The state government has withdrawn its circular it had issued on Friday asking universities and educational institutions to cancel the admission process “in case Maratha reservation has already been applied for the admission for the academic year 2020-21”.
A fresh circular issued by the department on Saturday clarified that the earlier instructions were withdrawn as it is awaiting instructions from the Chief Minister’s Office. “We are awaiting further directions on the matter,” said Dhanraj Mane, Director of Higher Education.
Two days after the Supreme Court stayed the Maratha reservation, the Department of Higher and Technical Education on Friday had asked state universities and colleges to take appropriate action over re-conducting admissions, based on interpretation of the SC judgment by the state legal department. It also forwarded the recommendations of the legal department made after receiving the SC order.
The circular addressed to the directorate of higher education, directorate of technical education, vice-chancellors of non-agricultural state universities, among others, quoted the recommendations of the legal department, “In case Maratha reservation has already been applied for admission for academic year 2020-21, colleges or educational institutions will have to undo the process and provide admissions for academic year 2020-21, as if the SEBC Act is not in force. There is no restraint for continuation of the admission process, but it must be without applying the provisions of SEBC Act, i.e Maratha reservation.”
At a time when degree college admissions in the state are now in its final stages, this could have meant reversing the process carried out in the past one month, at a time when academic schedule has already been delayed by Covid-19.
There have been indications that the state government could go in for the ordinance route. NCP president Sharad Pawar on Friday indicated that bringing an “ordinance was an option” that could be explored after legal consultation to keep Maratha reservation intact.
Meanwhile, sources in Mumbai University said that a circular had been received by the varsity from the directorate of higher education, asking about data on the admissions completed by colleges under the varsity. Several college principals that The Indian Express reached out to were unaware about the department circular.
Despite attempts, Higher Education Minister Uday Samant could not be reached for comments.
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