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College admission: HC stay on preference to Zo-ethnic students

The Gauhati HC on Wednesday passed an interim stay order against the new selection criteria.

Written by Adam Halliday | Aizawl |
June 26, 2015 3:06:12 am

The Gauhati High Court stayed the Mizoram government’s new technical education rules that place “Zo-ethnic people who are native inhabitants” in category 1 in the state’s selection criteria for college admissions. The order 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 new 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.

Beginning September 2014, the MZP protested that over 40 non-Zo students were getting seats in various medical and engineering colleges under the state’s quota. The student body demanded first preference should be given to students from the ethnic Zo community, which forms a majority in the state.

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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.

The Gauhati HC on Wednesday passed an interim stay order against the new selection criteria. The case is likely to be heard again in July, after the high court’s summer vacation is over.

Mizoram’s Higher and Technical Education Commissioner and Secretary K Lalnghinglova called a meeting of officials on Thursday. Phone calls to his office remained unanswered.

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First published on: 26-06-2015 at 03:06:12 am
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