Patiala, Punjab: Patiala’s premier Thapar University has scrapped the 50% quota for students from Punjab for its much sought- after engineering courses.
The decision, which university sources said was taken in a meeting of the board of governors of the varsity recently, will come as a huge setback for the state’s students.
From the 2012 academic session, students from Punjab will have to compete with their counterparts in the rest of the country in the All India Engineering Entrance Examination ( AIEEE) for Thapar University’s 800 engineering seats. Till now, though the state’s students took the test, half the seats were kept exclusively for them.
NK Verma, the registrar of Thapar University, claimed the decision was taken following new guidelines of admissions set by the University Grants Commission (UGC).
Thapar University has also abolished the 5% quota for students of backward classes from Punjab and 2% quota for sportspersons from Punjab.
The undergraduate courses in which admissions will now be at an all- India level are electronics and communication engineering (180 seats), computer engineering (110 seats), mechanical engineering (110), chemical engineering (75 seats), civil engineering (75), electrical engineering (75), electronics (instrumentation and control) engineering (75), biotech engineering (40), industrial engineering (30) and the newly started mechatronics (30 seats).
“We had to abolish the quota for Punjab students following directives of the UGC, which had asked all deemed universities to admit students on an all India basis,” said director of Thapar University, Abhijit Mukherjee. “There is no other reason behind scrapping this quota.”
According to documents available with HT, the university has cited the following UGC directive to explain its decision: “That institution deemed to be university shall implement the reservation policy, in admissions and recruitment, in accordance with any act of the Parliament, for the time being in force”.
Interestingly, the state government claims it is not aware of the varsity’s decision, which was put up on the Thapar University website on March 9. “It’s only you who are informing us about this development,” Sarwan Singh Channy, principal secretary, technical education, Punjab, told HT. “According to department information, the quota for Punjab should be as it was in the previous year.”
Set up in a 250 acre campus, the institute was established in 1956. Formerly known as Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology, it was granted full autonomy and status of a deemed university in 1985 by the UGC.
Till 2002, the Punjab government was giving 95% grant in aid to the institute to bear the expenditure of salaries of employees of all sanctioned posts. Besides engineering, Thapar University offers postgraduate and undergraduate programmes in science, management and social sciences.