Karnataka has decided not to press ahead with a new admission regime for professional colleges that would have shrunk seat quotas for meritorious and poor students.
After a three-hour-long meeting with senior ministers and officials on Friday, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the state government would keep the controversial Karnataka Professional Educational Institutions Act of 2006 in abeyance for 2014-15.
“In the interest of students, we have taken this decision.... The earlier system will continue,” Siddaramaiah told reporters.
He also said the government would hold wide-ranging consultations and amend the Act, if necessary.
With this decision, admissions to under-graduate professional courses for 2014-15 will continue like in previous years.
The Common Entrance Test (CET) will be conducted to fill the government quota in private colleges.
At the same time, private professional college managements, deemed universities and minority institutions will conduct separate tests.
The government will soon call a meeting of private colleges to discuss the admission process for the next academic year.
It plans to sign a consensual agreement and place it before the Supreme Court. “If necessary, we will approach the Union Government to bring in a uniform Act,” said the Chief Minister.
Last week, the state government formed two committees, headed by retired High Court judges, after Medical Education Minister Sharan Prakash Patil announced the government’s decision to implement the Act from the next academic year.
The committees were formed to fix the fee and regulate admissions.
Students, parents and students’ organisations across the state are up in arms against the government’s decision to implement the Act, which they feel is not in their interest.
Many leaders, including Union Minister M Veerappa Moily and colleagues in the Siddaramaiah Cabinet, said the government ought to review its stand.
Medical Education Minister Patil, who was keen on implementing the Act, was visibly disappointed with the government decision.
While the Chief Minister was briefing the media, he sat silently in a corner.