AICTE bids farewell to Dual Degree Integrated Management Courses

aicte_2In the academic year, 2012-13, AICTE with a laudable noble objective to provide students with an opportunity to gain managerial skills and encourage them start and run own ventures with good business knowledge had permitted students to start a 5 year Integrated Dual Degree Management Course, leading to an undergraduate degree in 3 or 4 years, (BM – Bachelor’s degree in Management / BAM -Bachelor’s degree in Applied Management) followed by a Master’s degree in five years (MAM – Master’s degree in Applied Management).

In the year, 2014, UGC released revised specification of degrees, u/s 22 of the UGC Act, 1956 and also the guidelines for Dual Degree Programmes. In respect of the Management Courses, though it did not directly refer to BM/BAM/MAM Courses, but it did refer to other Management Courses and directed that the same be restricted as BBA / MBA, with appropriate parenthesis.

AICTE, after a gap of 2 years, constituted a Committee constituted a Committee to examine the continuation of Five Years Dual Degree Programme (s) in Management (lntegrated) introduced in the AY 2012- 13 by AICTE with the nomenclature as BM/BAM/MAM, since the same were not in line with UGC approved programme (s).

It seems the report has come and now AICTE has directed the Institutes conducting the Dual Degree Course that no fresh admission should be conducted from Academic Year 2016-2017 onwards and the Dual Degree course has to be closed completely. However, the Institutions who were running dual degree course (s) have been permitted to conduct five [05] years Integrated MBA courses in lieu of five (05) years dual degree courses of MBA/MAM introduced by AICTE. As the Institute would now be conducting BBA and MBA Courses, they have been introduce additional supplementary subjects in the curricula of BM/BAM /MAM to come up with same standards of BBA and MBA course (s).

As regards, safeguarding the interest of the existing students, already admitted in the BM/BAM/MAM programme (s) during 2012-13 to 2015-16, AICTE has asked the Institute to provide exit option at the end of the three (03) years for the students, who have joined the dual degree courses in 2015-16 and prior to that, by awarding a BBA degree instead of BM degree. But in respect of those students, who have completed 4 years, has to undergo one more year and will be awarded MBA degree after completion of five (05) years, as there is no exit option at the end of fourth year.

The students graduating this year under MAM and completing 5 years of their study may be awarded MBA Degree.

EduLegaL View

When will two regulators having concurrent jurisdictions, start working hand-in-hand in this Country to save the students from hassles and harassment. UGC announced policy in 2014, AICTE implements in 2016. What a criminal wastage of time ?

When will the regulators in our country learn to make policy announcements concerning admission of students prior to commencement of academic year, so that a student can plan his pursuit, an Institute can plan its calendar?

We can keep asking …. ?

Ravi Bhardwaj |

UGC directs Universities to award degree within reasonable time


UGC has taken note of inordinate delays in awarding of degrees to the students and has directed all the Universities within 180 days of the date/s by which the student qualifies and becomes eligible for award of degree.

UGC expects that rights and entitlements of students are well regarded by the Institutions and has asked the Universities to understand that one of such fundamental entitlement and inviolable privilege of a student is award of degree in time after having successfully completing a program and simultaneously it is also one the most fundamental and primary duties of a University.

In a communication issued to the Universities, UGC upon receiving representations and references regarding some universities, which are not awarding degrees in time to the students enrolled in different programs of study offered by them, has brought to the Notice of the Universities provision contained in Regulation 4.4 of UGC (Grant of Degrees and other award by Universities) Regulations, 2008, which reads as under:

“The Degree award date/s shall be within 180 days of the date/s by which the student are expected to qualify and become eligible for them”

UGC has cautioned the Universities that withholding degree of a student who has successfully completed his tenure in the institution of his enrolment, for whatever reasons, amounts to constraining opportunities of a student and if an University is found to be indulging in the same, then it will be constrained to take punitive actions as are notified in Regulation 9 of UGC (Grievance Redressal) Regulations 2012 against the University.

EduLegaL View:

Today, we talk of Right to Services of a common citizen, Citizen Charter for disposing the grievances of a common citizen, but Education Sector is still out of scope of all these. There was a discussion about creating a repository of academic award of student after giving him a Unique ID. I do not know what happened to the same.

