In a relief to thousands of Jammu and Kashmir students selected for a special scholarship scheme, the Supreme Court on Friday extended by a month the deadline for taking admission in various engineering colleges due to situations prevailing in the state after abrogation of its special status.
An application was filed through Advocate Shoeb Alam on behalf of the Higher Education Department, Government of Jammu & Kashmir seeking extension of admission to engineering colleges across the country for students selected for Prime Minister Special Scholarship Scheme (PMSSS).
The Jammu and Kashmir government said that counselling by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) was completed on July 30 and the students selected for Prime Minister Special Scholarship Scheme (PMSSS) were supposed to take admissions by August 15, but many were unable to join the colleges due to restrictions imposed in the state after revocation of its special status.
A bench of Justices U U Lalit and R Subhash Reddy agreed with the contention and said that due to circumstances and situation prevailing in the state, the deadline for admission needs to be extended till September 15.
Since its introduction in 2010, PMSSS provides scholarships to 5,869 deserving students of Kashmir to meet the expenditure towards tuition fees, hostel fees, cost of books and other incidental charges incurred in studying in engineering colleges across the country. The nodal agency for the scholarship scheme is the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).
For this academic year, AICTE concluded the counseling on July 30 and the students selected for the scholarship were supposed to take admissions, latest by August 15. However, only 3,672 students availed the benefits of scholarship and 2,401 PMSSS students were unable to take admission on time due to the situation prevailing in the valley, standing counsel Shoeb Alam submitted before the court.
The division bench comprised by Justices U. U. Lalit and Justice R. Subhash Reddy agreed with the counsel's submission and said that in view of the recent restrictions that were imposed on the state, including communication shut down and the imposition of Section 144 under CrPC, the deadline for admission ought to be extended.
"Due to recent developments and peculiar situation in Jammu and Kashmir, a request is made that the last date shall be extended till September 15. The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has no objection to the prayer made. We allow the application and last date for selected PMSSS students stands extended till September 15, 2019," the bench said.
Restrictions under Section 144 CrPC were imposed in J&K on August 5 and the state is still in the phase of returning to normalcy.
With PTI Inputs