Making a student to re-appear for all papers, for failing in one subject, to pass the course is arbitrary and unconstitutional: HC

“ …… what is the purpose in requiring the candidate to write all the four theory papers again if he has failed in one practical or undergo Clinical/Practical tests again for all the subjects if he has failed in one theory paper? Repetitive undertaking of examinations after having secured the minimum prescribed does not scale up the standard and can only be termed as oppressive from the point of view of the student.”

…. Kerala High Court

The Kerala High Court in a landmark Judgement while setting aside a Kerala University of Health Sciences Regulations has held that making a student to re-appear in all the papers to pass a course, just because he has failed in a single paper in first attempt or thereafter in arbitrary, unconstitutional and violative of Article 14 of Constitution of India.

kerala high court

The case involved Post-graduate medical students who have failed, either because they did not secure the minimum in one of the four theory papers or in one of the clinical/practical tests and were made to re-appear in all the papers to pass the course. The petitioners have not been declared successful in the Post-graduate Medical Course for the reason that they have failed to secure the minimum for the theory and the practical in all the subjects simultaneously.

The petitioners contended that they should be permitted to appear for the theory or the clinical/practical (in which they have failed) without insisting on the appearance for all the papers and practical again. They also argued that such insistence is violative of Constitution of India and does not serve any purpose. It was also their argument that such practice has no nexus with maintaining the standards of education.

Kerala University of Health Sciences in response contended that the candidates cannot pass the examinations piece-meal. The right of the University to prescribe stricter conditions for a Post- graduate medical student to be declared passed is emphasised stating that it is only a step for raising the level of standard. The University adds that its autonomy to fix higher standards in order to declare a candidate as having passed the Post-graduate medical examination cannot be interfered with in exercise of the writ jurisdiction.

KUHS

The rule under challenge was Clause 3.16. of KUHS Regulations of Post- graduate Medical Courses which prescribes that a candidate who has secured minimum of 50 percent marks for theory (40 percent separate minimum for each paper), 50 percent for Clinical/Practical including oral shall be declared to have passed in that subject. A candidate who fails in one subject either theory/practical shall have to appear for all the papers including theory and practical.

It was however, noted by the Court that in the corresponding clause in the MCI Regulations there is no insistence that the candidate who has failed in one subject either theory or practical should again appear for all the papers including theory and practical in the MCI Regulations as in the KUHS Regulations. Even in the Affidavit filed by Medical Council of India there was conspicuous silence as to whether the MCI Regulations insist on a simultaneous pass in the theory and practical.

The Judge however noted the contradiction in the two rules and felt that one cannot lose sight of the fact that a candidate could be declared as ‘passed’ if the MCI Regulations are adopted and at the same time declared as ‘failed’ if the KUHS Regulations are adopted.

After examining all the Rules and hearing the arguments of the parties, the Hon’ble Court while deprecating the practice of re-appearing in all the papers to pass, because he failed in one subject in first attempt, held that:

One can understand if the candidate is required to appear again in the theory and related practical of the particular paper if he has failed to secure the minimum prescribed in that subject as per the norms. But what is the purpose in requiring the candidate to write all the four theory papers again if he has failed in one practical or undergo Clinical/Practical tests again for all the subjects if he has failed in one theory paper? Repetitive undertaking of examinations after having secured the minimum prescribed does not scale up the standard and can only be termed as oppressive from the point of view of the student. The repetitive appearance in examinations under the KUHS Regulations has no rationale nexus with the object sought to be achieved and is obviously violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.

The mental anguish which a student has to face in the event of his losing a theory or practical by marginal marks necessitating re-appearance for all the papers in theory and practical in order to secure a pass is unimaginable. It is possible that a candidate who has passed in the first attempt may fail in the same examination in the second attempt and the vicious circle of pass and fail will only result in unfairness to the extreme.

The High Court eventually held that Clause 3.16 of the KUHS Regulations to the extent it insists that ‘a candidate who fails in one subject either theory/practical shall have to appear for all the papers including theory and practical’ is unreasonable and arbitrary.

mci

It however, also asked Medical Council of India to clarify as to whether each candidate should simultaneously pass the theory and practical securing 50 percent marks in each which can be incorporated in the KUHS Regulations appropriately.

