The SC verdict that altered the course

The SC verdict that altered the course

 The CET came into force following a Supreme Court judgment delivered by the Division Bench headed by Justice B P Jeevan Reddy in 1993. However, an appeal against the verdict preferred by T M A Pai Group of Educational Institutions reversed the tide.

The 11-judge Bench of the apex court disposed of the appeal in 2003 with a majority ruling that State governments have no control over private educational institutions and the latter could conduct separate entrance examination. Five judges on the Bench delivered a dissenting judgment. The CET lost its legal support following the verdict.

Since then the government and private educational institutions have been deciding the seat sharing and fee on a yearly basis, with the concurrence of the court. But there has not been a single instance of hassle free admissions since 2003. A few private educational institutions formed their own body - Consortium of Medical, Engineering and
Dental Colleges of Karnataka (Comed-K) - and regulate admissions through their own entrance test. Post apex court verdict, private managements began to have a greater say and the government has been reduced to playing a second fiddle.

Over the years there has been a gradual reduction in the government quota and a proportionate increase in the management seats (see box).

Reports gather dust

A significant direction of the Supreme Court in the same case has, however, not been given effect to. The court, though gave a carte blanche to private institutions, said that the government has the power to intervene to fix fee structure and regulate professional education.

The court also directed to constitute two committees headed by retired judges for the purpose. But there has been no instance of the government invoking its power in this behalf. It has been only dancing to the tunes of private managements.

Three committees were constituted for fee fixation and reports of all the three have been gathering dust. The government did not bother to implement recommendations of even a single committee. The only consequence is waste of taxpayers' money. The reports of the committees headed by Justice Muragod and Justice Rangavittalachar are yet to be acted upon.

So is the fate of Justice Padmaraj committee constituted last year.

Higher Education Minister Dr V S Acharya has stated that the government won't implement the recommendations but fix the fee through talks with private managements.

The ready answer for the reluctance: "recommendations will be implemented if necessary." Now that the talks have failed, private managements have been demanding to fix the fee in accordance with the recommendations of Justice Padmaraj committee, and the government, as usual, is dragging its feet. The apparent result would be different fee structure for each college in the State.

Students and parents continue to be in the dark as the seat matrix has not been finalised till now. The CET is scheduled for April 27 and 28 this year. The seat matrix usually was out by February every year and there has been no final word so far this time.

The shrinking quota

Government and private quota since 2003-04

year        medical    engineering

               govt   pvt  govt   pvt

2003-04    75    25    75    25
2004-05    60    40    75    25
2005-06    50    50    65    35
2006-07    50    50    60    40
2007-08    40    60    55    45
2008-09    40    60    55    45
2009-10    42    58    50    50
2010-11    42    58    50    50
2011-12    40    60    40*    60*

*probable, Medical and Engineering seats in per cent.