Domicile row: Bengal government overrules JEE board's constraints in JU
The higher education department has overruled legal constraints cited by the joint entrance examination board in implementing domicile policy for engineering courses at Jadavpur University from this year and asked it to introduce the quota rule.
The joint entrance examination (JEE) board had earlier contended that implementing the policy now could invite legal trouble, as the domicile quota rule was announced after the filling in of forms for writing the test had ended.
The board had suggested rolling out the domicile policy from the next academic year.
However, during last Friday’s meeting with JEE board chairman Malayendu Saha, education department officials insisted that as universities had the right to decide their admission criteria, JU be allowed to implement its resolution to introduce the domicile policy from this year for engineering courses.
The domicile policy seeks to reserve 90 per cent of the engineering seats at JU in the general category for students who have passed their plus-II board examinations from Bengal.
Sources said that during the meeting the JEE board representatives were reminded that the board’s information bulletin for this year’s examination had stated that “the general academic qualification for admission to engineering/ pharmacy courses would be as per latest communication from the concerned universities. In case of any revision by any university/authority, the same will be notified by the board”.
A department official said the JEE board was a body for conducting the exam and the e-counselling for admission to BTech programmes in engineering institutions.
“It is the respective universities that decide the admission criteria. Now, if JU decides that one has to be domiciled to be able to secure admission to it’s BTech programme, that right has to be honoured. The board has to just notify the criteria according to the latest communication,” the official said.
Repeated calls to Saha went unanswered. He did not reply to text messages either.
Several calls made to the additional chief secretary, education, R.S. Shukla did not elicit any response. He also did not respond to text messages.
The board official, however, explained their reason for advising against implementing the domicile policy at this stage.
He said: “The information bulletin that we had published in December prior to the start of the form fill-up exercise clearly stated that ‘domicile requirement is applicable for admission to any government-aided engineering/ pharmacy college’. But in case of JU we did not state anything. So someone might move court?”
The JEE board had earlier said that introducing the domicile policy now would mean that the candidates were not made aware about the eligibility criterion for studying in JU while applying for the examination, said an official of the department.
The higher education department on May 29 had sent a letter to the JEE board chairman asking him to introduce the domicile policy from 2019-20 academic year, as has been resolved by the university’s executive council.
The council had endorsed the proposal on March 18.
Since the board conducts the e-counselling for admission to BTech programmes in engineering institutes across the state, the letter was sent.