The Central Universities, institutions of national importance and deemed to be universities admit students on an all-India basis. So also do the autonomous institutions offering AICTE approved management courses. On the other hand, in almost all the States, students seeking admission to educational institutions, particularly those offering professional courses, are required to fulfil domicile requirements as specified by the State Governments concerned. However, the specifications vary from State to State.
For purposes of admission, domicile is often defined as the place of permanent residence. In some cases, this is determined by the specified period of continuous stay in the State concerned. Often, the place of birth is the determining factor. In some States, passing the qualifying examinations from institutions located in the State is enough to earn the domicile status.
The number of years a candidate must study in the State is often specified as the necessary requirement. But exceptions are made in respect of candidates if their parents are permanent residents of the State. However, all the States admit the children of employees of Central Government and Central public sector undertakings and the United Nations posted in States. The information bulletins for the common entrance tests contain detailed information about domicile requirements.
There was a time when the private professional institutions, mostly in Karnataka and Maharashtra, used to admit students from other States against payment of what came to be known as “capitation fee”. With the introduction of common entrance tests by the State Governments for regulating admission procedures, the domicile rule was extended to such private institutions also. Some States permitted admission of students from outside the state but were charged higher rate of tuition fees.
For example, the Karnataka Government specified that Karnataka students admitted to government seats to be charged Rs.2,000 per annum and those admitted to non-government seats should pay Rs.25,000 per annum. Non-Karnataka students, on the other hand, were required to pay a tuition fee not exceeding Rs.60,000 per annum. The Division Bench of the Supreme Court quashed the Karnataka Government order on the ground that the amount specified for non-Karnataka students was not tuition fee but “capitation fee”.
The decision of the Division bench, in turn, was quashed by the Constitution bench of the Supreme Court in the case Unnikrishnan JP and others vs State of Andhra Pradesh and others ((1933) 1, Sec 645). The Supreme Court directed the creation of two categories of seats in professional institutions – “free seats” (also called “merit seats”) and “Payment seats”. Generally, all seats in university institutions and government institutions and 50% of the seats in private institutions are “free seats”. The remaining 50% of the seats in private institutions are “payment seats”. In some States (e.g., Maharashtra) even 50% of he seats in university institutions and government institutions are also treated as “payment seats”.
Almost all the states admit students from outside of it only to the “payment seats”. Generally, the candidates from the States, get the first preference in payment seats. Often the upper limit of seats open to outsiders is also specified. For example, Karnataka Government specifies that “Forty five% of Engineering seats falling under the payment category and available in Private Unaided Institutions, other than minority institutions, shall be allocated to Karnataka quota, Seats remaining unfilled after admissions to Karnataka quota shall be allocated to non-Karnataka quota subject to the maximum of Fifteen% of the payment seats”. Children of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) are eligible only for “payment seats”.
In some states students from other states are admitted in accordance with the “reciprocal quota” basis. Such candidates are sponsored by the State Governments concerned. Some states admit students to certain professional courses on an all-India basis. For example, Madhya Pradesh Government has allocated 50% of the seats in MBA and MCA courses in university institutions for students belonging to other States.