August 02, 2014

FAST (Financial assistance for Telangana students) and the 1956 cut-off date


There has been a lot of heat in the recent past about a purported move by the Telangana government to restrict "fee reimbursement" only to those students who can demonstrate their parents (or grand parents) were bonafide residents of Telangana as of November 1, 1956.

So far I resisted the urge to write on this subject in the absence of any concrete move and the related text. It now appears that the state has issued a Government Order (GO) to this effect. As one may expect, the Seemandhra politicians are unhappy about the development. Social welfare minister Ravela Kishore Babu reportedly called the GO "unconstitutional". Babu claims it violates the Telangana formation act that "categorically states that all admission-related matters that have been in practice in Andhra Pradesh before June 2, 2014, would continue for ten years in the two states".

The minister is further reported to have said: "Constitution of India bars any sort of discrimination against anybody based on their region and imposition of restrictions on the Seemandhra students by the Telangana government was tantamount to violating the Constitution".

Babu is quoted: "There is a strong ground to challenge the GO in court as it robs lakhs of students who were born and brought up in Hyderabad of their basic (sic!) right to get education without any discrimination. I have had consultations with the AP advocate general and we will pursue the matter legally".

Seemandhra Chief Minister Nara Chandra Babu Naidu, in what has been projected as a reconciliatory gesture, offered his government would bear 58 per cent of the total fee reimbursement amount for professional courses and wanted Telangana to pay the balance. Naidu is said to have referred to the Presidential Order and six-point formula and allegedly claimed the Telangana formation act "stipulated that there should be common admissions to professional courses for 10 years". Naidu reportedly advised Telangana that solutions to any intractable problem could be found if representatives of both the governments sit together and discuss.

Status of the proposed scheme

The actual GO is itself limited to the constitution of a committee of principal secretaries/secretaries for finalizing the guidelines of the scheme. In other words, there is still no definite scheme.

Section 4 of the GO consisting the contentious part of the proposed scheme i.e. section 4 is reproduced below:

"With a view to enable the students of Telangana State to get financial assistance, it is proposed to lay down the fundamental principles based on which this policy will operate. FAST shall be made applicable to all the students pursuing ongoing studies and fresh admissions and whose parents were bonafide residents of Telangana State as on 01-11-1956 and shall come into force from the current academic year 2014-15. The Certificates for the bonafide residence shall be issued by the Revenue Department after seeking for information from the applicants through a detailed format to ascertain the bonafide residence status of the parents/grand parents of the students".

The impugned GO is obviously not yet open to a legal challenge as it is still a statement of intention rather than an enactment. Ravela Kishore Babu and other like minded individuals are best advised to attack the final GO that emerges after the committee's deliberations come to a logical end.

However the intentions are quite clear. It is probable (or even highly probable) the committee's guidelines will relate only to matters such as the elements of assistance, quantum/extent thereof, modalities relating to the verification/certification of "1956 bonafide residency" and disbursement. The present is therefore as good a time as any to examine the dimensions and impact of the proposed scheme.

Questions to be examined

Let us first cut through the unnecessary layers of confusion to separate the wheat from the chaff. The following facts need to be acknowledged before getting down to serious business:

·         The fee reimbursement scheme in the erstwhile state of Andhra Pradesh (AP) is of recent origin
·         For instance, no such scheme existed during Naidu's two previous terms
·         As Telangana has since rescinded the earlier GO, the scheme is no longer valid in the state

Assuming the scheme that finally emerges will be substantively based on section 4 of GO 36, the following questions become pertinent:

·         Does the Seemandhra government have the right to mount a legal challenge to the scheme?
·         Is the scheme ultra vires the constitution?
·         Does the scheme violate the Telangana formation act?

Seemandhra government locus standi

Parens patriae, the Latin term often translated as "parent of the nation" refers to the right of an organ of the state (often but not always the executive) to intervene on behalf of citizens.

Can the Seemandhra government intervene under this principle? In Suchita Srivastava & Anr v. Chandigarh Administration, 2009, Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan writes: "The doctrine of `Parens Patriae' has been evolved in common law and is applied in situations where the State must make decisions in order to protect the interests of those persons who are unable to take care of themselves".

The individuals aggrieved by the FAST scheme include students applying for higher education. They are presumably well educated and mentally fit to defend their own interests. While their ability to pay for legal action may not be limited, there is no dearth of legal assistance (including the abundant availability of lawyers willing to work on pro bono basis).

