The Maharashtra government’s plan to regulate first year junior college (FYJC) admissions for minority and management seats could be shelved this year.
While the department said it was acting on orders issued by the high court to bring in transparency and ensure merit-based admissions, PN Mehta Educational Trust, Mumbai, and the Boys’ Town Junior College, Nashik, challenged the government notification, issued on January 1, 2017, to regulate admissions, in the Bombay high court last week.
The petition filed by the institutes argues that minority institutions are protected under Article 30(1) of the Constitution, whereby all religious and linguistic minorities have a right to establish and administer educational schools of their choice.
It also claims that the state does not have power to interfere and can only take regulatory measures.
From the academic year 2017-18, the education department wanted to include minority quota (50% reserved seats for minority students in colleges belonging to the same community or linguistic group) under the common online admission process followed across Maharashtra.
A ‘zero round’ for minority admissions was to be held before the general category admissions.
Students applying through minority quota were supposed to register online like last year. But this year, the department wanted to allocate seats on the basis of merit, just like the general category.
“Institutes claim the common online admission process infringes on their Constitutional right to admit students of their choice,” said BB Chavan, deputy director of education, Mumbai region.
He said the department might drop its plan to include minority seats during the online process this year.