OCI, PIO card holders can go to IITs, IISc

Students falling under Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) or Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) categories can now take the course of Kishore Vaigyanik Protsaan Yojana (KVPY) conducted by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Joint Entrance Examination (Main) - 2015 (JEE Main) conducted by Central Board of Secondary Examination and Common Entrance Test (CET) conducted by the Karnataka Examinations Authority and also admission under general quota in the Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) following a High Court order passed on Thursday (Aug 27, 2015).

While hearing a petition filed by eight OCI and PIO students, Justice Ravi Malimath ordered notice to Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Overseas Indian, HRD Ministry, CBSE, IISc and KEA on Thursday.

The petitioners had sought directions from the court to quash the information bulletin, dated November 11, 2014, published by CBSE denying the OCI and the PIO students admission to NITs, IIITs and CFTIs through JEE-Main channel.  Similarly, a notice was published by IISc in Deccan Herald on July 12, 2015 denying OCI and PIO students to take up the Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana examination.

The petitioners had contended that denying the OCI card holders an opportunity to take these examinations was contrary to the statutory notifications issued by the Government of India under Sub-section (1) of Section 7(B) of the Citizenship Act, 1955, which treats the OCI card holders on a par with NRIs in  economic and educational fields.

The petitioners had also contended that the act of the Karnataka Examinations Authority was wholly illegal and are violating Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India.  The students had also sought for directions from the court to admit OCI students according to All India Rank to IITs under General Merit category and not on supernumerary category.

Dr Rajanna Sreedhara, father of one of the petitioners, told Deccan Herald that the last date for filing the application for KVPY examination conducted by IISc is August 30, 2015 and they were not able to fill the application form online as there is no mention of the OCI or PIO category.

“Following the High Court order, the IISc officials have asked us to attach the copy of the order along with the application forms.  The OCI and PIO students are simply denied the opportunity of studying various courses in India for unknown reasons. The court’s order has now eased the process,” he added.

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