Wednesday, May 4, 2016

State can regulate admissions, fees, rules Supreme Court

Underlining that education is a “not a business” but a “noble activity” aimed at empowering people, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court Monday ruled that the State is authorised in law to regulate admission, fix fee as well as lay down any other regulatory mechanism that promotes merit and curbs commercialisation in institutions of higher education.

The Bench, comprising Justices Anil R Dave, A K Sikri, R K Agrawal, Adarsh K Goel and R Banumathi, also upheld the validity of a common admission test (CET) to be conducted by state governments as well as the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to medical colleges.

The court said that when the central government issues a notification for NEET and the state governments also want to conduct their own CETs, the issue could be resolved between them by relying upon Article 254 of the Constitution. Under Article 254, higher education has been placed in a concurrent list with both the state and central governments having powers to make laws. But when the central government makes a law or issues a notification such as NEET, it would override the state governments’ laws.

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