Applying the "inability to defend oneself" rule, Seemandhra government intervention is therefore untenable in the present case. DP Joshi (details further below) and thousands of students like him have taken up legal action in the past. Some of the aggrieved students may indeed be law graduates themselves.

Let us now consider the reasons proffered by the politicians. Babu refers to "imposition of restrictions on the Seemandhra students" while Naidu speaks of "intractable problem" presumably between the two states. The inference is obvious: Seemandhra government is asserting the right to intervene on behalf of "its students" whatever definition may be applied to claim the aggrieved individuals as their own.

There is no conceivable way Seemandhra government can represent all the students aggrieved by the scheme. It is clear several other states (especially Karnataka & Maharashtra) can make a similar assertion. Their locus standi claims would stand on equal strength if the above contention is accepted.

Parens patriae can be exercised only if the action passes the "best interests test". The honorable Chief Justice held in the Suchita Srivastava case: "It is important to note that the Court's decision should be guided by the interests of the victim alone and not those of other stakeholders such as guardians or society in general". Let us check if treating Seemandhra & other governments as parens patriae serves the best interests of the aggrieved students.

·         Multiplicity of litigants is no guarantee of success. On the other hand, contradictions between their arguments and lack of coordination are likely to drag down the proceedings
·         In a politically charged atmosphere, it is only to be expected that the states will pander more to the interests of others (e.g. party/state) rather than the students
·         Most importantly, accepting the premise gives raise to a circular reference.  Claiming to act on behalf of "our people" may gain locus standi but is also tantamount to admitting Telangana has no obligation towards these individuals

What about public interest litigation? Ravela Kishore Babu can probably mount a legal challenge against FAST in his individual capacity. The Advocate General, a constitutional authority appointed under article 165, would however be under no obligation to assist or advice any individual merely because he coincidentally happens to be a minister. In fact, such assistance may be considered inappropriate.

FAST and fundamental rights

Based on the observations, it appears the politicians opposing FAST believe it violates the fundamental rights of "their" students. Let us check if this is the case.

Article 14 is simple but succinct. The entire text reads "The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India".

The contention that education is a fundamental ("basic" in the minister's words) right is interesting. Even if is, financial assistance can in no way be termed a fundamental right. Accepting this assertion would lead to a situation where Naidu's previous government would be put in the dock. As a loyal party insider, surely Babu does not want this!

Article 15 is in four parts. 15 (1) reads: "The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them". 15 (2) while also forbidding discrimination is not relevant to our discussion as it relates to access/use of facilities. The other two points permit special provisions and are hence immaterial.

It is evident at a first glance that discrimination based on region ("Seemandhra students") is not forbidden. Only religion, race, caste, sex and place of birth are covered. More over the article applies to cases where place for birth (or any of the others) is the only basis for discrimination.

The minister either received wrong advice or misunderstood the Advocate General. I trust the latter would be able to sort out the unwarranted confusion.

Let us now look at available precedent. DP Joshi v. Madhya Bharat, 1955, relates to a situation where a publicly owned college applied different financial norms to bonafide residents and others. The term "bonafide residents" was defined to include an individual who met any of the four prescribed qualifications. Interestingly enough the first criterion read "a citizen of India whose original domicile is in Madhya Bharat, provided be has not acquired a domicile elsewhere".

Joshi, a student who did not qualify for exemption, argued that exempting bonafide residents from capitation fee while imposing it on others violates his article 14 rights. The petitioner also alleged that the exemption was based on birth and hence ultra vires article 15 (1).

The historic case settled an important question "whether there can be such a thing as Madhya Bharat domicile apart from Indian domicile". After examining various aspects, Chief Justice Bijan Kumar Mukherjee writing for the majority concludes: "We do not, therefore, see any force in the contention that there cannot be a domicile of Madhya Bharat under the Constitution".

Joshi's claim of injury under 15 (1) was rejected in toto: "Residence and place of birth are two distinct conceptions with different connotations both in law and in fact, and when article 15(1) prohibits discrimination based on the place of birth, it cannot be read as prohibiting discrimination based on residence".

The honorable Chief Justice proceeded to verify the alleged violation of the petitioner's article 14 rights. This was found not to be the case and the classification was held to be "eminently just and reasonable".

