Supreme Court Nod for Engineering 2nd Phase Counseling

The Supreme Court on Monday indicated that it will allow second phase of counseling for admissions into engineering colleges in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh states.A two-member bench comprising justices Sudhansu Jyoti Mukhopadhaya and SA Bobde, while dealing with a batch of petitions by the managements of 174 private engineering colleges of Telangana state, said it will grant conditional permission for second phase of counseling on Tuesday.

The bench told the two state governments and the managements of engineering colleges to inform the students that admission will be granted on adhoc basis and that the final admission will be subject to the outcome of the inspections to be conducted by the All India Council for Technical Education.It may be recalled that Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University - Hyderabad (JNTU-H) had derecognized 174 colleges on the ground that they do not have facilities as per the norms prescribed by the university and the AICTE. According to the original schedule, the admission process should be completed by August 31.

The bench, while expressing its inclination to allow second phase counseling, said the fees paid by students shall be deposited in a special account, instead of the college account, till the final result of the inspections, so that it can be refunded to students in case of cancellation of recognition by the AICTE and the varsity.The bench indicated that it will not entertain any plea, either by students or college managements, in case of cancellation of recognition on the grounds of lack of required facilities.

The counsel representing Telangana state submitted that the government will engage the services of experts from BITS Pilani and IITs to inspect the colleges.The bench directed both the states to prepare the schedule for counselling and said the process shall be completed by Nov 14.The bench also directed that the authorities shall file an undertaking that they would follow the 240 days syllabus system in technical education.

Meanwhile, AP government submitted that around 60,000 seats in AP remained vacant after the first phase of counseling and the students aspiring for engineering admissions will lose one academic year if the second phase of counseling is not permitted. As for Telangana, the college managements submitted that about 12,000 seats remained vacant in the state and more than 80,000 seats remained unfilled due to cancellation of recognition to 174 colleges.The bench said it will pass a detailed order on Tuesday and adjourned the case.

Meanwhile, the AP State Council of Higher Education (APSCHE) will convene a meeting on Tuesday with representatives from both states in preparing the schedule for the second round of counseling, a senior official told Express.The latest directive of the apex court would enable engineering aspirants in both states to change their options with regard to colleges and courses exercised in the first round of counseling. After the end of first phase, about 75,000 seats had no takers in both AP and Telangana.
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