resolving on Saturday that giving admission to students under OBC quota could amount to contempt of court, other IIMs and IITs are expected to follow suit.

IIM-A Chairman Vijaypath Sanghania said, after the institute's board meeting at Ahmedabad, that the view taken by the board was that if they give admission to the OBCs now it may amount to contempt of court. "So if the issue is resolved by the Supreme Court before April 12, then only admission will be given under the OBC category (in the coming academic year)," he said, while stating the decision should not be construed as violation of the law of the land.

PTI quoted Singhania as saying that the Indian Constitution has defined SC/ST class but has not defined OBCs (other backward classes). "It was included in the Constitution in a hurry," he remarked. "Now with the recent SC order, the OBC reservation of 27 per cent in the institutions of higher learning at this moment stands suspended. The government will have to find some way to define OBCs," the noted industrialist maintained.

The decision was taken in presence of a HRD ministry representative in the board even as the ministry is yet to formally issue directive to institutes of higher learning on future course of action followed Supreme Court's interim ruling putting on hold implementation of 27 per cent OBC quota in Central education institutions.

Government sources told HT that decision of IIM-A was indicative of the line the HRD ministry is likely to pursue. But, the instructions will be issued only after the Law ministry gives its opinion on the court's ruling even as the government is considering filing a review petition on the stay order or may ask for early hearing of the case.

A senior IIT official said that most IITs are of the view that implementing OBC quota in admissions could be contempt of court. The IIT-Joint Entrance Examination is scheduled to take place on April 8 and before that IIT council is expecting a directive from the government. "Making necessary changes as per the ministry's directive will not be cumbersome," the official said, pointing that a separate databank of students was being maintained for students of all reserved categories including OBCs.

IIM-Kolkatta Director Shekhar Chaudhari, however, said they were waiting for the HRD ministry's fresh directive. "We have enough time till April 12 (when the admission process will close) to decide on the issue," he said.

On Saturday, HRD minister Arjun Singh the court's stay was now a legal issue and will be examined by the experts. At JNU, where he encountered slogan-shouting students against reservation, the minister said his ministry had no independent opinion on the issue different from what was there in the law passed by Parliament.

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