The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) has put on hold admission to its MA courses following a Bombay High Court order. The student orientation programme for the courses was scheduled on August 18 and the classes were to commence from August 21.
On Thursday, the court directed TISS to file a reply to a writ petition, filed on behalf of 49 candidates, that said the admission procedure for the post-graduate programmes at the institute was “discriminative, biased and unilateral selection”.
In the petition, candidates have said the marks scored in the in-person personal interview (PI), conducted on the Mumbai campus, have been low when the same students secured more marks in interviews held on the other three campuses of the institute. They claimed that candidates who appeared for their PI online got more marks than those who took it offline. The petition also pointed at instances where students were allocated seats in the wrong category, while some aspirants marked absent even though they were present.
The petitioners demanded that TISS should re-publish the scores of all candidates after re-evaluating them. It also sought that the institute should be directed to publish on its official website a list of all candidates who had applied for the postgraduate programmes along with their TISS-NET and PI scores and categories, a category-wise merit list and share the evaluation criteria for PI. The petition also sought that the institute should stall the current admission process until a justification was provided to the students affected due to such discrepancies.
The high court has directed the counsel appearing for TISS to file a reply in the matter by August 17 and posted the next hearing on August 18. The University Grants Commission (UGC) has also been asked to submit a reply.
When contacted, TISS director, Dr Shalini Bharat, refused to comment saying that the matter was sub-judice.
An official from the institute, without wishing to be identified, said, “We have gone through a clear, rigorous and transparent process of admissions. The changes we made to the admission process owing to the pandemic has been duly notified. There was an inadvertent error at input level for marks of personal interviews held on Mumbai campus between March 12 and 16 for three programmes, which were rectified later by admitting additional candidates. This too has been notified.”
The official said TISS undertook a 100 per cent verification of all marks and no further errors were found. “Candidates can check their details using login IDs. The marks received by other candidates is privileged information and cannot be disclosed to third parties,” the official added.
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