EduLegaL View:

“Arbitrariness” is generally tested on touchstone of the parameters of Article 14 of Constitution of India. It also includes in itself a principle that a law / rule should have reasonable nexus [connection] to the object of the law / rule.

In our view, making a student re-appear for the entire paper to achieve the academic award, merely because he has failed in one of the papers does not achieve any object of high standard of education. Such practice is not only unconstitutional but also regressive and oppressive. It is legalized exploitation. In this throat cutting edge of competition, liberalization should be the guiding factor for the regulators.

If a student is asked to re-appear in all the papers, will it increase the standards, the answer is big NO. Then why have such rule.

Just imagine the agony of a student, he has to undergo all the papers again, read the same material all over again, which may enhance his application skills but only create a culture of “repetitiveness” or “ratta” [as they call in Hindi]. This will create bookworms than sharp professionals.

Ravi Bhardwaj | mail@edulegal.in

UGC constitutes Committee regarding unauthorized Off Campuses of Deemed Universities

UGC has decided to constitute a 5 Member Committee to consider the issue related to the off-campuses established/started by some Institutions Deemed to be Universities without prior approval of UGC/Ministry of HRD.

On November 9, 2015, UGC, Higher Education Regulatory Authority in the Country had issued Notices to 10 Deemed Universities directing them to close down their off-campus, which have not been permitted / approved by UGC / MHRD.

The Institutes, which received notices were Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Homi Bhabha National Institute, Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies University, BITS, Pilani, Indian School of Mines-Dhanbad, Banasthali University (Rajasthan), Ponnaiyah Ramajayam Institute of Science & Technology, Indian Veterinary Research Institute (UP) and Lakshmibai National University of Physical Education-Gwalior.

The Notice created furor in the academic circles as it involved career of many students pursuing their education and several of those who have graduated. All the concerned Deemed Universities protested the Notice and also met the concerned officials and expressed their grievance.

However, BITS Pilani went on aggressive pitch and filed a Petition challenging the closure order before the Hon’ble Delhi High Court. While seeking setting aside of the Order dated 09.11.2015, BITS, Pilani had also sought stay on the Notice. The Delhi High Court was pleased to direct the MHRD / UGC not to take any coercive step in the matter.

Later, by way of flaunted discrimination, an unauthorized off campus of a Government funded Deemed University was regularized.

UGC after considering the representation of all the concerned Deemed Universities has decided to constitute under the Chairmanship of Prof. H. Devaraj. Other members of the Committee are Prof. Mohammad Miyan, Prof. Sanjay Govind Dhande and Dr. K.N. Shanti.

As per UGC Deemed University Regulations, 2010 and Guidelines prevailing earlier, an Off Campus can be started only with the permission of UGC / MHRD as the case may be. It is the case of UGC / MHRD in respect of the stated Deemed Universities that no approval has been granted by UGC / MHRD and hence these campuses being illegal, should be shut down immediately.

EduLegaL View:

Another unfortunate example of historical functioning style, first create panic and chaos, then ask them to make representation and then appoint a Committee to look into the matter and then decide as it pleases you !

The action or rather ill-action of UGC was completely an ill-prepared action. After having given Deemed University/s “legitimate expectation” by not taking any action when they had full knowledge of existence of Off-Campus/es, UGC was disabled by principle of “promissory estoppel” from taking any action against the Deemed Universities much less abrupt closure of the running Institutions at the Off-Campus/es. But wisdom was not on their side and they took hasty decision.

The fate of the unfortunate order was known from the time it was issued and it has turned out to be as expected.

Ravi Bhardwaj | Founder & Principal Consultant, EduLegaL | mail@edulegal.in

UGC to consider Ph.D period as teaching experience

UGC realizing the scarcity of qualified faculty and with objective to encourage research students has now notified on 01.03.2016 Ph.D research period should be considered as experience for recruitment and promotion in the higher educational institutions. UGC has taken this decision in it’s 512th meeting held recently.

