New Delhi/Hyderabad: In a big jolt to the Telangana government, the Supreme Court Monday declined to give more time for admissions in professional courses and directed it to complete admissions in engineering colleges in the state by Aug 31 as per the original schedule.
A division bench comprising Justice S.J. Mukhopadahya and Justice S.A. Bobde said the counselling for students who qualified in the EAMCET should be conducted as per the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act.
Telangana had filed an application seeking extension of the time schedule for counselling for admissions for the 2014-15 session till Oct 31.
D. Srinivas, additional advocate general of Andhra Pradesh, said the court asked Telangana government to take up admissions as per the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, under which the existing admission process and quotas in both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have to continue for 10 years.
He said that under the Act, the Andhra Pradesh State Council for Higher Education (APSCHE) is the competent authority to conduct the counselling.
The newly-created state wanted the extension on the ground that it lacked staff to verify the certificates of the students and also to decide who is eligible for FAST, a new scheme aimed at providing financial assistance to students from Telangana.
The court did not agree with the arguments offered by the Telangana government and observed that the students should not suffer because of the state's division.
The apex court, however, declined to go into the nativity issue at this stage, the counsel said.
The two Telugu-speaking states are locked in a bitter wrangle over the issue of admissions and nativity as the Telangana government has refused to reimburse fees of students from Andhra Pradesh studying in Hyderabad or other parts of Telangana.
Telangana scrapped the existing fee reimbursement scheme and instead announced Financial Assistance for Students of Telangana (FAST) with the condition that students whose parents were residents of Telangana Nov 1, 1956 will be eligible for assistance.
The row has delayed counselling and caused anxiety among nearly 10 lakh students in both the states.
APSCHE started counselling for admissions in engineering colleges in Andhra Pradesh on Aug 7 but Telangana was waiting for the orders from the Supreme Court.
About 395,000 students had appeared in Engineering, Agriculture and Medical Common Entrance Test (EAMCET) held in the united Andhra state in May. Of them, 185,000 students passed in engineering stream and about 86,000 qualified in medicine.