FAST and article 371-D

The only applicable parts of the Telangana formation act of relevance to us relate to article 371-D. Before examining these, let me remind the readers I demolished the earlier claim that Telangana formation is illegal as long as the article is on the statute books. As this post covered the nature, purpose and operation of the article to a good extent, there is no need to repeat these aspects. I have also provided a complete link between the so called six point formula, the thirty second amendment and article 371-D.

Does article 371-D define the domicile applicable to the two states? The answer appears to be in the negative. The language of the article or the resulting presidential orders can in no way be stretched to indicate domicile. The article is related only to local status as applied to zones within a state.

Let us now examine the changes arising out of the 2014 act. Section 95 reads: "In order to ensure equal opportunities for quality higher education to all students in the successor States, the existing admission quotas in all government or private, aided or unaided, institutions of higher, technical and medical education in so far as it is provided under article 371D of the Constitution, shall continue as such for a period of ten years during which the existing common admission process shall continue.

Section 97 amends article 371-D at three places. The major change is in clause 1 that now reads as follows (changes emphasized):

"The President may by order made with respect to the State of Andhra Pradesh or the State of Telangana, provide, having regard to the requirement of each State, for equitable opportunities and facilities for the people belonging to different parts of such State, in the matter of public employment and in the matter of education, and different provisions may be made for various parts of the States

The other two amendments are minor drafting matters in that the two successor states are clearly mentioned against the lone earlier.

The above changes in article 371-D do not have any bearing on the subject of domicile whatsoever. The main thrust article continues to be the same as before.

Strangely enough Babu is now seeking relief under the amended article 371-D while his party colleagues earlier held any such amendment would be ab initio void and illegal. How the wheels of time turn!

A plain reading of section 95 shows it applies to "institutions of higher, technical and medical education", not "professional courses" as Naidu claims. As a politician of some standing, I trust the distinction would have been apparent to him had he read the law himself!

Section 95 provides that "admission quotas" will continue "in so far as it is provided under article 371D". As the article itself has been simultaneously amended, this reference can only be to the amended article.

Naidu's contention of "common admissions" is undoubtedly correct but Babu is off the mark by a wide margin. Nowhere does the section speak of "all admission matters".

The "quotas" are not a part of the article itself but in the resulting presidential orders. As FAST does not propose to change this in any way, the scheme is not open to attack under this count.

FAST does not touch the common admission process in any way. As admission is a prerequisite for any financial assistance, it is axiomatic that the process of evaluating eligibility for assistance starts only after a student is admitted under the applicable rules. No activity can destruct its predecessor.

Let us remember article 371-D is of a merely enabling nature. If (when) different presidential notifications are issued for the two successor states, the common admission process will lose its relevance.

FAST and 1956

Article 371-D recognizes only two categories i.e. locals and non-locals and that too for two specified purposes. More over the rules can be (and in fact are) different between the two categories. The fact that locals whether admitted under the preferential quota or the merit list, may or may not be eligible for financial assistance is not relevant to the article.

"Duration of residence" being akin to "residence" itself may not be invoked to challenge the cut-off date under article 15 (1).

Article 14 does not forbid discrimination by itself. It only mandates "equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws". This should by no means come in the way of any cut-off date.

Going beyond the law

Having established the proposed scheme does not (subject to assumptions stated herein) violate Indian law, let us go beyond the strictly legal aspects.

Domicile is closely associated with succession & inheritance. If domicile is defined with a 1956 cut-off this would lead to a situation where any law passed in these matters (e.g. strengthening women's property rights) will not be applicable to those who were not bonafide residents as of 1956. Determining the applicable law in every case would prove extremely contentious situations. The option of prescribing the applicable rules in domicile based legislation is neither elegant nor free from mischief.

Domicile is typically discretionary. Individuals are free to change their residence as and when their situations change. There would be thousands of cases of migration and return, especially between bordering areas. Agriculturally backward districts evidence migrations by busloads every day: some return while others don't.

The fact that an individual was a "bonafide resident" in 1956 does not guarantee he remains one on the day he applies for financial assistance. This opens up a pandora's box. The phrase "whose parents were bonafide residents of Telangana as on 1956" is clearly not enough. The domicile status must have been preserved all these years.

Whichever way the qualifications are worded, anomalies and/or inconsistencies are bound to remain. This may (will) lead to much wrangling, frivolous litigation and unnecessary hostile media cacophony. Do we need to go through all this for something that can be handled in a simpler manner?

What are the proposed benefits of the 1956 cut-off? The impugned GO mentions two objectives: enable access by poor and eligible students to higher education and increase the gross enrolment ratio. I fail to understand how these can be realized by prescribing a 58+ year continuous domicile requirement.

