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Ensure Equity in Post-Graduate Seat Allocation for St. Stephen’s College : Delhi HC Directs University of Delhi

Ensure Equity in Post-Graduate Seat Allocation for St. Stephen’s College : Delhi HC Directs University of Delhi

The recent ruling by the Delhi High Court mandates the University of Delhi (DU) to rectify any imbalance in the allocation of post-graduate (PG) seats to St. Stephen's College, ensuring equitable distribution.

Justice C Hari Shankar urged the University of Delhi (DU) to contemplate establishing a policy or set of guidelines for the distribution of post-graduate (PG) course seats across different colleges.

“Among other considerations, the DU may consider, in deciding on the number of PG seats to be allotted, the infrastructure available with the concerned college, and the number of UG students in that course of study admitted in the College,” the Court said.

However, it clarified that these suggestions are non-binding, granting DU the freedom to adopt any objective criteria it deems appropriate for this purpose.

The Court further stated that St. Stephen's College can conduct interviews for minority candidates applying to its PG courses, allocating 15% of the total marks to the interview, while the remaining 85% is based on the CUET score. However, this practice cannot be applied to non-minority students.

“Non-minority students would, however, not be subjected to any interview for admission to PG courses at the petitioner college. Their admission would solely be on the basis of their CUET score,” the Court ordered.

Justice Hari Shankar issued these directives in response to a petition filed by St. Stephen's College. The college had alleged that the University of Delhi (DU) was unfairly allocating a disproportionately low number of seats to it when allotting seats for admission to PG courses in colleges affiliated with DU.

St. Stephen's College contended that the absence of clear objective guidelines for allotting PG seats among colleges provided the University of Delhi (DU) with unchecked authority and dominance in determining the allocation of PG seats to any specific college affiliated with it.

St. Stephen's College asserted that the University of Delhi (DU) had adopted this stance against the college because St. Stephen's was unwilling to include representatives from the university in its Selection Committee. Additionally, the petitioner college had previously conducted an additional interview for PG candidates, which may have contributed to DU's decision.

The Court reviewed the case and observed that a Division Bench of the Delhi High Court had previously ruled that St. Stephen's College cannot conduct interviews for non-minority students seeking admission to undergraduate (UG) courses. However, the college can maintain the practice of allocating 15% weightage to interview marks for minority students.

St. Stephen's counsel mentioned that as the matter is currently under consideration by the Supreme Court, the college has decided not to implement an interview process for non-minority students applying for PG courses.

DU stated that it has no objection to this stance and assured that it will take measures to ensure that the allocation of PG seats to St. Stephen's College is not disproportionately lower than that of other colleges.

“In view of the said statement, it is not necessary for this Court to enter in merits into the aspect of the reasonability of the method of allocation of seats in the PG courses, by the DU,” the Court said finally.

Advocates Romy Chacko, Shakti Chand Jaidwal, Prashant Kumar and Sachin Singh Dalal appeared for St Stephen’s College.

Delhi University was represented by advocates Mohinder JS Rupal and Hardik Rupal.

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