The Tamil Nadu government is unlikely to implement the 10% reservation for economically weaker sections (EWSs) for the academic year 2019-20 across universities in the state. Sources in the Department of Higher Education tell TNM that the Tamil Nadu government is yet to make any headway regarding a decision on the implementation of the quota in the state.
The decision comes despite the University Grants Commission (UGC), asking 13 universities across the state to implement the quota this academic year. In a circular issued by the UGC additional secretary Dev Swarup, direction was given to university authorities to bring the quota into force after consultation with the state government, say official sources. They were reportedly also told to display information regarding the scheme on their official websites.
"It is not compulsory for us to implement this quota and as of now there is no chance that it will be enforced," says a senior official from the Higher Education Department. "We have requested for legal input from the Attorney General on the matter and haven't take a decision yet,â€ť said the official.
He further points out that Tamil Nadu already has 69 % reservation and therefore the state is in a uniquely complicated position in terms of implementing the EWS quota.
"The admissions are already over for this academic year and after the all-party meeting that was recently held, it was decided that legal recourse was necessary in this situation," he adds.
In July, political parties in Tamil Nadu presented mixed reactions on the 10% reservation for Econimically Weaker Sections of society, as proposed by the Central government.
While a majority of the parties that attended the all-party meeting like the DMK, the MDMK and others opposed the move, some parties voiced their support.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam stressed that after discussing with the legal experts, the government will take a decision that will not impact the existing 69% reservation in the state.
Educational institutions meanwhile have told the media that admitting new students after the beginning of the academic year, will prove to be a long-winded process.
Speaking to ToI, regarding the circular, Anna University Vice Chancellor MK Surappa said, â€śAs per the Supreme Courtâ€™s order, the engineering admissions are closed before July 31. To admit students after the cut-off date, we need permission from the apex court."