Submission of degree certificate, as we all know is also connected with eligibility of a student to further education and any delay in submitting the degree certificate has the potential to jeopardise his career. 180 days in any case in more than enough for completing all the formalities for awarding of degrees. Occasion for such caution should not arise at all.

It is necessary that a Uniform Student Charter is also framed defining the time within a document is handed over to a student.

Ravi Bhardwaj |

Read the UGC Notice to the Universities:

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UGC instructs Institutions to ensure dignity of the National Flag

Invoking National Pride, having environmental concern in mind and taking serious note of misuse of National Flag in events, UGC has asked all the Institutions to adhere strict compliance with norms to use the National Tricolour, as mandated in ‘Flag Code of India, 2002’ and ‘The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971.

UGC has informed the Institutions that the National Flag is the symbol of our national pride and represents hopes and aspirations of the people of the country and hence should occupy a position of honor. UGC has therefore instructed the Institutions to ensure that to ensure that on important national, cultural and sports events, paper flags are used by all and are not discarded or thrown on the ground after the event.

The Institutions have also been directed to give wide publicity to discourage National Flags made of plastic, which are used in important events in place of paper flag, as these plastic flags being non biodegradable do not get decomposed easily and their disposal with dignity of the flag is a big problem.

According to the law, whoever in any public place bums, mutilates, defaces, defiles, disfigures, destroys, tramples upon or otherwise shows disrespect to or brings into contempt the Indian National Flag or any part of it, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine or with both.

Accordingly, UGC has requested the Institutions to put in place an effective mechanism to create awareness for strict adherence of the provisions contained in the Act and Flag Code.

Read the UGC Notice here:

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SC: Courts should not upset Inspection Report of Expert Committee, unless malafide and perverse, imposes fine of Rs.5 Cr on a Medical College, directs MCI to prepare Standard Procedure of Inspection


scindia……………… Medical education must be taken very seriously and when an expert body certifies that the facilities in a medical college are inadequate, the Courts are not equipped to take a different view in the matter except for very cogent jurisdictional reasons such as mala fides of the Inspection Team, ex facie perversity in the inspection report, jurisdictional error on the part of the MCI etc.

 …….. Supreme Court

The Supreme Court while making these observations came down heavily on a medical college based in State of Odisha, Kalinga Institute of Medical Science [KIMS] and imposed a fine of Rs. 5 Crore for playing with career of several students and flouting the standards prescribed under the Regulations.

The Supreme Court was hearing a challenge by Medical Council of India against Judgement of High Court of Odisha granting interim relief to KIMS to admit and further setting aside the Report submitted by an Expert Committee, which inspected the campus and found several deficiencies and recommended that the permission should not be renewed for enhanced seats.

KIMS was initially granted permission to admit students for medical courses. It was desirous to enhance the admission intake and hence approached MCI for permission. As per the procedure, inspection was conducted by MCI Expert team, which found serious deficiencies. On consideration of the Report, MCI recommended to Central Government to deny permission to KIMS to add 50 additional seats.

Accordingly, direction was issued to KIMS not to admit any students in the second batch of MBBS course against the increased intake from 100 to 150 seats. Being aggrieved, KIMS challenged the direction before the High Court. The High Court set aside the direction and directed Central Government to reconsider the case after giving personal hearing. MCI granted personal hearing to KIMS and retained its recommendation. The High Court however, later directed Central Government to grant provisional permission to KIMS to conduct the course for the additional 50 students. Accordingly, Central Government granted provisional permission to KIMS to conduct the MBBS course against the increased intake.

Being aggrieved, MCI filed SLP in Supreme Court. MCI was granted the leave and order of the High Court was stayed. The Court also maintained status quo in the matter and requested High Court hear the pending writ petition expeditiously. High Court later directed MCI to constitute a fresh Inspection Team to inspect KIMS and verify the compliances submitted by KIMS. In fresh inspection conducted pursuant to the HC order, large numbers of deficiencies were again found at KIMS. The Expert Report was examined in detail and minutely by the High Court and the same was set aside by the High Court. The Court later allowed the College to continue with admissions.

