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Centre returns admissions Bill

G. Mahadevan

State forwarded the Bill to Central government to avoid legal hassles


No legal backing for 50:50 combination

Many hurdles for normalisation formula


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Even as the office of the Commissioner for Entrance Examinations is working to give a final shape to the prospectus for the engineering-medical entrance examinations, 2011, the Central government has sent back the Kerala Professional Institutions (Criteria for Admissions) Bill 2010 pointing out that “there is no constitutional requirement for seeking prior approval of the Central government before introduction of a Bill in a State Legislature”.

In September 2010, the State had forwarded the Bill to the Centre for the latter's concurrence hoping to forestall legal hassles relating to the Bill's provision that the rank list for engineering- medical entrance examinations shall be prepared by giving equal weight to the marks scored in the entrance examination and those scored in the qualifying examinations. The regulations of both the Medical Council of India and the All India Council for Technical Education are silent on such a 50:50 combination of marks.

Now, the State government will have to introduce this Bill in the Assembly or choose to go in for an ordinance. Either way, the Governor can choose to forward the Bill to the President. “A final call on whether the Bill should be introduced in the Assembly or whether it is better to go in for an ordinance will only be taken after discussions at the appropriate level,” Education Minister M.A. Baby told The Hindu. The Bill's future may have no immediate impact on the finalisation of the prospectus. Also, the government has already announced that the 50:50 combination of marks will be used to prepare the rank list for the engineering entrance examination of 2011. However, given that such a combination of marks is now not backed by an enabling legislation either in the State or at the Centre, the inclusion of such a provision in the prospectus is very vulnerable to legal challenges.

Numerous practical hurdles relating to the ‘normalisation' of scores obtained in different qualifying examinations is a major stumbling block in the finalisation of the prospectus.

Sources in the government said the normalisation committee is scheduled to meet here on Wednesday to take a decision on the formula for normalisation.

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