The Madras High Court today came to the rescue of a student, who was prevented from participating in the International Mathematical Olympiad by the National Board of Higher Mathematics on the ground that he did not have an Indian passport.
The petition was filed by the boy represented by his mother, Lakshmi Sundararajan, against a communication issued by the Board in this connection.
Justice S Vaidyanathan quashed the communication dated March 1 this year and allowed the plea.
The petitioner received a communication from the Board stating that he has been selected in the International Mathematical Olympiad-2018" as INMO-2018 awardees."
The communication further stated that he has been invited for a four week long camp to be held by the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE) scheduled from April 18 to May 16.
Based on the performance through various tests, a team of six members will be chosen to represent India in IMO 2018, it said.
The communication had a condition that the student must hold an Indian passport, it was submitted.
The petitioner's mother sent a communication to the authorities about the British Passport and OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) card of the petitioner.
In response, the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education sent a communication stating that the petitioner cannot attend the camp since the government policy does not allow students to represent India, without holding an Indian passport.
Hence, the petitioner had challenged the communication issued by the National Board of Higher Mathematics.
Counsel Rabu Manohar, who appeared on behalf of the authorities, submitted that there was a specific prohibition debarring candidates not holding Indian passport to be in the list of selectees.
The Department of Atomic Energy, by a letter dated January 10, 2018, has categorically stated that the representation in the Olympiad may be restricted only to Indian passport holders i.e. Indian citizens, he said.
Refusing to accept the arguments of the counsel, the judge said there shall be a direction to the authorities concerned to include the name of the minor petitioner in the list of selectees for the Olympiad Training Camp and allow him to attend the camp scheduled from April 18 to May 16.
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