The UGC circular published on its website as Clarification on counting of the period of active service spent on pursuing Ph.D.”, which reads that the period of active service spent on pursuing Research Degree i.e. for acquiring Ph.D degree simultaneously, without taking any kind of leave, may be counted as teaching experience for the purpose of direct recruitment/ promotion to the post of Associate Professor and above.

EduLegaL View

It is clear from usage of expression “simultaneously” that this is applicable only to whom those who are already in service and pursuing Ph.D. simultaneously as a part time course and in that sense, it fails to meet the vision that it desired to.

However, the condition of “without taking any leave” is really harsh as it is unimaginable that a person will not take leave during 2-3 year of coursework. This harsh condition leaves this resolution only as an eyewash.

In any case, an employed faculty pursuing Ph.D., simultaneously will have his employment counted even otherwise as “experience”, then what is the benefit of this Notification?

Sometimes, the clarification creates more doubts than clarity !

Ravi Bhardwaj | mail@edulegal.in

Advertising Council finds Educational Ads fake, false and misleading

Advertising Standards Council of India [ASCI]  has been receiving several complaints from parents and students against misleading claims being made in advertisement of various educational institutions pertaining to claims of success in competitive examinations, guaranteed placement and passing, recognition and affiliation, ranking of the institutions, etc.

These Institutes as per the decision of the Advertising Council have made claims of Ranking in the Entrance Examinations, Number of successful students, Coaching and Learning Material Preparations and Contents, Test Series, Coaching Pedagogy to influence the aspirants to join their Institutes.

In December 2015, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints relating to misleading advertisements and unsubstantiated claims. The CCC found that claims in the following advertisements were not substantiated and, thus, violated ASCI Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions.

1] Triumphant Institute of Management Education Pvt. Ltd.: The claims in the advertisement, “2116 T.I.M.E students into the IIMs alone – a total of 7379 final selections in CAT- 2014” and “Process and Results validated by an independent third party on 21/09/2015”, were not substantiated.

2] CATKing (CLAP Digital Marketing Course): The claims in the advertisement with reference to Mr Rahul Singh – “He pursued his MBA from SP Jain Institute of Management & Research, Mumbai”, “He also achieved a degree in Master of Information Technology from Virginia Tech”, and “Certification from a Harvard Business School Alumni”, were false, not substantiated with evidence, and were misleading.

3] CL Educate Ltd (CAT 16/17 Program): The claims in the advertisement, “Your Gateway to IIM”, “Closest to CAT”, “9629 IIM Calls by CL students in CAT’14”, “The most comprehensive CAT ‘16/17 classroom program”, were not substantiated with supporting data. Also, the claim, “9629 IIM Calls by CL students in CAT’14”, is misleading, as it does not match with the CA report on pages 6, 7, 8 – Clause 6 – Conclusion, the total adds up to 8793 only as against 9629 IIM calls as claimed in the advertisement.

false advertisement

4] Triumphant Institute of Management Education Pvt. Ltd. (TIME Tuitions):The advertisement’s claims, “T.I.M.E., the national Leader in entrance exam training with 200+ centres across India” was not substantiated with supporting data.

5] Triumphant Institute of Management Education Pvt. Ltd (Aqua Regia the Science Quiz 2015): The claim in the advertisement, “Aqua Regia the Science Quiz 2015 – Certified by Guinness World Records & Limca Book of Records as the Largest Quiz Ever”, was not substantiated with supporting data.

6] Triumphant Institute of Management Education (Times Google Search Result Validation): The claim in the advertisement, “Best Coaching Institute for CAT, GATE, Bank Exams, CSAT….” is an absolute claim and was not substantiated with comparative data versus other institutes.

7] Shyamli Institute of Hotel Management: The claims in the advertisement, “recognition of hotel management courses by UGC & AICTE”, “UGC & AICTE approved” and “job guarantee” (Naukri Sunishit) were not substantiated.

