Case Number: WP 1213/2013
Judge(s): HULUVADI G.RAMESH
Petitioners: SMT SHRI LAKSHMI M
Respondents: UNIVERSITY GRANTS COMMISSION (UGC)
Date of Judgment: 7-Feb-2013
Connected Cases: WP 2599/2013; WP 51891/2012; WP 2222/2013; WP 41465/2012;
Petitioners in these set of petitions have sought to quash the change of criteria fixed by the respondents after holding the exams on 24.6.2012 and for such other relief.
2. It appears the petitioners are post graduate degree holders in various courses of University of Mysore and some other Universities and have applied for the National Eligibility Test. But, they were shown to have not cleared the test. Hence, they are before this Court.
3. Heard the learned counsel for the petitioners and learned Central Government Standing Counsel for the respondents.
4. The grievance of the petitioners’ counsel is, from June, 2012 onwards the University Grants Commission has conducted the National Eligibility Test examination in the objective mode. The test consists of three papers and all papers have objective type of questions. The South Western Regional Office is the Coordinator for conducting NET examination. The petitioners have applied for NET examination for selection to the post of lecturers during the month of June, 2012 and also appeared for the examination at various centers. Petitioners having taken admission for NET examination in the middle of the year, have challenged the very Scheme, since candidates , had as per the earlier Regulation the to secure 40%, 40% and 50% respectively in three papers, but, all of a sudden, the same has been changed to 65% aggregate to GM and so on, which is disadvantageous to the petitioners.
5. Learned Central Government Standing counsel submits that, in exercise of power under clause (e) and (g) of Sub-section (1) of Section 26 read with Section 14 of the University Grants Commission Act the UGC have made “The University Grants Commission” (Minimum qualifications required for appointment and career advancement of teacher in Universities and Institutions affiliated to it Regulations 2000, which provides that, no person shall be appointed to a teaching post in University or in any institution including constituent or affiliated colleges recognised under Sub clause (b) of Section 2 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956, if he or she does not fulfill the requirements as to the qualifications for the subject as per clause 1.3.3
which provides that the candidate should possess good academic record with at least 55% of marks or an equivalent grace of B in 7 Point Scale with latter grades O, AB, C, D, E and F at masters degree level, in the relevant subject from an Indian University, or an equivalent degree from a foreign University. Besides fulfilling the above said qualifications, candidates should have cleared the National Eligibility Test (NET) conducted by the University Grants Commission (UGC),
CSIR or similar test accredited by the UGC. The NET examination shall remain the compulsory requirement for appointment as lecturers even for candidates having Ph.D. degree. However, the candidates who have completed M.Phil degree or have submitted Ph.D Thesis in the concerned
subject up to 31.12.1993 are exempted from appearing in the NET examination. The
candidates who have cleared the eligibility test are alone eligible for appointment for a teaching post. As such, the UGC is conducting NET examinations since several years.
6. It appears, the petitioners were not found eligible in the test conducted i.e., the requirement of
65% aggregate in all the 3 years. The grievance of the petitioners is, an arbitrary decision is taken to enhance the percentage criteria from average 40%, 40% and 50% respectively to 65% aggregate and similarly for other categories also the percentage has been enhanced and there is no rationale in the decision which has been taken in the middle of the year.
7. Learned counsel for the petitioners has relied upon the decision of the Kerala High Court in W.P.Nos.22187 of 2012 disposed of on 17.12.2012 and other connected matters to contend that the action taken by way of administrative direction by the UGC, is an ultra vires regulation and such decision being taken in the middle of the year is disadvantageous for the petitioners and other persons similarly situated.
8. In the above referred decision, the Kerala High Court has quashed the proceedings in fixing the category-wise qualifying criteria for Lecturer and has declared that all the petitioners who have obtained separate minimum prescribed in the notification for papers I, II and III have cleared the NET and also observed that appropriate follow up actions be taken to issue certificates to them within one month from the date of receipt of a certified copy of the judgment. In this regard, the Kerala High Court has also referred to the decision of the Apex Court.
9. In view of the above, these petitions are disposed of in terms of the above order of the Kerala High Court disposed of on 17.12.2012 W.P.Nos.22187/2012 and other connected matters.