The Supreme Court finally heard the matter. On consideration of events leading to SLP, the Court observed that, “Medical education must be taken very seriously and when an expert body certifies that the facilities in a medical college are inadequate, the Courts are not equipped to take a different view in the matter except for very cogent jurisdictional reasons such as mala fides of the Inspection Team, ex facie perversity in the inspection report, jurisdictional error on the part of the MCI etc. Under no circumstance should the High Court examine the report as an appellate body – this is simply not the function of the High Court. In the present case there was no ground made out at law for setting aside the report of the Inspection Team.” The Supreme Court did not approve the approach of High Court, which proceeded to minutely examine the Report of the Expert Committee, functioning as an Appellate Body.

The Supreme Court was also of the opinion that High Court ought to have been more circumspect in directing the admission of students by its order dated 25th September, 2015 and there was no need for the High Court to rush into an area that the MCI feared to tread. It remarked that, “Granting admission to in an educational institution when there is a serious doubt whether admission should at all be granted is not a matter to be taken lightly. First of all the career of a student is involved – what would a student do if his admission is found to be illegal or is quashed? Is it not a huge waste of time for him or her? Is it enough to say that the student will not claim any equity in his or her favour? Is it enough for student to be told that his or her admission is subject to the outcome of a pending litigation? These are all questions that arise and for which there is no easy answer. Generally speaking, it is better to err on the side of caution and deny admission to a student rather than have the sword of Damocles hanging over him or her. There would at least be some certainty.”

 On the issue of future of students, who have already been admitted, the Supreme Court though protected the admission of the students, who have already been admitted under the Interim Order but blamed KIMS squarely for the same and hence imposed an exemplary fine of Rs. 5 Crore on KIMS for jeopardizing the career of students and for playing with the future of its students and the mess that it has created for them. The Court felt that admitting students despite rejection and seeking judicial intervention to admit students was certainly not with a charitable motive. The Court also remarked that an institution should have some responsibility towards the welfare of the students and felt that it would have been far more appropriate for KIMS to have refrained from giving admission to 50 additional students rather than being instrumental in jeopardizing their career.

mciThe Court additionally asked MCI to prepare in consultation with the Central Government prepare a Standard Operating Procedure for conducting an inspection of Medical Colleges. It also directed that to introduce transparency and accountability in the medical colleges, the report or assessment of the Inspection Team should be put up on the website of the concerned medical college as also on the website of the MCI so that potential students are aware of what is likely to be in store for them. Similarly, the decision of the Central Government on the report should be put up on the website of the concerned medical college as also on the website of the MCI.

EduLegaL View

The last fortnight at Supreme Court has all been about Medical Education. Right from Constitution of an Oversight Committee to monitor the functioning of MCI, to conducting the entrance test and now direction to prepare SoP for conducting Inspection, all have been discussed and settled.

The Central Government and MCI should rise up to the occasion and set it right to reinstate confidence in their governance of medical education in the Country.

However, I am on a different point, it is right that Courts should not generally interfere with the Reports of the Expert Committee, but there are several instances, where the Regulator itself and the Nodal Ministry interferes with the Report Expert Committee and upsets them acting on their own discretion. What about such situations … How is the interest of Institutions then safeguarded … I wish Court should have dealt with this aspect also.

Ravi Bhardwaj |

Read the Judgement

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Institutions must give fair opportunity to a student under inquiry, in compliance with natural justice, bias is not permissible: HC


………………. All universities are cradles of the nation’s future. They are, therefore, required to conduct all acts in a highly bona fide and exemplary manner. This responsibility increases exponentially when the university is a premier National Law School imparting legal education to the nation’s future lawyers. How is a student of law expected to be a patron of justice when his university is the epitome of injustice?

…….. Gujarat High Court


The writ Petitioner was studying in third year of a five year integrated LL.B. program and had challenged order passed by Gujarat National Law University [GNLU], which adjudicated alleged malpractice in examination by the Petitioner and held that exam of Quantitative Techniques given by the Petitioner, held on 2nd Nov. 2015 stands cancelled.

At around 4.25 pm, on 02.11.2015 when the exam for Quantitative Techniques was going on barely 5 minutes before the completion of the examination, one of the officials of GNLU suddenly bolted from across the examination hall and snatched the answer sheet of the Petitioner, alleging that the Petitioner was “…hiding something …”. Thereafter they sought to physically frisk the Petitioner and persisted in the said demand. However, the Petitioner objected to being physically frisked by the Respondent No.5 – who was a member of the opposite gender in the interest of modesty.

