Shimla: In a setback to private universities and private technical institutes, the Himachal Pradesh High Court has rejected their plea and refused to intervene in state’s mechanism to regulate their admissions.

Both associations had challenged the decision of HP Technical University that the colleges are required to admit students from the merit list prepared by the university after conducting Common Entrance Tests (CETs). Apart from this, these had also questioned the fee structure fixed by the technical university for various technical courses.

Dismissing petitions, a division bench of Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan observed that the state has the power to regulate academic excellence, particularly in matters of admissions to the institutions and, therefore, is competent to prescribe merit-based admission processes for creating uniform admission process through CET. Any prayer for seeking dilution or even questioning the authority of the state is ill-founded

The bench also rejected the plea of the petitioners with regard to fixing of fee and ruled “the fixation of fee is a policy matter and lies solely within the domain of the state and university. Even otherwise, this court lacks expertise to determine what should be the fee for different kinds of courses. Accordingly, we find no merit in this contention of the petitioners”.