TIRUCHY: The Madurai Bench of the HC on November 6 issued a notice to five respondents, including the Principal Secretary of the MHRD and UGC Secretary, to clarify whether all educational institutions and universities in the State had implemented the UGC-regulated 5 percent relaxation for the differently-abled, SC, ST, and OBC students of M Phil and Ph D programmes. They have to respond by December 11.
A PIL filed by M Kamaraj (37), a differently-abled activist from Tiruchy, was taken up for hearing at the Madurai Bench on November 6. In his plea, the appellant stated to the court that several universities in the State and Central universities under the umbrella of the MHRD and Department of Higher Education have failed to follow UGC regulation 2016. The UGC norm calls for relaxation of 5 percent marks, from 55 to 50 or an equivalent relaxation of the grade.
It was a year ago, when petitioner Kamaraj was denied admission to an M Phil History programme at Bharathidasan University (BDU), despite obtaining a score of 53.4 percent, which made him eligible.
In his plea, the petitioner said that BDU did not give exemption when he applied for his M Phil degree in the 2016-17 academic year. After repeated requests to BDU and an Express report, he was finally given the 5 percent exemption for the 2017-18 academic year for the same degree which he sought at BDU.
His efforts never ceased as he found many universities and institutions had failed to include the 5 percent relaxation in their prospectuses and admission processes. Express had carried an article dated October 23 which said the Central government-run National Institute for Empowerment of Persons with Multiple Disabilities (NIEPMD) in Chennai did not follow UGC norms, despite it being an institution meant to uplift the differently-abled.
After collecting a list of institutions which did not include the 5 percent relaxation, Kamaraj knocked at the door of the HC for action against institutions which failed to stick to the UGC norms. Kamaraj told Express, “We, differently-abled, are working hard to improve our standard of living and the UGC providing relaxation is a sign of hope to get a higher education.”
Report by December 11
The HC Bench has directed the Principal Secretary of the MHRD, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Department of Higher Education, Secretary of UGC and Director of NIEPMD to file a report before the court relating to the notification issued by the UGC by December 11