JEE Counseling OCI Cardholder: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday allowed a student who has an Overseas Citizen of India card to appear in JEE counseling for admission to IITs.
As per the MHA notification, OCI cardholders can claim only for Non-Resident Indian (NRI) quota seats in educational institutions on the basis of National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) and All India entrance examinations like JEE. JEE and NEET are engineering and medical entrance exams respectively. However, senior advocate Vineet Naik, appearing for the petitioner, questioned the legal validity of the provision. They argued that the petitioner student had an OCI card but was not an NRI and had completed her 10th and 12th standard from India.
Naik said that therefore, she was seeking admission in one of the IITs under the general category for the current academic year. The advocate argued that students like the petitioner should be treated as general category candidates and not as foreign national candidates.
If they are treated as general category candidates, they would be entitled to consider the larger pool of seats and courses – around 16,000 – as opposed to the 1,600 additional seats created for foreign nationals, he told the court. He referred to the recent interim order of the Supreme Court allowing OCI cardholder students to appear for NEET counseling under the general category.
The High Court noted that a bench of the Madras High Court had also recently passed a similar order. Advocate Rui Rodrigues, who appeared for MHA, Ministry of Education and Joint Seat Allocation Authority (JOSSA), told the said notification to the HC to specify the rights of OCI cardholders by the Center while exercising its powers under the Citizenship Act. was issued.
However, the High Court observed that considering the interim orders of the Supreme Court and the Madras HC, similar interim relief may be granted to the petitioner. With regard to the above (order), we issue notice. As an interim measure, we direct the respondents, especially respondent number three (JOSSA) to declare the result of the petitioners in the Joint Entrance Examination (Mains) and allow them to appear for counseling in the general category,” HC said. The petitioner’s selection or admission to IITs will be subject to the final order of the court. The High Court will further hear the matter on November 23.