Education is the fundamental right of every human being. The government took the initiative of providing primary education to all the children of the country by the year 2010, which fails to still be achieved even after 70 years of independence. To support the minority and low-income groups the then formed government adopted the reservation system in various levels of the education system which was seen to benefit the groups and students who were unable to secure seats in higher educational institutes across the nation.
The apex court of the nation which has the power over preside and take historical, necessary decision has called for the end of the reservation system of all institutions of higher education, regretting that “some privilege remains unchanged after years of independence”. The Supreme Court urged the central government i.e the Modi government and all the states to take appropriate steps in making this decision a progressive one in making our nation cut off from the chains of reservations and move towards equality.
Bench of justices Deipak Misra and PC Pant were in the consensus that despite several reminders and notices offered to the state and central governments to consider merit as the primary criteria for admissions into super speciality courses, the harsh reality where students who have been given the power to get a seat through reservations over throw the ones who are meritorious.
“The fond hope has remained in the sphere of hope… The said privilege remains unchanged, as if (it is) to compete with eternity,” the bench remarked. The court has always in favour of the battle of merit over reservation quoting its agreements with its own judgments from 1988.
The two cases refer to reservations in super-speciality medical courses, wherein the Supreme Court had stated that ‘there should really be no reservation’. The rationale given was that improving higher education was in the general interest of the country, and quality of medical services needed to be good.
The Supreme Court has complete trust and faith in the Government of India and the state government in taking the vital steps in the aspect of the matter without any delay and fundamental guidelines would be evolved at the earliest.
The Supreme Court has always inclined to covey the same message it did 27 years ago. “Therefore, we echo the same feeling and reiterate the aspirations of others so that authorities can objectively assess and approach the situation so that the national interest can become paramount,” the court said.
In taking what appears to be a historical step towards equality the body also asked the government and authorities to refrain from relaxing the eligibility criteria as a compensation for the judgement as it would defeat the very purpose of imparting education, knowledge and trainings to the selected merit candidates.
These observations were made by the Supreme Court while delivering judgment on the petitions which were challenged on eligibility criteria for admissions into certain super-specialty medical courses in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu. The court said it could not interfere with the admission process in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana since a Presidential Order had been created and the constitutionality of the order was not challenged.
A ray of hope has been spread across the nation for all those who have worked hard to earn the merit and as a nation, this decision would make a larger leap towards an equalitarian society, where each candidate and student is treated an equal in the eyes of knowledge.
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