Supreme Court rejects NSS plea against SET cut off marks

The apex court observed that NSS can file their grievances at appropriate platforms. Photo: Representational purpose

New Delhi: The Supreme Court rejected the suit filed by the Nair Service Society against the different cut off marks for the general category and reserved categories in the State Eligibility Test for appointment to higher secondary. The bench of Justices Abdul Naseer, AS Boppana and V Ramasubramaniam said that the suit that was filed seven years ago had lost its relevance. However, the apex court observed that NSS can file their grievances at appropriate platforms.

As per the SET notification published in December 2013, the cut off marks for the general and reserved categories were different. For the general category, the candidates had to score 40% each for two papers and should have scored a total of 50%. However, OBC, persons with disabilities and scheduled categories needed 35% for two papers. Relaxation was allowed in the total marks too (OBC – 45%, persons with disabilities and scheduled categories – 40%).

The NSS argued that the government action violated section 16 (1) of the Indian Constitution that ensures equality in employment to public posts. Senior lawyers Jaydeep Gupta, standing counsel CK Shashi and Meena K Paulose appeared for the government while NSS was represented by PS Padvalia and Gireesh Kumar.

Meanwhile, NSS General Secretary G Sukumaran Nair said that the NSS had complained about this to the government in 2013 itself and then moved the court as they were ignored.

Role of newspapers

Supreme Court commented the significant role played by the newspapers in enhancing literacy in Kerala. However, the apex court expressed doubt whether the state’s incredible development in literacy could be repeated in its educational standards. The court made these observations while considering the suit filed by the NSS against the guidelines of the cut off marks of SET exam.

The court noted that the number of people who get employed due to excellent literacy is more in Kerala. It pointed out that newspapers had played a pivotal role in spreading literacy in the state. Meanwhile, government counsel Jaydeep Singh said that Kerala has the greatest number of television channels. However, the court said that the excess number of TV channels may ruin the excellent feats that Kerala had created in the field of literacy. 

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