The Petitioner while being taken to the Director took his bag placed outside the examination hall and took his phone out of the bag to contact his father. It is alleged that he was threatened in unparliamentarily language of dire consequences if he attempted to contact anyone. It is also alleged that later the charge of malpractice was also changed to abuse of phone instead of “hiding something”. The phone was seized, case was inquired into and punishment was awarded to cancel his examination in the paper.

The Petitioner being aggrieved by the process approached the Director and raised serious question on the legality of the inquiry process. He also alleged that the entire process was biased and there was no compliance with natural justice. There was no response from the University. The student then approached the High Court.

A pointed contention taken on behalf of the Petitioner was that there is evident bias in the minds of the Respondents against the Petitioner. Therefore, the Petitioner could never have expected fair treatment at the hands of the Respondents. It was also argued that the Respondents conducted a fanciful inquiry with a predetermined state of mind.

This court considered the arguments tendered by the Petitioner and the Respondents and came to conclusion that the private Respondents went to great lengths to ensure that that Petitioner is cornered and victimised, and that the Petitioner did not receive the just treatment prescribed under the Rules. The Court also came to conclusion that Petitioner was not given fair opportunity to contest the evidence against him and also cross-examine the Complainant or for that to verify the Report against him. The Petitioner was never given an opportunity of being heard, nor was he permitted to inspect any material or evidence that was proposed to be used against him.

Considering the ramifications of the highly punitive action taken by the University which would have long-term negative implications on the career of the Petitioner-student and wastage of one academic year for the Petitioner, the Court quashed and set aside the order dated 03.012.2015 and directed the Respondent University to declare the result of the Petitioner for the examination.

EduLegaL View

No doubt that “natural justice” is a right flowing from our constitution and it has to be adhered to in all cases.

But in normal cases, do we expect the academic administrators to know the rule of evidence or for that rules of trial ?

An academic disciplinary proceeding cannot be compared with other inquiry proceedings. I am not talking about cases of gross violation of natural justice. But we cannot expect an academic administrator to follow the letters of law in matter of disciplinary inquiry. Suffice it to say that a notice should be issued and the student should be given full opportunity to examine the material against him. Even cross-examination except in few cases, should be limited, else a University will turn into a full fledged court premises ….

Read the Judgement:

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Commercialisation of education not permissible, State can regulate admission, fees in private Institutions: SC

……….. The Constitution is primarily for the common man. Larger interest and welfare of student community to promote merit, achieve excellence and curb malpractices, fee and admissions can certainly be regulated.

…… Supreme Court

The Supreme Court made these observations while examining the validity/vires of the provisions of the statute passed by the State Legislature, which is known as ‘Niji Vyavasayik Shikshan Sanstha (Pravesh Ka Viniyaman Avam Shulk Ka Nirdharan) Adhiniyam, 2007’ (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Act, 2007’) and Madhya Pradesh Private Medical and Dental Post Graduate Courses Entrance Examination Rules, 2009 (for short, ‘Rules, 2009’), which Act and Rules regulate primarily the admission of students in post graduate courses in private professional educational institutions and the provisions are also made for fixation of fee. In addition, the said Act and Rules also contain provisions for reservation of seats.

The challenge was made by private medical and dental colleges, which are unaided, i.e. they are not receiving any Government aid and are self financing institutions running from their own funds, initially in the High Court, which upheld the validity of these Acts and Rules. The Unaided Institutions challenged the Judgement of High Court in Supreme Court, which was heard by a Constitution Bench.

Proceedings before High Court:

The main contention of the Institutions before the High Court was that medical and dental colleges being private unaided colleges, it is their fundamental right under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India to lay down the eligibility criteria for admission and admit the students as well as fix their fee. It was also argued that private educational institutions cannot be foisted with the obligation to admit students of reserved class, which was the obligation of the State.

The High Court did not accept the contention of the Private Institutions and held that Article 19[6] of Constitution of India, permits the Government to regulate the admissions as well as fee, even of the private unaided educational institutions and that such measures saved by Article 19(6) of the Constitution as they amount to ‘reasonable restrictions’ imposed on the right of admission and fixation of fee, which otherwise vests with Private Institutions.