I am told the fee reimbursement scheme is a rip-off that benefits unscrupulous college owners. There are several allegations of inadequate facilities, fleecing and poor standards in most of the colleges benefitting from the scheme. Perhaps some or most of this is true but does restricting assistance to "bonafide residents" eradicate the problem or even reduce its magnitude?

There is no doubt that the current education system needs an overhaul. There are no doubt grave issues concerning the efficacy of the way we are working today. The root cause of these problems lies in the lack of cohesion between education, economics, industry and life in general. The widely prevalent crony capitalist phenomenon feeds on this lacuna as much as it exploits greed & political corruption. No cut-off date can be a magic wand that dispels these social evils. Expecting a mere tool to purge society of its ills is like hoping the tail would wag the dog.

I read Katta Shekar Reddy's blog post titled 1956 ప్రాతిపదిక ఎందుకు (why 1956 as basis) with great interest. I am constrained to observe the post (probably a reprint of an editorial or news story) throws no new light on the matter. Claiming Telangana's past suffering due to violation of Mulki rules and the subsequent zonal system would be negated by the 1956 cut-off is unrealistic to say the least. The post does not establish correlation much less nexus between these aspects. I am not surprised as I believe these are entirely unrelated to each other.

I am not persuaded by the "justification" that a similar cut-off (1950) was used by the erstwhile state in the past. Perhaps it was not contested by anyone? Perhaps there were extenuating circumstances (e.g. protection of tribals) in the cited instance?

In any case, two wrongs do not cancel out each other. A long stick such as the proposed cut-off does not look reasonable at the face of it any which angle you look at it.

Because 1956 is the subject matter of the debate let us take a quick look at the situation obtaining on that date. The prevalent Mulki rules specifically permitted an individual "who has a permanent residence in the Hyderabad State for at least 15 years and had abandoned the idea of returning to the place of his previous residence" to obtain domicile status. It may be worth recalling here I among others have advocated that "To the extent practicable, the methodology may be based on the likely consequences that may have occurred if Telangana & Seemandhra had not merged in 1956".

The human element is missing from the entire debate. Tens of thousands of people migrated to Telangana in the immediate aftermath of the breakup of Hyderabad. Most of these families had and continue to have deep rooted ties with Telangana. This migration continued unabated till the early seventies. Post-1956 migration was equal to the above if not even larger. Most of these people were driven by the opportunities for livelihood.

Many but not all the newcomers came from Andhra. Among these, some but by no means all, exhibited a carpetbagger's attitude towards the previous inhabitants and treated land that gave them shelter, livelihood & security with scant respect. A large majority of the migrants however harbored no hostility or ill-will. Many integrated well settling down as a part of the Ganga Jamuni tehzeeb.

Excluding everyone from the scope of a beneficial scheme merely because a small group usurped jobs and/or ridiculed our culture can hardly be termed rational. Telangana can and should avoid such broad brush strokes.

I am aware many "post-1956 Andhras" opposed the Telangana movement with varying degree of hostility. This is no reason for denying them (and the many who stayed neutral or supported the movement) access to assistance.

The eminent jurist William Blackstone formulated the principle "It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer". In the present context we should not hesitate to let a few violators go scot free rather than deny justice to a single deserving individual.

I urge the Telangana government to give up the move. We can and should work out a more appropriate method without throwing the baby with the bath water.


  1. Jai garu,

    Thanks for the excellent article deserves to be published in news papers to be accessed by larger domain. It clearly shows the level of research and deep insight you put forth before creating content.

    1. Thanks a lot.

      Many Telangana friends are not happy I am opposing the 1956 cut-off. So be it.

  2. Email from Janardhan Janumpalli:

    Thanks for enlightening us on the legal aspect of the issue. Your interpretation on that is very educative. We appreciate it.

    As for your objections to 1956 cut-off date; Telangana government is not enacting a law for 1956 cut-off date to decide the nativity of Telangana people for all and sundry purposes. This cut –off date, specifically and endemically is proposed to be used for this ‘FAST’ scheme and it is by a government order not by legislation.

    FAST is not just for restricting the assistance to bonafide residents to Telangana but also to eradicate the maladies that are accumulated in the colleges, which turn out mostly incompetent graduates from these institutions. If we continue the present scheme, Telangana government will be paying the fee of Andhra students with bonafide nativity in seemandhra and also Andhra students whose parents came to Hyderabad after 1956. In the latter category almost all of them have documents from both the states to enable them to get the benefits from both. In the last general election a few lakhs of them voted in both the states as the polling dates were different using their dual voter ID cards.

