After the controversy over SC and OT candidates, four pressure groups in Meghalaya have demanded cancellation of the list of 14 students, selected for pursuing the 4-year BSc Agriculture course under the state quota.

The organizations have demanded that a new list be published by correcting the ‘intentional mistake’ committed by the directorate of agriculture, Meghalaya.

A delegation of four pressure groups – Khasi Students’ Union, Federation of Khasi Jaiñtia and Garo People and Ri Bhoi Youth Federation met agriculture minister Banteidor Lyngdoh in the main secretariat.

Also read: Meghalaya: Controversy over selection of BSc Agri candidates

They discussed the selection of students from the state to pursue the BSc Agriculture course at the College of Agriculture, Imphal in Manipur.

KSU president Lambok Starwell Marngar said the special quota and reservation enjoyed by state have now been “diluted” in order to make the state’s quota a “share for all”.

“The selection was done intentionally and not at all a mistake. This will dilute the state’s reservation policy and we strongly condemn this kind of action. We also warn other departments not to do anything against the interest of indigenous students of our state,” the KSU leader said.

He informed that the minister assured tof looking into the matter, and correct the list.

A letter, sent by the Meghalaya director of agriculture to the Dean of College of Agriculture, Imphal, confirmed the nomination of 14 students against the 14 seats allotted to the state of Meghalaya for admission to the 4-year BSc (Honours) Agriculture course for 2020-21 academic session.

A controversial list of selected candidates.

The selected students should report to the Dean of the College of Agriculture, Imphal on or before September 1 at 11 am along with all original documents.

FKJGP president Wellbirth Rani said the equation as per the state reservation policy was totally wrong going by the list of selected candidates on the list.

“Out of 14 seats, three seats were allotted to two SC candidates, and one OT candidate from the reservation meant for ST students.

“We totally oppose this, and we want to know as to how the department has differentiated between the open category and general category.

“There are indigenous students from the state who scored high marks and eligible to be in the open category, but they were not included in this case,” Rani said.

The FKJGP president said the reservation should not at any cost affect the Khasi Jaiñtia and Garo tribes.

“The directorate of agriculture has intentionally made this mistake, and the three candidates were selected by depriving the quota of our students,” he said.

KSU general secretary Donald V Thabah said the open category means unreserved, and ST candidates, who scored high marks, are qualified to be in the open category list, but strangely they were not included.

“For instance, if ST candidates scored 90 marks, they should be included in the open category, but in this case, non-STs, who scored below 90 marks, were selected,” Thabah said.

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