5] Knowledge Station India Private Limited (The Santa Kidz): The advertisement’s claim, “Rajasthan’s No. 1 School“, was not substantiated with supporting comparative data versus other institutes. Also, the claim, “India’s 1st Brain School with D.M.I Technology”, was not substantiated and was considered to be misleading by ambiguity as the advertisement does not give any credible references to authenticate the D.M.I. technology or how the school provides the implied unique brain development benefits of D.M.I Technology over conventional practices followed in other schools.

9] Mahendra Education Pvt. Ltd (Mahendra’s No.1 Institute): The claim in the advertisement, “No. 1 Institute in India”, was not substantiated.

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) was established in 1985. One of the important functions of ASCI to ensure the protection of the interests of consumers in various categories. ASCI has therefore laid down guidelines with a view to achieve the acceptance of fair advertising practices in the best interests of the ultimate consumer.

The Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of ASCI deals with complaints received from Consumers and Industry, against Advertisements which are considered as False, Misleading, Indecent, Illegal, leading to Unsafe practices, or Unfair to competition, and consequently in contravention of the ASCI Code for Self-Regulation in Advertising.

ASCI is also the “Executive Arm” of the Department of Consumer Affairs handling all complaints pertaining to misleading advertisements.

EduLegaL View: 

An old marketing strategy saying goes “ Jo Dikhta wahi bikta hai”, it would not be out of place to improvise it to say “Jo Dikhaya Jata hai, wahi bikta hai”.

Coaching Classes and Institutions have overgrown in India due to huge peer pressure and parental aspirations. It is one of the biggest sector, but still unregulated in majority part of the Country. It is high time that this sector is regulated.

Advertisements surprisingly have become one of most important medium to attract students recently amongst educational institutions.

Advertisements play a big role in deciding an Institution and it is required that it should be a responsible step devoid of inducements and falsehoods.

But my issue is, what next, what is the action that will be taken against these coaching institutions, who have indulged in misleading publications and advertisements and what about the students who found themselves on the wrong side relying upon the advertisements.

There is no effective legislation in place, which deals with these situations. MHRD look into the matter and bring effective legislation to ban such ads and take effective actions against the Institutions.

Ravi Bhardwaj | mail@edulegal.in

UGC again amends the quashed / sub-judice Deemed University Regulations

University Grants Commission has again amended substantive provisions of UGC [Deemed to be Universities] Regulations, 2010 relating to appointment of Vice Chancellor and Off Campus Centre being run by Centrally funded Deemed Universities.

UGC [Deemed to be Universities] Regulations, 2010 were notified on 21.05.2010 on the basis of recommendations of Tandon Committee / Task Force constituted by MHRD. On notified, several Deemed Universities had challenged the constitutional validity of the Regulations in several High Courts.

Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka vide detailed Judgement dated 22.05.2014 had quashed the Regulations being unconstitutional. Madras High Court had upheld the validity, however, when the same was challenged, the judgement was stayed. Similarly litigations are pending in Punjab and Haryana High Court, Uttarakhand High Court, Bombay High Court [Aurangabad Bench]. Later, MHRD has filed Transfer Petition before the Hon’ble Supreme Court seeking to transfer all the matters relating to the Regulations to Supreme Court, which is also pending.

In the recent amendment, UGC has enlarged the scope of Regulation 12, which relates to Off Campus Centres of Deemed Universities established and managed by Government. Originally as the Regulations stood, there was no restriction placed on the number of Off-Campus, being run by a Deemed University. Later by amendment in 2014, UGC had restricted the expansion of the DUs to limit the number of Off Campus Centre to maximum of Six Off Campuses beyond its geographical boundaries. However, by the amendment notified in 2016, UGC has removed the numerical restriction for Deemed Universities established and managed by Government.

Second amendment relates to appointment of Vice Chancellor, by which UGC has wisely undone the previous amendment and restored the original position. By the amendment in the year 2014, UGC had completely done away with the procedure prescribed in the earlier Regulations and prescribed that the process of selection of Vice Chancellor shall be in accordance with the UGC Minimum Qualification for Appointment of Teachers and Other Academic Staff Regulations, 2010. However, it has now taken a u-turn and restored the original position to specify that Chancellor shall make the appointment of Vice Chancellor from the 3 names recommended by the Selection Committee.

