Legal Analysis on Admission Criteria for B.Tech Courses

Delve into the in-depth legal analysis of a recent court ruling on admission criteria for B.Tech courses amidst the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The court’s interpretation of the relevant legislation and its implications provide valuable insights into the intricacies of the case. Let’s examine the nuances of this important legal decision.


  • High Court allowed admission to B.Tech degree course based on qualifying exam marks due to Covid-19.
  • Circular issued by AICTE for PGDM/MBA courses relaxed eligibility criteria.
  • Petition filed under Article 226 for direction to implement circular for B.Tech courses.
  • Relaxation of centralized entrance test requirement in extraordinary situation.
  • Provision in 2007 Act requires admissions through entrance test and centralized counseling.
  • Circular by AICTE only applicable to PGDM/MBA courses, not B.Tech.
  • The High Court left it to the discretion of AICTE and the State Government to determine if similar benefits granted to PGDM/MBA students should be extended to B.Tech (Engineering) degree course admissions
  • AICTE issued a letter on 6 January 2021 in response to the High Court’s direction
  • The High Court, in its order dated 21 January 2021, concluded that B.Tech admissions should be allowed based on marks obtained in the qualifying examination, similar to PGDM/MBA courses
  • The High Court’s direction was considered contrary to the provisions of the 2007 Act, but it was clarified that this was not the case for the B.Tech Engineering stream
  • A general circular for engineering course admissions, similar to the one dated 19.08.2020, was not deemed necessary by AICTE as per the prevailing situation due to COVID-19

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  • AICTE has clearly opined that B.Tech Degree courses cannot be placed at par with PGDM/MBA courses.
  • Decision on equivalence left to the government in view of state legislation provisions.
  • Admission to private professional educational institutions must be through an approved entrance test followed by centralized counselling as per Section 3(1).
  • Benefit granted to 592 students for B.Tech Degree courses under direct entry and 243 students under lateral entry in Odisha.
  • Granting admissions to B.Tech Degree courses based on qualifying exam marks is argued to be contrary to Section 3(1).
  • Explanation of total B.Tech seats, applications, appearances, registrations, and admissions during OJEE 2020 provided.
  • State Government’s decision on 7 January 2021 based on an erroneous interpretation of the AICTE’s letter.
  • Recommendation not to interfere with the direction of the High Court for admissions this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Representation by Mr. Siddhartha Dave and Mr. Gaurav Agrawal on behalf of the institutions and students respectively.
  • JEE MAIN MERIT LIST information shared.

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  • The High Court’s direction to admit students to B.Tech Degree courses based on qualifying exam marks contradicts Section 3(1) of the 2007 Act.
  • Only a small fraction of B.Tech seats are filled through entrance exams, despite over 33,000 available seats.
  • The High Court should not have issued a mandamus to the State Government against the statute.
  • AICTE clarified that B.Tech courses should not be equated with PGDM/MBA courses, leaving the decision to the State Government.
  • The judgment of the High Court is based on a misconception of law and should be set aside.
  • The issue remains regarding the students who have already taken admission under direct and lateral entry.
  • Displacing admitted students would not be in the interests of justice
  • The overwhelming hardship faced during the Covid-19 pandemic is considered
  • A direction is passed based on the above reasons

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  • Admission granted to 592 students under direct entry and 243 students under lateral entry for the current year should not be disturbed.
  • Appeal is disposed of and admission of these students shall not be disturbed.
  • Pending applications have been disposed of.
  • Solicitor General has left the decision regarding these students to the court’s discretion.


Case Number: C.A. No.-002274-002274 / 2021

Click here to read/download original judgement

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