The Kerala High Court has directed the Mahatma Gandhi (MG) University in the state to consider an application for affiliation of a college for the hearing impaired as an unaided institution.
Justice Devan Ramachandran directed the university to consider the application moved by the charitable society which would run the college and to issue appropriate orders before December 15. With that interim direction, the court listed the matter for further hearing on December 16.
The order came on a plea moved by the Sacred Heart Clarist Province Charitable Society seeking sanction for the institution for the hearing impaired in the unaided self financing category.
Senior advocate Jaju Babu, representing the society, told the court that in view of the financial crisis the state government is in, his client was willing to operate the college as an unaided institution.
He urged the court to direct the varsity to consider giving affiliation to the college and to order the government to approve the same within a fixed time frame.
The society has also sought in its plea that it not be directed to make a fresh application for affiliation as then the entire process could take another year and would prejudice the rights of the hearing impaired students.
This is the second round of litigation in the matter.
It had earlier sought sanction and affiliation for operating the college, from the academic year 2022-23, as an aided institution, but the same was denied by the government citing financial constraints.
When the society moved the court, it had directed the state government to reconsider its policy not to allow any aided colleges and had said not “mechanically” apply the same to the society’s institution.
In its earlier plea, the society had said that hearing impaired students who successfully complete their higher secondary course drop out subsequently as there are no college education opportunities for them.
The society had told the court that it runs a Higher Secondary School with hostel facility for the hearing impaired and unless they open an aided college, the students passing out from there will have no other option but to discontinue their further education.
The state government, on the other hand, had taken a stand that aided colleges were not being sanctioned in view of the “anticipated financial burden”.
The court, in August, had ordered the state government to reconsider the society’s request for starting an aided college, but only for catering to students with hearing disabilities.
Subsequently, after reconsidering the society’s application, the government stuck to its stand, but permitted it to prefer an application for sanctioning the college under the self financing mode, the latest plea has said.
However, concerned that the process under the new application could also take more than a year, similar to last time, the society moved the high court seeking directions that its earlier application for sanction be processed under the unaided category.