State Government justified the abolition of CET for admission to Professional Courses

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State Government justified the abolition of CET for admission to Professional Courses

The Tamil Nadu government justified the abolition of the Common Entrance Test (CET) for admission to professional courses in the State in an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court on Thursday.

Admitting a special leave petition filed by Minor A.S. Prabhu against the April 27, 2007 judgment of the Madras High Court, upholding the abolition of the CET from the academic year 2007-2008, the apex court had sought the State’s response.

As the matter has been listed for final hearing, the State, through its counsel V.G. Pragasam, filed its reply stating that it was a policy decision by the government to obviate unnecessary hardship to students and ensure a level playing field for students from rural areas and those from urban areas since CET had become highly expensive and cumbersome for students.

“Traumatic”

It said the CET had turned traumatic for parents and children as it appeared to determine, at one stroke, the future of the child. The higher secondary education itself was a serious examination of merit imposing a heavy burden on students. It was felt that CET would be an additional burden.

The petitioner had contended that the impugned legislation was violative of Articles 14 (right to equality) and 21 (right to life and liberty) of the Constitution as the method of ‘normalisation’ to arrive at the ‘relative marks’ of students in different streams of study would create more inequality.

Referring to the contention that there was discrimination between students of the State Board and other boards, the counter said, “The anomaly has now been set at naught in the new Act by providing the process of normalisation.” The normalisation was arrived at by applying a formula approved at a meeting of an experts committee. The allegations of arbitrariness were ill-founded.

Case cited

The counter recalled that in the P.A. Inamdar case, the apex court had held that the selection should be fair, transparent and non-exploitative. Selection on the basis of marks obtained in the qualifying examination would satisfy these three tests for admission.

Keeping in mind the interests and mindset of students that there would be no CET from 2007-2008, it would be inequitable to make all such innocent students to again undergo the ordeal of CET, the State said, seeking dismissal of the SLP.