It further proceeds to prescribe different composition of Selection Committee for Institutions being completely funded by Central / State Government, being funded more than or equal to 50 % or being funded less than 50 % by providing nominees of MHRD / UGC, as the case may be.

EduLegaL View

It is a known fact that the removal of restriction as regards Off Campus Centre for Government Universities was mainly to accommodate several Government Deemed Universities, which were running illegal / unauthorized campuses.

Under our Constitution, discrimination is permitted, but then the grounds for discrimination has to be “reasonable”. I do not see any reasonability in discriminating against the private Deemed Universities and not allowing them to expand as much as Government Deemed Universities. The occasion and cause for amendment is also suspicious obviously to legalise the illegality by Government machinery.

UGC cannot also loose sight of the fact that the UGC Deemed Universities Regulations, 2010 has been declared unconstitutional and invalid by Hon’ble Karnataka High Court, while deciding bunch of Petitions filed by several Deemed Universities. Similarly there is STATUS QUO as respect the said Regulations in favour of several Deemed Universities by order of Hon’ble Madras High Court.

 The Argument can continue !

Ravi Bhardwaj | mail@edulegal.in

Making Energy Audit mandatory for Educational Institutions

Energy Audit

 

Our country has been experiencing remarkable growth, both industrial and intellectual in last decade.  We all agree to a fact that any growth should be sustainable and inclusive in nature. Obviously, when we talk of growth, the stimulus for growth also becomes an integral part of the discussion. “Energy” or “Power” undoubtedly is one of the most important stimulus for growth and rank par is “Education”, which is indication of Human Resource Index of the Country.

Having said that “sustainability” can ensure that growth story is more enjoyable in terms of impact and longevity. I feel that considering the depleting character of natural resources, sustenance in terms of “Energy” becomes very critical. More particularly in education sector, as usage and consumption of energy in educational institutions is quite high and more often than not, in an unorganized manner. My idea is not paint the educational institutions in bad colour but to project the true picture.

In present scenario the energy conservation plays an important role. It is because consumption of energy is increasing day by day and the generation is not matching with it. The energy conservation helps in reducing the energy consumption and provide the savings. By adopting proper measures energy awareness to make the people aware the importance of energy the required result can be achieved.

Since, the advent of accounting practices, we have been used to the term “Audit”, which is generally used to study the manner and pattern of expenditure and also to point out the gray areas and suggest reformative measures.

It happened so that I was researching for legal audit, which I was about to conduct for an educational institution and I came across this noble concept of “Energy Audit of Educational Institutions”. After reading through some articles on Internet / Journals, I found that “Energy Audit” is a wide spectrum of energy study, which ranges from identifying major energy problem areas to implications of alternative energy efficient measures. It involves analyzing the actual consumption of electrical energy and measures of energy conservation. Energy Audit helps to understand more about the ways energy and fuel are used in any industry and help in identifying the areas where waste can occur and where scope for improvement exists.

India with the second largest population in the world is now one of the fastest growing economies with a rapid growth in GDP. In the past few decades the need for trained people is rapidly increasing in the industrial and other fields to support our countries technological growth. This has lead to the establishment of more and more technological and educational institutions in India. India has a large number of Universities, colleges, and other institutions and the number is growing rapidly in the past few decades.

It is well known that educational institutions consume resources like water, electricity; forest product’s and generates wastes like many industries. Establishment and operating of Universities are not covered by any of the environmental laws in India. As a result, the importance of making the Universities operate with self consciousness in the utility of resources inside the campus is least understood.

The educational institutes have a responsibility to become a role model for the nation to save energy and promote optimization. They should also develop and promote indigenous technology. They support a large number of faculties and training facilities which can be a good platform to raise the awareness and promote energy saving. The government run educational institutes should be more responsible towards energy saving and its proper management as they are the hub of all researches and innovations.

