Shimla: In a setback to private universities and technical institutions in the state, the Himachal Pradesh High Court on Thursday dismissed their plea against merit-based admissions through common entrance test and regulation of fee structure.
Dismissing two separate petitions of Himachal Private Universities Management Association and Private Technical Institutions Association, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan upheld the stand of the government and said "the impugned measures providing for admission on the basis of combined entrance test (CET) are reasonable".
The bench, which had reserved the judgment after arguments on July 8, said the "fixation of fee is a policy matter and lies solely within the domain of the respondents (government and Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Commission) and even otherwise, this court lacks expertise to determine what should be the fees for different kinds of courses".
The petitioners argued that earlier they were permitted to admit?the students in the technical courses in accordance with the guidelines prescribed by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) which provided that in case some of the seats remain vacant after counseling, these would be filled by adhering to the prescribed criteria.
Now, the state-run Himachal Pradesh Technical University in Hamirpur issued fresh guidelines December 6, 2013 on admission to B.Tech, B.Pharma, MCA, MBA, M.Tech and M.Pharma courses for session 2014-15 and the petitioners cannot admit students either on their own or through any?other agencies, they pleaded.
The petitioners argued that in view of the instructions issued on December 6, 2013, the colleges are mandatory required to take students from the merit list prepared by the University after conducting various Common Entrance Tests (CET).
It further submitted that from various sources it has come to the notice that large number of ineligible candidates had been allowed?admissions by these institutions and the then H P Regulatory Commission informed that against total number of 6520 seats in private universities in B.Tech Courses, 3200 candidates were admitted.
The lowering down of admission standards have also contributed to poor?results, the petitioners said.