Bombay High Court to Review JEE Main 2023’s 75% Eligibility Criterion

    Hearing scheduled for May 2nd as petitioners challenge the reinstatement of the 75% eligibility criterion in JEE Main 2023

    The Bombay High Court is set to hear a plea challenging the reinstatement of the 75% eligibility criterion for the JEE Main 2023 examination today, May 2nd. The plea argues that this requirement is unfair to students whose academic performance during the COVID-19 pandemic may not be reflective of their true abilities.

    The 75% Eligibility Criterion Explained

    Precedents and Controversy

    The 75% eligibility criterion, as per the JEE Advanced brochure, mandates that candidates secure at least 75% in their Class 12 board exams. However, the minimum aggregate marks for SC, ST, and PwD candidates are 65%. Alternatively, candidates should fall within the category-wise top 20 percentile of successful candidates from their respective boards.

    This criterion was in place prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but was temporarily removed during the pandemic years. As state and national boards have now returned to normalcy, the criterion has been reinstated, causing concern among students and activists.

    The Public Interest Litigation (PIL) states: “The marks scored by them is not a true reflection of their actual ability therefore those students with less marks than the eligibility criteria (75%) for this year’s examinations can score very high marks in the upcoming JEE Main 2023, and if a fair chance is denied to them that will affect the future (of) lakhs of bright (students).”

    The Legal Battle Unfolds

    The Court’s Initial Response

    The plea, filed by child activist Anubha Srivastava Sahai, was heard in the Bombay High Court on April 24 by a bench of Acting Chief Justice Sanjay V Gangapurwala and Justice Sandeep V Marne. Advocate Rui Rodrigues, representing the National Testing Agency (NTA), requested time to file a response and asked for the matter to be heard after a week.

    The bench expressed its concerns about intervening in educational matters, stating: “Unless it is an exceptional case, how far we can intervene in an education case. We will have to see that under Article 226 of the Constitution… We do not have powers under Article 142. This impugned condition was there prior to Covid-19 and it was relaxed only during Covid-19.”

    NTA’s Response and the Upcoming Hearing

    The NTA has submitted its response to the plea, and the matter is scheduled for a hearing on Tuesday, May 2. The outcome of this hearing could have significant implications for thousands of students across the country who aspire to join prestigious engineering institutions through the JEE Main examination.

    As the legal battle unfolds, students, parents, and educators are eagerly awaiting the court’s decision, which could determine the future course of action for numerous young engineering aspirants. The reinstatement of the 75% eligibility criterion has sparked intense debate, and the Bombay High Court’s verdict will play a crucial role in shaping the discourse around educational policy and fairness in the context of the ongoing pandemic.

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