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Saturday, 22 November 2014

IGNOU's Reservation Quota Sparks Protests - Bangaluru

The ongoing B.Ed admission counselling conducted by the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) was marred by conflict over reservation provision, at IGNOU Regional Centre, Bengaluru on Friday.

Protests broke out on the premises of the regional centre after nearly a hundred students were turned away as they did not qualify for admissions.
Based on a national-level entrance exam, IGNOU is conducting admission counselling for two-year B Ed course exclusively for in-service teachers. The exam was conducted about three months ago and the counselling process for admissions of the same, began on November 20, 2014.

While on the first day the open university conducted counselling for SC, ST and differently-abled candidates, on Friday the admission process was meant for OBC non-creamy layer of candidates. Conflict broke out when a section of candidates belonging to the ‘Lingayat’ community were told that they did not qualify for reservation.

“As per regulations of the state government, they qualify for reservation under 3 B Category. However, they were told at the venue that the community did not figure in the Central list for reservation,” said one candidate.

Following the protests, the counselling process was delayed by few hours. With no other choice, candidates belonging to the community had to return home without a seat. The candidates questioned officials why their names were announced in the counselling list if they were not eligible for admissions under the quota.

An official from Bangalore Regional Centre said, “Several candidates had not submitted their caste certificates along with their applications. Hence an opportunity was given to all candidates to appear for the counselling. We are checking their credentials during the counselling.”

“The IGNOU brochure and the application mention that the admissions will be done based on the Central List of Reservation. Some teachers do not seem to have read the regulations properly. One can cross verify this list on the National Commission for Backward Classes website,,” he added.

While there are 500 seats in Karnataka State Open University (KSOU), there are 1,100 seats offered by IGNOU, for its 11 recognised centres in Karnataka. There are 100 seats each in all these institutions.

Candidates turned away on Friday will not lose an year as IGNOU has decided to offer them seats under General Merit for which the cut off is 57 marks in the entrance exam. Those with the minimum marks can take part in the GM counselling to be held on November 22, 2014, added Parthasarathy. Those with lower scores can take part in the second round, which will be announced based on seats remaining after the first round.

Source : The New Indian Express , 22nd  Nov 2014

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