New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday pulled up Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and National Institutes of Technology (NITs) across the country for not being able to address the issue of vacant seats each academic year, saying they "cannot afford any red-tapism in this regard."
"It is rather intriguing to know that the IITs and the NITs, which are providing consultancy to others on technical matters, are unable to themselves find a solution for synchronising the admissions to eliminate or at least minimize the issue of vacant seats," a bench headed by Chief Justice G Rohini said.
"They cannot afford any red-tapism in this regard and which, if becomes known to the world at large, may make them a laughing stock in the eyes of their clients," it added.
The bench, also comprising Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, said "certainly they do not need years together to develop a programme for such synchronisation of admissions," adding the institutions themselves and their students are best equipped to find a solution to the issue.
The bench also said "the filling up of vacant seats cannot be at the cost of maintaining standards of education and merit in IITs".
The court made the observations while disposing of a petition seeking directions to IITs and NITs to address the issue of vacant seats.
The bench directed the Ministry of Human Resource Development to ensure that a Technical Committee, set up to deal with issues pertaining to admission process of IITs and NITs, to hold regular consultations to sort out the process for common counselling of admissions to NITs and IITs.
It also directed the HRD Ministry to ensure the process, thus evolved, is implemented for admissions from the academic year 2015-2016.
It also asked the Ministry to consider and take a decision on whether the reserved category seats in the IITs, if remaining unfilled, can be transferred to the general category and to inform the court by November 30, 2014.
The order came while disposing of the plea filed by Rajeev Kumar through advocate Prashant Bhushan seeking interim directions to IITs and NITs to address the issue of vacant seats each year.
"Several seats remain vacant in IITs each year and have a cascading effect as the same number of seats remain vacant in successive second, third and fourth years too," the petition had said.
It had also alleged that "till the year 2004, some of such vacant seats were filled with the wards of the employees and faculty members of IITs who were otherwise not eligible for admission."