Admission process for institutes like IIT based on discipline, says HC, refuses relief to teen who failed to fill form for JEE-Advanced

 Institutes such as the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) are centres of technical studies par excellence in the country and the process of finding students is based on discipline, the Bombay High Court said while refusing relief to an 18-year-old boy who failed to submit his online form for the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) Advanced due to a technical glitch.

The boy, Atharva Desai, in his petition claimed that he lived in a rural area where there were frequent power outages because of which he was unable to register himself online in the given time frame.

The petitioner sought a direction from the court for his registration form to be accepted and to permit him to appear for JEE-Advanced scheduled to be held on June 4.

The Joint Admission Board of the IIT opposed the plea on the ground that as per their records, Desai had logged in on the portal for the first time to fill the online form a day after the deadline and hence, no relief ought to be granted to him.

A vacation bench of Justices Abhay Ahuja and Milind Sathaye, in its May 24 order, accepted the IIT’s argument and said it could not disturb the discipline adopted by the institution in the larger interest of lakhs of aspiring meritorious students of the country.

The order copy was made available on Monday.

“It is not in doubt that IITs, NITs and other institutes are centres of technical studies par excellence in India. The process of finding the best talent in this country is based on discipline which is of utmost importance in the field of education,” the court said.

As per the information brochure issued by the IIT, the time frame provided for registration for JEE-Advanced was from April 30 to May 7.

“This is a sufficiently long period for all candidates to complete registration, even assuming difficulties such as internet glitches and power outages. The candidates who are placed in a less advantageous situation, such as the petitioner, have sufficient time to reach places having better connectivity and power supply,” the court said.

It further cited that as per Desai’s login details, he had logged in to the portal for the first time on May 8 and had managed to successfully log in as many as nine times on the portal.

“We fail to understand why the petitioner was not able to log in on the portal the previous eight days when the window for registration was open. There is no explanation from the petitioner on this,” the court said.

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It is not possible to accept Desai’s contention that he was unable to register for the exam within the time frame due to internet glitch or power outage, it added.

The bench also noted that Desai had not once attempted to contact the IIT’s admission board seeking redressal of his grievance.

The rules laid down for participating in JEE-Advanced were binding on all candidates and dismissed the petition, it said.

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