Gaurav Raghuvanshi

Ahmedabad, May 4

THE Gujarat High Court has struck down a rule that allowed students whose colleges are not affiliated to the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) to take the Common Admission Test (CAT) but debarred them from admission to the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs).

A Division Bench of the High Court on Tuesday upheld the order by a single judge Bench of the same court quashing the rule. The judgment follows a petition filed by three students of the Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology at Gandhinagar, who had been denied interview calls by the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, (IIM-A) despite scoring high marks in the CAT exam.

The students were told that they did not fulfil the eligibility criteria laid down by the IIMs that stipulated that their university had to be recognised by AIU for admission to the prestigious institute.

The High Court order, however, came too late for the three students to be included in the admission procedure of IIM-A, which has already been completed. The Division Bench has upheld the single judge order regarding the rule, but set aside the order directing IIM-A to include the three students in the admission process, according to IIM-A spokesperson, Mr Ashok Shah.

"As of now, we are not required to consider the candidature of the students. As regards the future course of action, we will decide once we get the order. If any changes in our eligibility criteria are needed, we will make them before the admission notification for next year is issued," Mr Shah said.

Counsel for the candidates, Mr Bijal Chattrapati, had contended that the Dhirubhai Institute was a university set up under a State Government Act and also recognised by the University Grants Commission. But Mr Shah said that the UGC recognition had come only on November 30, 2004, after the last date of submitting CAT forms had expired on September 10.

"Merit is the only consideration for admission to the IIMs. These rules have been formed to ensure that we get quality candidates and AIU recognition is just to ensure that they come from a standard pool of recognised universities. We are always open to changes in our rules to ensure that we attract more talent," Mr Shah said.

The petitioners had also contended that IIM-A has been admitting students from IIT Guwahati, which also does not meet the eligibility norms. One of the three top-earning students of the 2005 batch was, in fact, from IIT-G.

"IITs are a global brand. We accept that we have had IIT Guwahati graduates, including one who is now in the second year. We will now look into the issue. But I can confirm that in the new batch of students, there is no graduate from IIT Guwahati," Mr Shah said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated May 5, 2005)
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