    In all, the quantum of the fee to be reimbursed to these categories of students in the colleges in and around Hyderabad where majority of them are concentrated will be a huge amount of money. Running in to a thousand crores or more every year, for the next 10 years and the quantum are increasing every year.TS cannot afford to pay it. As TS is willing to pay to its students in A.P. also, it is saying to A.P. to pay the fee of Andhra students in Telangana.In fact it is said that there are more Andhra students in higher education in Telangana colleges than in Andhra. It is primarily for this financial implication and because of the very bad state of affairs in the quality of these colleges that is making TS government to undertake this onerous scheme and inviting the criticism.

    There certainly are some aberrations in this scheme also if we go by ideology and principles of natural justice etc. Here it is like trying to do maximum good to the students of Telangana nativity using Telangana tax payer’s money, which is not in abundance. The dynamics of revenue to TS also will be changing in the next few years.TS cannot afford to spend thousands of crores of rupees just to be called good and and humanitarian while A.P. state sends hordes of its students in to the colleges of Telangana.

    I am afraid, the William Blackstone’s principle may not hold good here.After all we are not punishing anybody. we are only saying A.P. state to pay the fee for its students as we pay to ours. We are not denying the fees to andhras because they have opposed Telangana State. Simply we cannot bear the burden of all Andhra students studying in Telangana.We cannot also allow these colleges to turn out incompetent students, who are not eligible for jobs the job market, after spending thousands of crores of rupees on their fee and upkeep of the colleges. It is economics and quality of education; it is not vendetta, as I understand it.

    “Here we are not throwing the baby with the bath water. We are changing the dirty bath water to make the baby clean and fresh.”

  3. Email from Janardhan Janumpalli (continued):

    In this context we may read a letter from an Andhra gentleman in the letters column of Hans India on 02/08/2014.

    Hans India – Letters dt.02/08/2014

    Free hand to KCR:

    All the noble and magnanimous ideas of A.P. CM Chandrababu Naidu to see that fee reimbursement should be shared in the 58:42 ratio are appreciated. However, the CM of Telangana has his own noble intention to protect his state exchequer, as he might have felt that fee reimbursement needs to be revamped all together. KCR should be allowed to administer his own state, as the people have empowered him, and new concepts like FAST may be indeed be much better in the long run. It may be pertinent to mention here “old order changeth, giving place to new,” which is time tested, or else there would be no progress at all.Therefore,I fervently appeal to one and all to give KCR a freehand to run Telangana Stae.
    Gopal Tallamraju,

    The very change in the stand of CBN, who along with his cabinet colleagues was berating KCR to pay the fee of all students in Telangana, endorses the value of ‘FAST’.In the aftermath of the happenings in the last few days in case of Higher education council and EAMSET councelling etc, the issue is getting the focus. A great deal depends on the view taken by supreme Court in its hearing tomorrow .

    But, there is every need to take the scheme ‘FAST’ fast-forward, with suitable guidelines to address the problems of genuine students of Telangana.I think and hopeTS government is seized of the matter and will do the needful.

  4. @Janardhan:

    Thanks a lot for your interesting rejoinder. I have taken up the liberty of posting your mail as well as my reply on my blog.

    I understand FAST is not a legislation but an executive order. I further agree the proposed cut-off date is not an omnibus prescription. However, I am not certain how this distinction impacts the current distinction.

    Duplicate ID's (as evidenced in the recent elections in 4-5 assembly seats) are doubtless widely prevalent. This menace can be tacked by requiring applicants to sign an indemnity bond backed by a guarantor prior to disbursement.

    The endemic raise of "cow shed colleges" and the poor quality of education (staff credentials, adequacy of facilities etc.) happened because of crony capitalism. These can (and should) be curtailed through measures such as inspections, audits etc.

    The "employability problem" is the product of poor education system together with the quality problem mentioned above. In other words, this is not an independent variable.

    The contention that there are more Andhra students in higher education in Telangana colleges than in Andhra looks correct at a first glance. This also goes for your observations on the resulting burden.

    However both these are temporary in nature. We need permanent solutions, not interim measures. For example, TASK is a right step in this direction. Telangana government's proclaimed intention to clean up the database & information support systems is again most welcome.

