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Court relents; b-schools to conduct GDPIs

Court relents; b-schools to conduct GDPI
The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)"s controversial circular pressing for vast changes in the sphere of business education received a further setback yesterday with the Bombay High Court squashing most parts of the circular. This comes after the Orissa High Court stayed the same circular last week, when a group of B-schools from the north and north-eastern states went to court against the circular.

The writ petition in Mumbai was filed by a recently-formed and Maharashtra-based group of institutes called the Consortium of Management Institutes. In response, the Bombay High Court on Thursday declared that only could the B-schools use any of the five national entrance test for admission but  they could also go right ahead and conduct the GDPIs through the consortium of schools that had filed the petition and not through a state-appointed machinery as the circular demanded.

It may be recalled that AICTE"s circular dated December 28, 2010, had sent shock waves across the higher education industry, because of its rather contentious contents. The circular had ruled that from 2011 onwards only entrance tests such as CAT and MAT would be accepted for admission to AICTE-affiliated institutes and that all GDPIs would have to be conducted by a state-appointed machinery. The circular further stated that there would be a cap on fees in management institutes.

B-schools' directors argued that the circular was only regressive in nature and would in no way contribute to any qualitative growth among B-schools. AICTE, on its part was, however, adamant that the circular was issued in the interest of the students so as to do away with the bad eggs in the industry, who in the name of higher education were making a fast buck and offering below par services.

In response to the circular, schools in different parts of the country approached respective courts. While different groups of schools went to the Orissa and Bombay High Court respectively against the circular, the Association of Indian Management Schools (AIMS) also approached the Supreme Court. A hearing did take place today in Delhi but nothing progressed on the case and another date has been fixed for a hearing.

The Bombay High Court"s directive has made many Mumbai-based B-schools happy, since the timing of the circular had ensured the total disruption of all admission processes. B-school directors were not sure whether to go ahead with the the GDs and PIs or wait. With the Bombay High Court"s verdict, life is expected to be back to normal in the B-schools in Mumbai and the rest of Maharashtra.

However, B-schools in other parts of the country are still contemplating approaching their respective courts. Since the hearing in the Supreme Court is yet to start, there is no blanket court call on the circular across the nation. As of now, only those schools which filed appeals in the Orissa and Bombay high Court respectively, stand to gain from the courts" directives.

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