Supreme Court: Reducing cut-off Marks for Admissions Doesn't Lower Standard of EducationOn 8 February 2021, the Supreme Court of India (SC) ruled that reducing the cut-off marks for admissions to courses does not lower the standards of education and it overruled the Central Government by directing lowering of qualifying marks by 10% percentile points to help private colleges fill nearly 7,000...
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Supreme Court: Reducing cut-off Marks for Admissions Doesn't Lower Standard of Education
On 8 February 2021, the Supreme Court of India (SC) ruled that reducing the cut-off marks for admissions to courses does not lower the standards of education and it overruled the Central Government by directing lowering of qualifying marks by 10% percentile points to help private colleges fill nearly 7,000 BDS seats for the academic year 2020-21 by 18 February2021.
A bench of Justices LN Rao and Krishna Murari accepted Advocate Maninder Singh's argument that Central Govt. could not have refused to accept Dental Council of India's recommendations for lowering the qualifying marks by 20% percentile points on the ground that lowering the cut-off mark could have an adverse impact on education standards.
It was further stated by Advocate Singh that earlier the Centre had accepted similar recommendations for lowering cut-off for super-specialty courses in medical sciences. It was argued by him that 7,000 seats in Dental courses were vacant and available infrastructure would be wasted.
Justice Rao in his judgment said that "If reducing minimum marks amounts to lowering the standards, Centre would not do so for super specialty courses. We are in agreement with Singh, counsel for the petitioners, that lowering minimum marks & reducing the percentile for admission to first-year BDS course would not amount to lowering the standards of education."
The Court ordered admissions to BDS courses (Dental Courses) strictly on merit andit further directed that the process of admission should be completed by 18 February 2021.
The Court also agreed on the arguments put forth by the Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati that fees charged by private dental colleges were a deterrent in filling up seats.
The Court further said, "The management of private colleges shall consider reducing the fee charged by them to encourage students to join colleges."
The order of the Top Court implies that general category candidates with 40 percentile points, SC/ST/OBCs with 30 percentile points, and physically challenged candidates with 35 percentile points would be eligible for admission to BDS courses in government and private colleges.
The Writ Petitions were allowed by the Apex Court and it held, "Regarding general candidates with benchmark disabilities specified under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, they would be eligible if they have secured 35 percentile.
The admissions shall be made strictly based on merit and the admission process shall be completed by 18.02.2021. Any other student who has qualified in NEET (UG) - 2020 even without lowering the minimum marks and is willing to participate in the admission process shall also be considered for admission to BDS course."