The Mizoram government has amended the state’s technical entrance examination rules to include non-ethnic Zo students in category 1, according to a senior official privy to the move but who declined to be named because the matter might still be sub-judice.
The official said the decision was taken so that hundreds of students who have given the entrance test this year would not be adversely affected.
The Gauhati High Court had earlier stayed the Mizoram government’s new technical education rules that placed “Zo-ethnic people who are native inhabitants” in category 1 in the state’s selection criteria for college admissions. This would have given them the first preference to fill up the available seats under the state’s quota in various colleges across India.
According to the rules, students who are not in category 1 — specified as “Non-Zo-ethnic people who are non-native inhabitants” — would then fill up the remaining seats. This includes several ethnic minorities as well as those from elsewhere who live permanently in the state.
The Mizoram Chakma Students’ Union had approached the Gauhati High Court and challenged the new rules that were notified in March after the Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP), a students’ body, pressured the government by picketing the higher education office in Aizawl. The MZP demanded first preference should be given to students from the ethnic Zo community, which forms a majority in the state.
The Chakmas, who mostly live in the Chakma Autonomous District of southern Mizoram, had protested against the new rules, calling it discriminatory. The community’s main student body, meanwhile, went to court against the rules through a PIL.