Reservation in minority colleges: SC rejects govt plea, MU to resume admissions today

Written by PaperDabba
By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: July 14, 2018 3:10:00 am

The university will declare the third merit list on July 18. (File Photo)

STALLED FOR over three weeks, the admission process for undergraduate courses at the University of Mumbai will kick start on Saturday. The second merit list, which was earlier due on June 22, will be declared on Saturday, according to a statement from the university.

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a special leave petition filed by the state government against a Bombay High Court ruling that said minority colleges would not have reservations for backward category students. The university will declare the third merit list on July 18. The Supreme Court upheld the ruling of the Bombay High Court and held that it has dismissed similar petitions based on the constitutional amendment of 2005.

This brings relief to applicants who have been wondering about the admission process and making rounds of colleges. It will also bring the academic calendar back on track. The academic calendar has been delayed by at least three weeks and is likely to be delayed by another week as the university wraps up the admission process. While usually classes begin by June 25, so far, only the first merit list has been announced.

The admission process was stayed by the state government after Education Minister Vinod Tawde announced that the government would file a petition against a Bombay High Court order. Since then, the admission process had been halted.

This year, the university changed its admission process and eliminated reservations for backward category students in accordance with a Bombay High Court order. The court had, in November 2017, ordered that minority colleges, which have a 50 per cent reservation for students belonging to a minority community, would not have reservations for SC/ ST and OBC category students.

The order referred to a 2005 constitutional amendment that exempts minority institutions from reservations. According to Article 15(5) of the Constitution of India, minority institutions under Article 30 shall be exempt from constitutional reservations — an amendment inserted by the then Congress government. Following protests by student groups, the state government filed a special leave petition before the Supreme Court. The petition came up for hearing on Friday but was dismissed.

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