An energy study review of various international and national educational institutions indicates that 5-20% of energy can be saved. Some of the Reports that I have perused, of Aligarh Muslim University, National Institute of Technology, National Institute of Technical Teachers Training, Chandigarh and National Institute of Technology, Kurushetra, really highlight of importance of Energy Audit in educational institutions. 

Business-Energy-Audit

These Reports have suggested several measures like increasing substation to reduce line losses, the conventional regulators to be replaced by power electronic regulators, Biogas can also be used for heating purpose in hostels and residences, Better ventilation in buildings will lead to greater cooling, Using of electric sensor doors and many more. These Reports really make an interesting reading and it is these Reports and literature available there, which has formed the content of this write up.

In India, it is not mandatory to perform energy auditing in educational institution as it is not in the list of designated (power) consumer. However, considering the importance of energy and its consumption in an educational institution, I wish to suggest that Energy Audit of Educational Institutions should be made mandatory.

To start, Audit can be made mandatory in all the Universities including Central University, State University and Deemed University, because the Universities have large cluster of students in particular students on residential campus, as Hostel Buildings are the main cause of energy wastage. Thereafter we can proceed to Residential Schools and Colleges.

 

Infact, “Energy Management and Conservation Practices”, should be made an important parameter while granting recognition to an Institution. I also suggest that “Energy Management and Conservation Practices”, should also be one of the parameters for the purpose assessing an educational institution for accreditation or ranking under National Assessment and Accreditation Council, National Board of Accreditation and National Institutional Ranking Framework.

 

Save Energy ! Save Life ! Green India !

Ravi Bhardwaj | Founder and Principal Consultant | EduLegaL

mail@edulegal.in

UGC snubs MHRD by re-imposing ban on technical distance education degrees

UGC2

UGC has undone a great policy initiative taken by MHRD to recognize technical education obtained distance education by re-imposing the ban on such degrees and has cautioned by way of Public Notice that no institution is permitted to offer Diploma, Bachelor or Masters level programme under ODL mode in Engineering and Technology.

In a big departure from its earlier stand, the Centre has notified in July 25, 2015 Notification that degrees, diplomas and certificates granted by universities through open and distance-learning mode of education for programmes including technical education would now be considered valid for Government Employment.

MHRD

The path breaking approach of MHRD was consistent with recommendation of Madhav Menon Committee, which had advocated that recognition of technical education qualification from distance education mode is consistent with National Policy of Education and should be allowed by using Study Learning Material for theory component, face-to-face / e-learning for interaction and compulsory practical component for development of requisite skill. Regular face-to-face counselling sessions during weekends should be used for clarification and removal of doubts. Laboratory experiments could be conducted in AICTE recognized colleges taking into account the physical infrastructure and human resource required for the purpose.

DEB

Now the present notice issued by UGC, which has come as a big shock, ignores not only the recommendation of the Madhav Menon Committee but also the Notification issued by MHRD and is actually repetitive of the earlier approach of UGC and AICTE, which has always followed a policy of not approving B.Tech, M.Tech, courses in distance mode, but have only recognising MBA / MCA Qualifications from Distance Education Mode.

UGC has turned the tide termed offering such courses by Institutions to be “misleading” and in “gross violation” of the policy regarding offering programmes in Open and Distance Learning Mode. It also clarified that it has not recognized any Institution to offer distance Programme in technical education and such qualification, acquired by a student shall not be eligible for employment in Government Services or for pursuing higher studies.

The proposed Distance Education Council Bill, 2014 also makes provisions for technical education within the scope of Distance Education and the proposed Council has representations from AICTE and other technical / professional regulators.

EduLegaL View

Higher Education in our country has experienced substantial growth however has failed to scale upto the required strengths more so because it is highly dependent on conventional education, which is highly capital-intensive.

The need of the hour is to develop an alternative mode of education to supplement the conventional education system, through policy initiatives to facilitate the expansion of higher education sector for the fulfillment of aspirations of those who are deprived of pursuing it for whatever reason and recognising the qualifications earned through distance education for employability is certainly one of such policy initiatives.

