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Admissions stayed
Govt calls off IIM meeting
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 20
Even as the UPA government gave a fresh directive to the IIMs to keep their admission process in abeyance for the next three days till the Supreme Court hears the Quota case on Monday, the directors of the management institutes scheduled to meet in the capital today cancelled their meeting.

While they were non-committal yesterday on extending the admission list beyond April 21, the IIMs were left with no alternative as the Human Resource Development Ministry believed that postponing the final list for admissions in this academic year by 72 hours will not be a catastrophic matter. The government stressed it is acutely aware of the situation and doing its best to speed up the matter which is before the Apex court.

"Since the hearing is not complete, it will be fair to postpone the admission and we complete the same as early as possible," observed union HRD minister Arjun Singh on the communication despatched to all the six IIMs last night.

Asked if the IIMs went ahead with the admission process tomorrow, Singh stressed "They (the IIMs) have a fairly good idea of how they have to conduct themselves."

Despite the difference of opinion among the various IIMs on the admission process, IIM-Ahmedabad director Bakul Dholakia disclosed there were deadlines for other institutions which would expire, and the IIMs would not be able to announce their admissions, affecting the quality of the intake at the business schools.

"It is our responsibility to safeguard the intake because of which we cannot wait beyond a certain point," he added.

The HRD minister rejected suggestions of taking recourse to the Ordinance route on the ground that this was a constitutional amendment. "The government will do whatever possible to implement the OBC reservation which is the overriding interest of the OBC students. The desperation among students is apparent from the letters that he is receiving. No student should be deprived of a seat."

Singh said there was a new situation now and "we will have to wait and see what the court decides." Asked about the OBC data on which the Supreme Court had sought inputs, the minister said this was the job of the legal people. His concern was to ensure that the legal people got all the support from his ministry to facilitate them in the Court. He told a scribe there was no question of any confrontation or somebody imposing his superiority on others.

It was apparent that the ministry was against the IIMs going ahead with the admission without the OBC quota as it might weaken the government's plea before the Supreme Court.

Asked whether any time frame can be given by the government on the postponement of admissions, Singh made it clear that the "Court was the deciding factor."

The minister ducked a question what happens if the Supreme Court does not provide the relief saying this was a question of presumption.

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