Summary of Judgement of the High Court is as follows:

(i) Re.: Admissions – The High Court was of the view that prescribing a Common Entrance Test for the purpose of admission to private unaided institutions are constitutional and valid since the same are in consonance with the dictum of the Constitution Bench judgment of this Court in the case of T.M.A. Pai Foundation. The High Court had held that there is no violation of the fundamental rights of the writ petitioners since the provisions constituted reasonable restriction as accepted by and, therefore, saved under Article 19(6) of the Constitution. The High Court held that the CET prescribed will ensure that the merit is maintained. It is also concluded by the High Court that sufficient material that was placed on record to establish that private unaided institutions were not able to ensure a fair, transparent and non-exploitative admission procedure.

(ii) Re.: Fee Regulation – The High Court held that the power of the Fee Regulatory Committee under the provisions was only ‘regulatory’ and the purpose of which was to empower the Committee to be satisfied that the fee proposed by the private professional institutions did not amount to profiteering or commercialisation of education and was based on intelligible factors which was not violative of the fundamental rights of the private professional institutions to charge their own fee.

(iii) Re.: Reservation – The High Court has examined the said provisions and concluded that sufficient number of seats were allotted for the unreserved category in different disciplines and subjects, and that a reasonable balance had been struck between the rights of the unreserved category candidates and the reserved category candidates.

Argument of Private Institutions in Supreme Court:

The central theme of the arguments of appellants was that by the impugned legislation the State seeks to wipe out the choice available with the appellants institutions to devise their own admission procedure and necessitate that the admission be carried out only on the basis of a CET to be conducted by the State Government or any agency appointed by it. In addition, the Act provides for the Committee to ‘determine’ and ‘fix’ the fees to be charged by the appellants and thereby completely trample the rights of the appellants to determine and charge the fee. The Act also provides for reservation in private institutions, including post-graduate courses, which the appellants submit is impermissible in light of the law laid down by this Court in the case of Ashok Kumar 21 Thakur v. Union of India & Ors.

It was their submission that right available to the appellants institutions is to devise their own admission procedure, subject to the condition that the procedure so devised ought to be ‘fair’, ‘transparent’ and ‘non-exploitative’. Thus, the rights available to the institutions under Article 19(1)(g) includes a right to admit students on a fair basis and as such the appellants can choose to admit students on the basis of the CET conducted by an association of institutions coming together (as has been provided in P.A. Inamdar) or one conducted by the State and the choice also includes to a right to admit students on the basis of the CET conducted by the Central Government. The right to choose is the right that is available to the individual institutions under Article 19(1)(g) and the impugned legislation abrogates the said right.

Observations of Supreme Court:

The Supreme Court speaking through the Constitution Bench observed as follows:

Re.: Provisions relating to Common Entrance Test:

The Supreme Court as has been held in earlier judgements, agreed that “Education”, as an “occupation” is a fundamental right which gives right to the educational institutions to admit the students and also fix the fee, at the same time, scope of such rights can be restricted and limited by appropriate legislations. While explaining the scope of this right, right to admit students and right to fix fee has been accepted as facets of this right. However, the Court again added caution thereto by mandating that admissions to the educational institutions imparting higher education, and in particular professional education, have to admit the students based on merit. For judging the merit, the Court indicated that there can be a CET. If such a power is exercised by the State assuming the function of CET, this was so recognised in T.M.A. Pai Foundation itself, as a measure of ‘reasonable restriction on the said right’.

On this background, Supreme Court was of the view that that the larger public interest warrants such a measure. The Court also considered evidences regarding malpractices, which are noticed in the CET conducted by such private institutions and concluded that in the larger interest and welfare of the students community to promote merit, add excellence and curb malpractices, provision for common entrance test is legal. The extent of restriction has to be viewed keeping in view all these factors and, therefore, the Court felt that impugned provisions, which may amount to ‘restrictions’ on the right of the appellants to carry on their ‘occupation’, are clearly ‘reasonable’ and satisfied the test of proportionality.

