Published: 23rd May 2023
JEE 75% eligibility criteria: Another case filed in Supreme Court
"A date is yet to be assigned for the hearing," said Utpal Hazra, father of the petitioner
The issue with the 75 per cent eligibility criteria of the JEE Main and Advanced examinations refuses to die down even after the Bombay High Court upheld the criteria. Students, parents and experts demand that it be relaxed for the current academic year. Today, May 23, another plea against this criteria has reached the Supreme Court.
"A date is yet to be assigned for the hearing," said Utpal Hazra, father of the petitioner, and a resident of West Bengal. It may be recalled that the plea in the Bombay High Court was filed by Advocate Anubha Sahai on behalf of the students in January, a few days after the JEE Main 2023 exam was announced. On May 2, the court upheld the 75 per cent eligibility criteria on grounds that relaxation at this point would be unfair to those who meet these criteria.
According to the 75 per cent eligibility criteria, students who have achieved a minimum of 75 per cent or have secured a position among the top 20 percentile scorers in their board exams are eligible to apply for admissions in esteemed government institutions such as IITs, NITs, CFTIs, and IIITs. As such, the Bombay High Court's decision has left many students perplexed.
Students from the 2020 and 2021 batches, who were eligible for JEE counselling this year, have now lost their chance. The eligibility criteria were relaxed for these two years owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and reintroduced this year. The concerned students had not anticipated this, according to Anubha, and do not have the required percentage, placing them in a disadvantaged position.
Anubha informs, she too is planning to file a case against the Bombay HC's decision in the Supreme Court soon. Additionally, another case by two students from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh respectively, against the eligibility criteria was registered in the apex court on May 14. Its hearing is scheduled for July 3 as the court will have summer vacations from May 23 to July 2.
As the JoSAA (Joint Seat Allocation Authority) counselling is scheduled to begin on June 19, anxiety is heightened among the students. "We are already anxious. Until and unless something happens, we aren't going to be mentally well," says Sumit Kumar, an aspirant. The students want the hearing of the cases expedited and be done with before the counselling begins so that they could have a clear idea about their admissions.
Sumit notes students are confused between participating in counselling and waiting for the court's intervention and taking admission to a private college. The worry is that even if the court's order favours the students, JoSAA has to reopen counselling, which the Centre might not agree to. Moreover, there might be no seats left as students who meet the criteria would have taken admission and paid the fee.
"I don't think Supreme Court will ask them to leave their seats. And some of them might have paid Rs 35,000 as their seat acceptance fees. So NTA (National Testing Agency) will say in court that it is not practically possible and deny conducting JoSAA again," Sumit says anxiously.