UGC’s Notice is a step backwards and works against the aspirations.

But the larger picture is, WHAT IS A CONFUSION BETWEEN TWO APEX AGENCIES, MHRD and UGC ?

Supreme Court disallows revealing the name of examiner of answer sheets, says will create confusion, and unrest

supremecourt

The Apex while over-ruling a judgement of Kerala High Court has held that names of examiners of answer sheet cannot be disclosed under Right to Information Act, 2005.

Supreme Court was examining the issue,  whether  a student / candidate is entitled not only to get information with regard to the scan copies of his answer sheet, tabulation-sheet containing interview marks but is also entitled to know the names of the examiners who have evaluated the answer sheet.

Before dealing elaborately into the aspect of disclosure of name of examiner, the Court upheld that supply of scanned copies of answer-sheet of the written test, copy of the tabulation sheet and other information are rights of a candidate and should be provided by the public authority, as this will ensure a fair play in this competitive environment, where candidate puts his time in preparing for the competitive exams

However, Supreme Court did not concur with the findings of the High Court that an examining body is also bound to disclose the name of the examiner. The Supreme Court felt that disclosure of the identity of Examiners is in the least interest of the general public and also any attempt to reveal the examiner’s identity will give rise to dire consequences and will lead confusion and public unrest.

The Supreme Court, while concluding the judgement, observed as follows:

“The Commission has reposed trust on the examiners that they will check the exam papers with utmost care, honesty and impartially and, similarly, the Examiners have faith that 7 they will not be facing any unfortunate consequences for doing their job properly. If we allow disclosing name of the examiners in every exam, the unsuccessful candidates may try to take revenge from the examiners for doing their job properly. This may, further, create a situation where the potential candidates in the next similar exam, especially in the same state or in the same level will try to contact the disclosed examiners for any potential gain by illegal means in the potential exam.”

Supreme relied on principle of fiduciary relationship and held that relationship between the between the examining body and the examiner is fiduciary in nature which required to be protected and therefore any information shared between them is not liable to be disclosed.

EduLegaL View:

I agree with the Judgement of Supreme Court and at the same time I also feel that the fundamental right to transparency should not aim to make everything so transparent that it endangers the fundamental right of some other person. Every fundamental right has reasonable restriction and cannot be absolute.

It is of utmost importance that name of examiner is not disclosed, so that he exercises his competency in fearless atmosphere. In any case, the fact that an answer sheet is available to a student, he can always seek correction in his answer on sound principles without knowing the name of the examiner.

Good ! Great !

Ravi Bhardwaj | mail@edulegal.in

AICTE lays down Study Leave Guidelines for Teachers

AICTE has laid down comprehensive guidelines for availing Study Leave for the Teachers and other Academic Staff in Institutions approved by AICTE, who have joined the teaching services without without M. Tech./ Ph. D or other higher qualification.

The Guidelines prescribe that Study leave may be granted to pursue for study (M.E./M. Tech./ Ph. D) or research in the relevant discipline after a minimum of three years in regular service including the probation period. Study Leave keeping in mind the availability of teachers in the discipline and the vacant positions so that the regular academic work is not disturbed while granting study leave. Study leave shall be granted by the Institution on the recommendation of the concerned Head of the Department.

The paid period of study leave should be two/three years for Master/ Doctorial level respectively. Two years may be given in the first instance, extendable by one more year for Ph. D program. Any extension beyond the stipulated period shall be treated as leave without Pay.

However, such benefit can be availed only once during the entire service and will not be available to a teacher who is due to retire within five years of the date on which he/she is expected to return to duty. Study leave granted to a teacher shall be deemed to be cancelled in case it is not availed of within 12 months of its sanction. Provided that where study leave granted has been so cancelled, the teacher may apply again for such leave.

A teacher availing Study Leave shall continue to receive scholarship, fellowship or other financial assistance, in addition to the Salary being received by him at his home Institution. However, in the case of an Indian fellowship, which exceeds the salary of the teacher, the salary would be forfeited.