 Re.: Provisions in the Act Rules relating to fixation of fee

The Court observed that right to establish and manage educational institution is treated as a right to carry on ‘occupation’, which is the fundamental right under Article 19(1)(g), however cautioned that it does not entitle educational institution not to indulge in profiteering or commercialisation. It is also recognized that the educational institutions may charge the fee that would take care of various expenses incurred by these educational institutions plus provision for the expansion of education for future generation. At the same time, unreasonable demand cannot be made from the present students and their parents. For this purpose, only a ‘reasonable surplus’ can be generated.

It is, therefore, to be borne in mind is that the occupation of education cannot be treated at par with other economic activities. In this field, State cannot remain a mute spectator and has to necessarily step in in order to prevent exploitation, privatization and commercialisation by the private sector.

In order to see that the educational institutions are not indulging in commercialisation and exploitation, the Government is equipped with necessary powers to take regulatory measures and to ensure that these educational institutions keep playing vital and pivotal role to spread education and not to make money. So much so, the Court was categorical in holding that when it comes to the notice of the Government that a particular institution was charging fee or other charges which are excessive, it has a right to issue directions to such an institution to reduce the same. In our view, therefore, it is only a regulatory measure and does not take away the powers of the educational 69 institution to fix their own fee.

Provisions relating to relating to fixation of fee by setting up a Committee to oversee that institutions are not charging a fee which amounts to capitation or profiteering are reasonable restrictions and do not suffer from any constitutional vice.


 It is felt that in any welfare economy, even for private industries, there is a need for regulatory body and such a regulatory framework for education sector becomes all the more necessary. It would be more so when, unlike other industries, commercialisation of education is not permitted as mandated by the Constitution of India, backed by various judgments of this Court to the effect that profiteering in the education is to be avoided.

Holding of CET under the control of the State does not impinge this autonomy. Admission is still in the hands of these institutions. Once it is even conceded by the appellants that in admission of students ‘triple test’ is to be met, the impugned legislation aims at that. After all, the sole purpose of holding CET is to adjudge merit and to ensure that admissions, which are done by the educational 78 institutions, are strictly on merit. This is again to ensure larger public interest. It is beyond comprehension that merely by assuming the power to hold CET, fundamental right of the appellants to admit the students is taken away.

Likewise, when it comes to fixation of fee, as already dealt with in detail, the main purpose is that State acts as a regulator and satisfies itself that the fee which is proposed by the educational institution does not have the element of profiteering and also that no capitation fee etc. is charged.


The Court pending consideration of recommendation regarding issues relating to MCI, in exercise of powers of this Court under Article 142 of the Constitution decided to constitute a Committee to oversee the functioning of the MCI consisting of the following members: 1. Justice R.M. Lodha (former Chief Justice of India) 2. Prof. (Dr.) Shiv Sareen (Director, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences) 3. Shri Vinod Rai (former Comptroller & Auditor General of India). The said Committee will have the authority to oversee all statutory functions under the MCI Act. All policy decisions of the MCI will require approval of the Oversight Committee. The Committee will be free to issue appropriate remedial directions. The Committee will function till the Central Government puts in place any other appropriate mechanism after due consideration of the Expert Committee Report. Initially the Committee will function for a period of one year, unless suitable mechanism is brought in place earlier which will substitute the said Committee. We do hope that within the said period the Central Government will come out with an appropriate mechanism.


In view of the above, there was no violation of right of autonomy of the educational institutions in the CET being conducted by the State or an agency nominated by the State or in fixing fee. The right of a State to do so is subject to a central law.

Once the notifications under the Central statutes for conducting the CET called ‘NEET’ become operative, it will be a matter between the States and the Union, which will have to be sorted out on the touchstone of Article 254 of the Constitution.

EduLegaL View

This Judgement is really a landmark in the history of education sector. Till now, the famous trinity of T M Pai, Islamic Academy and P A Inamdar, used to operate separately and was used conveniently. There was compelling need to analyse the proposition laid down in all the three cases and explained in a one single judgement, so that the rights of educational institutions and limitation on those rights are well defined.

I also feel that some rights have to be balanced in a manner considering convenience of a larger community, more particularly, when a larger community is involved. Rights of Educational Institutions vis-à-vis the students have been beautifully balanced by the Constitution Bench.

Ravi Bhardwaj |