New Delhi, Oct 7 (ILNS) The Supreme Court today directed the Centre to take immediate steps to allow women to take entrance exams for admission in the Rashtriya Indian Military College (RIMC) scheduled to be held on December 18, 2021.
A bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice MM Sundresh was hearing the issue of admission of girls in the Rashtriya Indian Military College (RIMC) and Rashtriya Military School (RMC). The last date for submission of applications for the said examinations is October 30, 2021, which is scheduled for December 18, 2021.
The bench directed the Centre to allow girls to take the entrance exam for admission this year in RIMC instead of waiting till June 2022, and also directed the government to publish a modified advertisement within two days to seek applications from girls.
“The necessary modified advertisement be issued within two days without changing the schedule. We make it clear that this is applicable insofar as the Rashtriya Indian Military School (RIMC) is concerned. Insofar as the Rashtriya Military Schools (RMCs.) are concerned, the process will begin with the academic session 2022-2023. The matter will be taken up on January 18, 2022,” the Court has noted in its order.
During the hearing today Additional Solicitor General of India, Ms Aishwarya Bhati submitted a proposal by way of an affidavit on this issue of induction of women candidates with respect to the exam which is scheduled this year as directed by this court on September 22, 2021.
The ASG submitted that for the purpose of Rashtriya Indian Military College (RMC), two exams are held biannually, one in June and the other in December. The impending examination of December is to be considered by this court. Further, for Phase 1 they are proposing an increase in capacity (300 students), incrementally by inducting 5 girls per 6 months. Total acceptance is 25 students/six months. This will be a 20% increase in strength. They have proposed that said changes should be implemented for the session which begins on January 2023. That it should not be applied to the impending examination but the very next one in June 2022.
Justice Mr Sanjay Kishan Kaul raised a question regarding the postponement of everything by one year. He emphasized the fact that the problem does not immediately arise and there is a sufficient amount of time to put everything in place. Therefore, the reservation of this court is with regard to such unnecessary postponement and delay.
ASG argued that the postponement is not by one year. It is only a period of 6 months that they are seeking. To go into an examination whose process and qualification is set by ad-hoc and subsequently there are problems to be untangled before proper implementation can be put into place. Furthermore, the parameters are to be laid down and the current examination is already in place, advertisements are out and students have already applied for it and thus a period of 6 months should be granted.
The court while appreciating the effort put by the ASG, observed that the country is meant to be affected by this issue and there is a larger question to be addressed. “This court observed that there are still 6 months to work things out. And that the government is referring to things to arise in 2023, but not in June 2022 when 6+ months (2 months of 2021+ 6 months till June 2022) are available to it. Therefore, such delay cannot be appreciated,” said the Apex Court.
ASG submitted that the issue involves 12-13-year-old girls. Neither parameters for their induction have been set out nor does a framework guiding their applications exist. Therefore, a leeway should be granted as was permitted to the Defense Department to come up with instructions on parameters with regard to preparatory actions for induction of women in the NDA, subject to finalization of the same by the expert committee/special study group. The reason being the examination process in issue is at a very advanced stage.
The date of examination is December 18, 2021 and the last date for submission of the application is October 30, 2021. Finally, she requested that the court may balance the convenience and pass an appropriate order.
Furthermore, she submitted and assured the court that the government is not shying away or running away from responsibility. Though initially there was a little resistance after this court’s push, they are working towards realizing the goal.
Mr Aditya Swarup, appearing for the alumni association (RIMC), submitted the only concern for the alumni association is that the result of an increase in the strength by the government should not be that existing facilities are constrained. He requested that adequate funds be provided by the government towards infrastructure.
Mr Manish Kumare, intervenor (WP C- 524/2021) submitted that as far as NDA is concerned, who had stated that they are not fit to take the exam in 2021, this court was kind enough to direct that women should be permitted to take the exam this year. Therefore, there is no question of disparity and the window should open for girls to be allowed to participate in the examination scheduled a year in this matter also.
The Top Court noted that a period of six months is sufficient for disciplined organisations like the respondents for devising the said parameters and coming up with a framework. The implementation is to be left to them. So far as the examination schedule for this year (2021) is concerned, it has been submitted by the respondents that the preparatory work is over. This court is of the view that the preparatory work can be modified and the same process of selection can be followed as directed in the petition 1416 of 2020. Similar, leeway is granted to the present respondents as set out in order dated September 22, 2021 (Defense Department in NDA matter).
The court further directed that the necessary modified applications be submitted within two days without changing the schedule. This will be applicable so far as RIMC is concerned. The process will begin with the academic year 2022.
The matter is to be kept pending for any further directions depending on the position which may emerge after the exam is held. This matter will be called up with the NDA matter in January./ILNS/KR/SNG