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Plea urging FYJC admissions despite SC’s interim stay on Maratha quota, HC seeks state’s response

After the state government lawyer sought a week’s time to respond to the plea, the bench observed, “Petition was filed last month. We are almost nearing December. Half of the academic year is almost done and wasted. That is the anxiety of the petitioner and over two lakh students. You cannot be delaying the decision."

Written by Omkar Gokhale | Mumbai |
Updated: November 24, 2020 5:58:42 pm
FYJC admission, FYJC admissions, college admission, education news, bombay high court, education newsThe petioner claims FYJC admissions had been stalled due to the Supreme Court's interim stay on Maratha reservation and nearly 2.3 lakh students were facing uncertain future due to the same.(Express photo by Vishal Srivastav/ Representational)

Expressing displeasure over delay in decisions regarding admissions to first-year junior college (FYJC) in Maharashtra, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed the state government to respond by Wednesday to the plea seeking to formulate a strategy to start FYJC admissions. The court observed that several months of the academic year of lakhs of students have already been wasted.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish S Kulkarni was hearing a plea by advocate Vishal Saxena, who is a parent of a teenager, stating that the process of FYJC admissions had been stalled due to the Supreme Court’s interim stay on Maratha reservation and nearly 2.3 lakh students in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), including his daughter, were facing uncertain future due to the same.

The writ petition, filed on October 18, added that while in the past, FYJC admissions commenced soon after the declaration of SSC results, it was delayed this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It added that after the first round of FYJC admissions was over, the SC stayed Maratha quota on September 9, bringing the entire process to a standstill.

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The petition sought a direction to the state government to formulate a strategy to start the admission process at the earliest, without which it may result in widespread anger, frustration, and mental agony among the students and their parents who already have suffered due to the pandemic.

The petitioner said that if the prayers are allowed, it would benefit the students at large and secure their future. The petitioner submitted that admissions are stalled with no classes having started yet and therefore the students should be given immediate relief. The state government submitted that it has been deliberating measures to resume the admission process.

After the state government lawyer sought a week’s time to respond to the plea, the bench observed, “Petition was filed last month. We are almost nearing December. Half of the academic year is almost done and wasted. That is the anxiety of the petitioner and over two lakh students. You cannot be delaying the decision. Otherwise, in the short term of nearly five months, the academic year will come to an end. It is a very serious issue. How do they (students) complete the academic term?”

The court directed the state government to file a short affidavit in reply and posted further hearing on Thursday, November 26.

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