    The two measures I mention above are both standard practice and effective if implemented with correctly.

    In the meantime, fake claims can be tackled by careful investigation. If we can survey 84 lac households in a day, surely we can address fee reimbursement applications by randomly picking up a sample & subjecting these to a rigorous scrutiny? If the results reveal large scale violations (e.g. "cooking up") the responsible colleges and/or conniving officials can be hauled up. Measures of this nature will reduce the burden on the exchequer to some extent.

    Let us look at the "amnesty" measure relating to duplicate ration cards. A simple notice asking FPS dealers to surrender ration cards in their custody fetched rich dividends.

    No comments on Gopal Tallamraju's letter except that Naidu's ridiculous "offer" needs to be rejected summarily.

    I believe we can achieve the desired results within the existing setup. I realize the measures I outline above may not be adequate or even suitable. However, we can together come up with suitable ways to exorcize this problem.

  5. Dear Jai,
    Thanks for your reply.I agree wuth you that solutions can be found with in the existing setup. If both A.P.and TS governments understand each other in the matter. And are prepared to work together to harmoniously to find the solutions of improving the quality of education and equitable sharing of financial assistance.But, as the things stand now, that kind of coordination between the two appears to be not possible. The common admission for the next 10 years as per APRA is compulsory and it will be done with some hiccups on both the sides as per the existing setup.The fee assistance and quality control in colleges with the coordination of two governments is not possible. The mess created by YSR feereimbursement scheme since 2008 is monumental.Three fourths of it is concentrated in the colleges in and around Hyderabad.The headache of cleansing it is vested with TS government.
    Therefore,I feel, it would be better for both the governments to have their own independent schemes to administer the fee reimbursement to students and to take care of quality control of the colleges in their respective jurisdictions for the coming 10 years.
    J R J

    1. Dear Janardhan,

      Thanks a lot for your comment.

      The biggest problem (apart from the attendant rip-off) with a scheme like fee reimbursement is that it is not easy to curtail/close it. I am sure Naidu would love to do so too but he does not have the advantages (Telangana sentiment, benefit mostly going to Andhras etc.) that KCR has.

      CBN may eventually get around to it when (if) the loan "write-off" is successfully watered down. Of course he has many problems (strong opposition, complicated knots he tied himself in etc.) but so does Jagan who faces even more!

      For the record, I only oppose the 1956 cut-off in the FAST scheme. I like the idea of a scheme like FAST to assist deserving SC/ST/BC/EBC students. A good scheme can be successfully leveraged for the state's benefit.

      The assistance can be tied up with the individual's participation in the state's development. For example, MBBS students benefitting from FAST can be obligated to take up rural service. If a benefiting engineering student takes up a software job, the assistance can be treated as a loan to be repaid within a particular period. These aspects need time for fruitful debate.

      Finally I am not too convinced about the magnitude of "communication gap" between the two states. Yes, the stands clash with each other but this is only to be expected. The states appear to be sticking to stands already declared i.e. what their voters voted for.

    2. Dear Jai,
      I am not looking at it with CBN’s political problems or KCR’s political advantages. I am looking at it with the point of view of prudential and legitimate use of revenue of TS for its own students. Nobody is asking CBN to close the scheme. He can revamp it in his own style like KCR is trying to do. If CBN is trying to chew more than what he could swallow, and getting choked up with it, it is not the fault of KCR. It is not an excuse to ask KCR to pay for Andhra students also.
      Though I think 1956 cut-off in ‘FAST’ is not all that picture-perfect I do not oppose it.It is ‘ok’ with me if it stands the legal scrutiny, I do not entertain other qualms.For, very legal ‘mulki’ rules and 6-point formulas were misused against Telangana students --- left, right and center in the last 58 years.The central government always helped Andhra. Why can’t we use 1956 cut-off if it is legal ‘to assist deserving SC/ST/BC/EBC students’ at least now to make some amends to the injustice done to their earlier generation, from out of Telangana budget. It is some natural justice.You can use any other later cut-off date.But,it will have similar objections. 1956 is symbolic and apposite. The organized exploitation of Telangana started there. So let our reform also start there.

      J R J

    3. Dear Janardhan,

      Regarding CBN and KCR, I totally agree with you.

      I share your view we should not pay for out of state (whether Andhra or other state) students.

      Mulki rules & SPF did not work well in the past for two reasons: 1. we were a part of AP and 2. the system was poorly designed/implemented. The first problem is solved now, we just need to tackle the second.

