G. Ramanujam, J.
1. The petitioner herein is a Malaysian citizen holding a Malaysian passport. He had passed the Malaysian Certificate of education at Kualalampur. Thereafter he joined the second year of the Higher Secondary course in St. Bede's Higher Secondary School, Madras and passed the Higher Secondary Examination conducted by the Department of Government Examinations, Madras. Thereafter the petitioner applied to the Government of India for admission in the Regional Engineering College, Tiruchirapalli as a self-financing foreign student for one of the seats reserved for foreign students in the Engineering College in India at the undergraduate level. The Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India which is to nominate candidates for the seats reserved for foreign students in the various Colleges in India nominated the petitioner on 23rd July, 1981 as a candidate for admission in the quota reserved for foreign students in the Regional Engineering College, Tiruchirapalli after scrutinising all such applications. The petitioner accepted the nomination and reported to the Registrar of the Regional Engineering College within a week from the date of his nomination. However, the Registrar asked the petitioner to come after a week as the Principal was not then in station. When the petitioner went to the College after a week, the Principal told him that he will be informed later as to when he should join the College. Again when the petitioner contacted the Registrar he was told that his application has been rejected on the ground that he had passed the qualifying examination in India and that only those who had passed the qualifying examination in a foreign country are eligible for selection. He was also told that his application has been sent back to the first respondent on the ground that the petitioner did not have the qualifying examination in a foreign country. The petitioner has, therefore, approached this Court for the issue of a writ of mandamus directing the second respondent to admit the petitioner in the Regional Engineering College, Tiruchirapalli for the academic year, 1981-82 in pursuance of the nomination made by the first respondent.
2. The learned Government Pleader appearing for the second respondent has justified his action in not admitting the petitioner as against reserved 6eats for foreign students on the basis of the selection made by the first respondent on two grounds : (1) That the petitioner having passed the qualifying examination in India he cannot claim a seat in the quota reserved for foreign students; and (2) that even if the petitioner can claim a seat as against the quota reserved for foreign students, as the petitioner has passed the qualifying examination in a school at Madras, he should be taken to have a domicile in Madras and as such he cannot claim a seat in the Regional Engineering College, Tiruchirapalli within the quota of 50% allotted to other States and that he has to seek admission in the Regional Engineering Colleges situated in other States. The question is whether these contentions raised by the learned Government Pleader are legally sustainable.
3. A perusal of the Information Bulletin issued by the Regional Engineering College, Tiruchirapalli in May, 1981, shows, that out of the total number of seats for the year, 50% had been allotted to candidates of Tamil Nadu and the remaining 50% has to be distributed, among other States in India on population basis and that students from a particular State will compete amongst themselves for purposes of admission against the allotted seats. The selection of candidates for admission under Tamil Nadu quota (50%) is made by the common Selection Committee appointed by the State Government every year and candidates seeking admission under other States' quota should apply directly to their home State Regional Engineering College and the selection is made by that College. The following clauses in the said Information Bulletin are relevant for the purpose of this case and, therefore, they are set out in full:
3. The domicile of a candidate, i.e., the State to which a candidate belongs will be determined on the basis of the location of the School/College/Institution from which a candidate has passed the qualifying examination and not the place of residence, permanent or temporary of his parents.
4. 15 per cent, of the seats will be reserved for Scheduled Castes and 5 per cent, for Scheduled Tribes. Seats for students from foreign countries to be sponsored by the Ministry of External Affairs will be reserved out of the quota allotted for other States,
Clause 3 set out above fixes the domicile of a candidate that is, the State to which he belongs for purposes of determining as to which State he must apply and it says that such domicile is determined with reference to the College or School from which the candidate passes the qualifying examination and not the place of residence, permanent or temporary of his parents. Clause 4 states that seats for students from a foreign country to be sponsored by the Ministry of External Affairs will be reserved out of the quota allotted for other States. Thus it is clear that it is only for the purpose of showing from which quota of 50% reservation has to be made for foreign students. Clause 4 clearly shows that the reservation of seats for foreign students can be only out of the 50% quota set apart for those students whose domicile as determined by Clause 3 is outside the State. In this case there is no dispute that the petitioner has passed the qualifying examination in Madras and that he has obtained the required marks for making an application for admission to the Regional Engineering College. The question is whether the petitioner having passed the qualifying examination in Madras is disqualified from applying as a foreign candidate.
4. Clause 3 fixing the domicile of a candidate is said to apply both to local candidates as well as foreign candidates. It is in that vieiw the second respondent has rejected the claim of the petitioner for admission to the College since his domicile is outside the State. It is not possible to accept this interpretation of Clause 3. Clause 3 is intended to fix the domicile of candidates applying from the various States and it is not intended to fix the domicile of foreign candidates. As a matter of fact this is clear from the guidelines issued by the Ministry of External Affairs, Students Cell, Government of India for admission of foreign students in the Medical and Engineering Colleges in India (Self financing). Clause 3 (c) under the head 'Eligibility conditions' dealing with Engineering (4 years) degree course other than III says as follows:
A pass in pre-engineering/Intermediate 11st year TDC/Final examination of 10 plus 2 system in India or an equivalent Indian or foreign qualification with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics as subjects securing not less than 50% marks in each. A pass in English is also necessary.
This clause clearly indicates that a foreign student having passed an examination of 10 plus 2 system in India or any other Indian qualification if he had secured not less than 50% marks may apply. In the same guidelines under the head 'how to apply' in Clause 7, it is stated that foreign students studying abroad must apply through the Indian Mission in the student's country and the foreign students studying in India through the Diplomatic Mission of the Student's Country in India. Therefore it is clear that the foreign students staying in India are also entitled to apply as foreign students under the quota reserved for foreign students. It is only on the basis of that guideline, the first respondent has selected the petitioner as a candidate entitled to get a seat reserved for foreign students. Thus the first contention advanced on behalf of the second respondent that as the petitioner has passed the qualifying examination in India he is not entitled to claim as a foreign student is without any substance and clearly untenable.
5. Coming to the second ground urged on behalf of the second respondent, I am clearly of the view that Clause 3 which fixes the domicile of a candidate with reference to the School or College in which the candidate had studied only applies for determining the question as to whether the candidate could claim admission from which quota, the State quota of 50% or outside the State quota of 50% and it serves no other purpose. Here Clause 4 having specifically stated that foreign students can claim a seat only under the quota reserved for other States, the petitioner's domicile is not relevant. Apart from the fact that Clause 3 is intended to fix the domicile of candidates coming from various States in India and has no application to a foreign candidate its application cannot further be extended even to foreign students in whose favour some seats have been reserved out of the quota allotted to other States. I cannot agree with the learned Government Pleader that even so the petitioner has to apply to the Regional Engineering Colleges in other States and not in the Colleges of this State because of Clause 3 set out above as it involves the unnecessary and unjustified extension of Clause 3. I have to therefore accept the contention of the petitioner that he is entitled to be admitted in the College in pursuance of the nomination made by the first respondent.
6. The writ petition is therefore allowed and a mandamus will issue as prayed for. There will be no order as to costs.