New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday put on hold the process of admissions and counselling across all campuses of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), the National Institute of Technology (NIT) and other engineering institutions until further orders by the court.

The order applies to all the institutes that use results of the IIT Joint Entrance Examination, or JEE (Advanced) for their admission process.

India has 23 IITs and 30 NITs, the two best engineering school brands in the country. These two together cater to around 25-30,000 students per year.

The court was responding to a challenge by an IIT aspirant, Aishwarya Agarwal, against the award of additional bonus marks to candidates who had appeared in the IIT JEE (advanced) conducted this year. The students were awarded grace marks due to some errors in a question paper.

A bench comprising Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A.M. Khanwilkar also restrained other high courts from entertaining cases related to the issue and sought details of the number of petitions pending in the various high courts.

The matter will be heard next on 10 July.

On 30 June, the apex court had issued a notice to the ministry of human resource development (MHRD) and sought its response over quashing of the ranks list.

The petitioner sought a direction to be passed to rectify the all-India merit/rank list which had considered the bonus marks given to all those who had taken the examination this year.

Seeking an interim stay on the admission and counselling process, Agarwal demanded that additional marks be given to the candidates who had attempted to answer the wrong questions, failure of which amounted to violation of her rights and those of other students .

Additionally, it was contended that a fresh examination be conducted on the basis of which a new merit list may be prepared for admissions.

The order came a day after the Delhi high court asked the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to re-evaluate the answer sheets of all the subjects of all students who wrote the Class 12 examination this year.

Prashant K. Nanda contributed to the story

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