Study leave may be combined with earned leave, half-Pay leave, extraordinary leave or vacation, provided that the earned leave at the credit of the teacher shall be availed at the discretion of the teacher.

Another salient feature of the Scheme is that a teacher, who is selected to a higher post during study leave, will be placed in that position and get the higher scale only after joining the post and shall on his/her return and re-joining the service of the Institute be eligible to the benefit(s) of the annual increment(s) which he/she would have earned in the course of time if he/she had not proceeded on study leave. No teacher shall however, be eligible to receive arrears of increments.

Study leave shall count as service for pension/contributory provident fund purposes, provided the teacher joins back in the Institute on the expiry of his/her study leave.

After the leave has been sanctioned, the teacher shall execute a bond that he/she shall serve the Institute for a continuous period of at least three years to be calculated from the date of his/her resuming duty on expiry of the study leave. If the Faculty, fails to observe the conditions, amount paid to him might become refundable to the Institute

The teacher shall submit to the Head of the Institution, the progress report at a frequent interval of 6 months in his/her studies through his/her supervisor. This report shall reach the Head of the Institution of within one month of the expiry of every six months term of the study leave. If the report does not reach within the specified time, the payment of leave salary may be deferred till the receipt of such report.

EduLegaL View

The purpose of study leave is to enable a Faculty to pursue a course or to undertake research, which would improve his potential to serve the Institution and the Students. In that light, this is really a welcome move and will help streamline that process.

But there are few practical issues, How many of the Institutions, do actually follow this and How many of the teachers, do actually return to the Institutions, which granted the Study Leave. The answer is “very few”, which demoralizes such liberal policies.

Let us see, how this New Policy, takes effect !

Ravi Bhardwaj | mail@edulegal.in

AICTE notifies series of reforms, recognises shortage of qualified faculty, allows relaxing PH.D. Criteria, recognises inter-disciplinary learning, and much more …

AICTE had in the year 2010 notified Regulations relating to Pay Scales, Service Conditions and Qualifications for the Teachers in Technical Institutions. In the year 2012, it had also passed Regulations for Career Advancement Scheme for the Teachers and other Academic Staff in Technical Institutions.

However, several issues were raised out of the implementation of these Regulations and Institutions made representations to AICTE, which prompted AICTE to reform the existing Regulations and clarify some issues.

  • Recognising the importance of inter-disciplinary learning, it has clarified that Ph.D acquired from inter- disciplinary Centres/ Departments in relevant area in relevant discipline in which faculty has acquired BE/ B. Tech. and ME/ M. Tech. Degree can be considered by the Institutions.
  • Realising the shortage of competent and qualified faculty, in filed of Pharmacy, it has clarified that qualification of M. Pharm (Quality Assurance) to the post of Lecturer/Asst. Professor in Pharmacology can be considered by the Institution. Similarly, in field of Hotel Management and Catering Technology, it has allowed the Institutions to consider relaxing Ph.D qualification in HMCT Programme due to scarcity of Masters/ Ph.D degree personnel in HMCT.
  • The qualification of Ph.D acquired for the various level of posts directly after B.E/B.Tech. awarded by a University following the process of registration, course work and evaluation etc. as prescribed by UGC or awarded by the Institutes of national importance (i.e. IITs/IISc/ NITs etc.), duly recognized by the MHRD can also be considered for the appointment of faculty/Principal/ Director in Technical Institutions, provided the candidate should have obtained at least first class at Bachelor’s level in Engineering /Technology.
  • MS degree acquired from NIT, IIT and IISC Bangalore etc., can be considered equivalent to ME/ M. Tech., for appointment as Asst. Professor in Engineering disciplines, provided MS degree has been acquired from the Institutes of national importance as recognised by MHRD and the basic degree should be BE/B. Tech. in relevant branch and in case if awarded by an accredited foreign Universities/ Institutions shall be considered provided that the equivalency of MS degree has been approved by AIU.
  • Recognised integrated B.E/B.Tech. Degree, