Government to Provide Admission to Higher Education Institutions Only Based on Merit : Supreme Court

The Supreme Court insisted the Central and State Governments to make quality as the basic standard for admissions to higher educational institutions in national interest. The hon’ble Court  emphasized that the Central and State Governments shall consider merit over reservation in higher education institutions.  The bench consisted of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice P C Pant who opined that even though the Court had reminded the Central and State Governments to consider quality as the basic criteria to provide admissions to higher courses, the primary fact is that reservation supersedes merit all the time.

On Tuesday, The Court highlighted that reservation policies in higher education is to be swiped away and the effective measures are to be taken by the Central Government immediately. The privilege still prevails even though Supreme Court has emphasized the same point in 1988 in its two different verdicts. While considering the two cases at that time which was related with reserving seats in medical education, the apex court viewed that in reality there needs no reservation as national interest demands advancement of quality and standards in medical services. The Court further expressed its hope that Central and State Governments will truly consider the matter with precise guidelines.  Hence the Court reiterated the ambition of the people which will enable the concerned authorities to examine and deal with the issue objectively. As a result national interest will prevail over individual interest.

Relaxing the eligibility standards for the purpose of reservation shall be avoided as it would not lead to the object of imparting best education to the students selected on merit, the Court said. The Court was issuing such orders when it was considering group of petitions challenging the eligibility standards to get admission to higher education courses in medical fields in Telengana, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. The State Government granted permission only to those candidates domiciled in the state to attend the examination. Consequently reservation was provided based on residence of the candidates. The Court stated that though it cannot intrude into the process of admission by Andhra Pradesh and Telegana as there exists a Presidential Order, but can consider the case in Tamil Nadu on November 4.

Adv. Jewel Panicker