The Kerala Supreme Court has ordered Mahatma Gandhi (MG) University in the state to consider an application to join a college for the hearing impaired as an unassisted institution.
Judge Devan Ramachandran ordered the university to consider the application from the charitable organization that would run the college and issue appropriate orders before December 15.
With this interim instruction, the court put the case on the agenda for further hearing on 16 December.
The order stemmed from a plea from the Sacred Heart Clarist Province Charitable Society seeking sanctions for the institution for the hearing-impaired self-funding unaided category.
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Senior lawyer Jaju Babu, representing the association, told the court that given the state government’s financial crisis, his client was willing to run the college as an institution without assistance.
He urged the court to direct the varsity to consider affiliation with the college and order the government to approve it within a specified time frame.
In its plea, the association also asked not to submit a new application for membership, as the whole process could then take another year and would harm the rights of hearing-impaired students.
This is the second lawsuit in this case.
It had previously sought sanctions and affiliation for running the college, from the academic year 2022-23, as an aided institution, but the same was denied by the government citing financial constraints.
When the association moved court, it had directed the state government to reconsider its policy of not allowing assisted colleges and said not to “mechanically” apply the same to the association’s institution.
In its earlier plea, the association had said that hearing-impaired students who successfully completed their upper secondary education then drop out because there are no university training opportunities for them.
The society had told the court that it runs a Higher Secondary School with a hostel for the hearing impaired and unless they open an aided college, the students who drop out will have no choice but to stop their further education.
In contrast, the state government had taken a position that aided colleges were not penalized due to the “anticipated financial burden”.
The court in August had ordered the state government to reconsider the association’s request to start an assisted university, but only to cater to students with hearing disabilities.
Subsequently, after reconsidering the association’s application, the government stood by its stance but allowed the preferential application to penalize the university in self-financing mode, the latest plea said.
However, concerned that the process under the new application could also take more than a year, similar to last time, the association sought guidance from the Supreme Court that its previous application for sanction would be heard under the unassisted category.
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