      1956 does have symbolic connotations. Using this date for cut-off will no doubt make amends to a great extent. But it will *also* deny justice to those who migrated to Telangana in good faith. Why should someone whose grand father migrated from Nanded or Gulbarga in 1957 suffer?

    4. Jai,
      Agreed.The peole who came after 1956 to Telangana, to settle here for good should be considered as natives for the financial assistance.Not only Maharashtrians,Kannadigas etc. there could be some Andhras also.But how would you administer it.

      Our 58 year history is replete with the misuse of 'mulki rules' & 6-point formula enacted to protect the interests of natives by seemandhras. Can you suggest any foolproof alternative scheme where this category and genuine telangana students only get the benefit, with out the predators gobbling it up like earlier even in our own T-State, while seemandhra government is breathing on our necks with common admissionsin in the 10-year long joint capital and with the support of the Center.

      It is easier said than done, although it is very much desirable. Another important thing here is how do we revamp the hopeless higher education in these colleges if we opt for the status quo with A.P. government, because of this problem for the coming 10 years.

      J R J

  6. All friends may kindly note that this post has been reposted on Mission Telangana.

  7. My attention has been drawn to the claim that section 75 of the Telangana act invalidates the proposed FAST scheme. Here is a fact check:

    Section 75 (1) reads:

    "The Government of the State of Andhra Pradesh or the State of Telangana, as
    the case may be, shall, in respect of the institutions specified in the Tenth Schedule to this Act, located in that State, continue to provide facilities to the people of the other State which shall not, in any respect, be less favourable to such people than what were being provided to them before the appointed day, for such period and upon such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon between the two State Governments within a period of one year from the appointed day or, if no agreement is reached within the said period, as may be fixed by order of the Central Government".

    Section 75 (2) is an enabling feature that allows the center to add other institutes to tenth schedule.

    The claim fails on two grounds:

    1. The word "facilities" can't be interpreted to include financial assistance especially as the section itself refers to "terms & conditions" to be decided by negotiations or central adjudication.

    2. The institutes listed in schedule X are totally unrelated to the current admission process.

  8. See many cases given by Chalasani

    1. I have read the various cases referred by Chalasani Srinivas:

      Minor P. Rajendran v. Madras & Ors, 1968
      Uttar Pradesh v. Pradeep Tandon & Ors, 1974
      Pradeep Jain Etc v. Union of India & Ors, 1984
      Nidamarthi Mahesh Kumar v. Maharashtra & Ors, 1986
      Mohini Jain v. Karnataka & Ors, 1992
      Prashant Vidyarthy & Anr v. Jharkhand & Ors, 2002 (Jharkhand High Court)
      Radhika Jayaswal & Anr v. Maharashtra & Ors, 2014 (Bombay High Court)

      I will analyze these cases below.

    2. Minor P. Rajendran case:

      This case relates to admissions in medical colleges. Madras planned to reserve seats for backward classes and also sought to allocate seats to different districts in population ratio. The honorable court upheld BC reservations.

      The proposed district wide allocation was held not to violate 15 (1). However it fell foul of article 14 as the "nexus between the classification and the object to be achieved" could not be demonstrated.

      Madras belatedly tried to provide a "rational classification" (benefitting students are likely to settle down in the same district thus helping it) but this was rejected as it was neither in the original affidavit nor was any reasonable backing provided.

      Pradeep Tandon case:

      This case too relates to admissions in medical colleges. UP planned to reserve seats for candidates from rural areas, hill areas and Uttarakhand.

      The honorable court upheld hill & Uttarakhand reservations but struck down the proposed rural candidate quota: "80 per cent of the population in the State of Uttar Pradesh in rural areas cannot be said to be a homogeneous class by itself. They are not of the same kind. Their occupation is different. Their standards are different. Their lives are different. Population cannot be a class by itself. Rural element does not make it a class. To suggest that the rural areas are socially and educationally backward is to have reservation for the majority of the State"

      Pradeep Jain case:

      This is another medical admissions case challenging the right of states to *exclusively* reserve *all* medical seats to "their own students". This landmark case held that while reservations based on residence can be legitimate barring entry to *everyone else* is unconstitutional under article 14.

