"The department would soon file an appeal before a division bench of the Madras high court" said the Higher Education Minister P.Palaniappan on Sunday. This year, the AICTE had proclaimed that only students with a minimum aggregate score of 45% would be eligible to enroll in Engineering courses under the Open Competition category.
For other candidates who belong to reserved categories like BC, MBC and SC/ST, the AICTE had fixed the minimum eligibility aggregate at 40%. However, in Tamil Nadu, the policy allows SC/ST students with a pass mark of 35% to qualify for Engineering admissions.
Very soon after the AICTE had furnished its notification, the Higher Education department had challenged it in the High Court and sought to relax the norms in order to allow all the Class 12 students to join Engineering colleges. Apart from this, within a week time Justices L Chandru and V.Ramasubramanian had separately dismissed the appeal saying that relaxing norms would weaken the standards.
"The vacancy positions in government, aided and Anna University constituent colleges were also not very much surprised. It was only the self-financing colleges who were upset. But, this can never be a reason to scale down the norms" said Justice Ramasubramanian.
AICTE before 10 years had exerted fixation by lowering the eligibility marks to a minimum pass in plus two examination. Later AICTE had been for a course correction two years ago and increased the eligibility scores to 50% for OC's and 45% for reserved category students. Further, it again reduced the requirement by 5% in each category.
Also, in the year 2010, dated 14th June the minimum qualification was fixed at 50% for OC's, 45% for BC's, 40% for MBC's and 35% for SC/ST students. Will AICTE come down with norms or Colleges have to follow the notified changes?