      Nidamarthi Mahesh Kumar case:

      Yet another medical admissions case challenging region wise *exclusive* reservations within a state. The honorable court ruled on lines similar to Pradeep Jain. The possibility that the restriction would adversely affect the students of the "backward region" was also relied upon while striking down the "only a region's students for the region's colleges" rule

      Mohini Jain case:

      This landmark case related to capitation fee charged by private medical colleges under the guise of fee differentiation. Karnataka while banning capitation fee had permitted higher fees for "non-government seats". These were again different for Karnataka & non-state candidates.

      The honorable court looked at it from the perspective of article 21 effectively articulating "right to education". It was held the amount was in fact not tuition fee but capitation and hence illegal.

    3. Prashant Vidyarthy case:

      This Jharkhand High Court case dealt with public employment at a district basis for "local persons". Jharkhand initially tried to restrict employment to individuals whose forefathers were included in the "last survey" by invoking a two decades old Bihar notification. The state subsequently enlarged the rules by including measures where credentials of those not listed in the survey could be verified.

      The honorable court held the definition of "local person" & procedure was ultra vires article 16, especially in view of the fact that 16 (3) protection was available. The important factors considered included multiple reorganizations, certain areas not surveyed and the exclusion of partition migrants.

      Radhika Jayaswal case:

      I could not trace the full judgment of this medical admissions case. In any case, the Bombay High Court judgment is still open to appeal in the Supreme Court.

      Maharashtra prescribed domicile certificate based on 15 years residence to some medical applicants. The petitioners contended the requirement of domicile certificate was not mentioned in the previous year brochures and also that the 15 year criterion was not highlighted anywhere. The court directed the authorities to consider the petitioners on merit without insisting on the domicile certificate

    4. Let us look at these together.

      Prashanth Vidyarthy case refers to article 16 that is in no way related to our discussion. Mohini Jain case relates to capitation fee being charged under the guise of tuition fee, again unrelated.

      All other cases relate to *admissions* on an *exclusive* basis and that too to *medical* colleges. None of these three factors are attendant in the present controversy.

      None of these cases invalidated or overturned DP Joshi. In fact the Joshi precedent was relied upon in quite a few of these.

  9. jai u forgot art 29-II

    1. Article 15 (1) forbids discrimination on "religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth". Article 29 (2) forbids denial of admission based on "religion, race, caste, language".

      Article 29 (2) relates *only* to admission. Moreover it does not cover "place of birth". Language, the criterion included in 29 (2) but omitted in 15 (1), is not relevant to our discussion.

  10. jai, what is this abt angrau

    1. hey jay why no answr

    2. I avoided responding as your question is unrelated to the post.

      The university was set up in 1963. Naidu in his second term renamed it after the late NG Ranga. I can't find how the name was changed but I guess it was through executive action (GO).

      The university is not listed in schedule X. Therefore the provisions of section 75 (protection of facilities to the "other state" people) are not applicable.

      The university is governed by 371-D. Non-locals can thus apply for "open list".

  11. It is evident at a first glance that discrimination based on region ("Seemandhra students") is not forbidden. Only religion, race, caste, sex and place of birth are covered. More over the article applies to cases where place for birth (or any of the others) is the only basis for discrimination.

    What is the different between the "Discrimination based on Region" and "Discrimination based on Place of birth"? who are seemandhra people? How they are decided as seemandhra people? isn't it because of they born in Seemandhra? Then how it is not discrimination on basis of their birth?

    1. I will respond to your comment separately below but two points need to be stated upfront:

      1. This blog post can be broadly divided into two parts: legal aspects & my views ("going beyond the law". The statement you raise is from the legal part of my post.

      2. I did not use the term "Seemandhra students". Ravela Kishore Babu did so. Please see his statement: "Constitution of India bars any sort of discrimination against anybody based on their region and imposition of restrictions on the Seemandhra students by the Telangana government was tantamount to violating the Constitution".

    2. The wording of article 15 (1) is clear: "The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them"

      Contrast this with 16 (2): "No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, residence or any of them, be ineligible for, or discriminated against in respect of, any employment or office under the State"

      The very fact that 16 (2) mentions "descent" and "residence" in addition to other points in 15 (1) proves these are different. If it is nothing but "place of birth" there is no need to mention them *only* in 16 (2). BTW 16 (2) forbids discrimination *only* in public employment.

    3. Please note the verdict in DP Joshi confirms the same i.e. birth & residence are different. I can provide further references from other sources such as Halsbury's Laws of England if you require.

  12. I welcome the move to drop the FAST scheme.

    The other problems including poor quality of engineering education & the need to introduce accountability against the financial assistance need to be addressed soon.


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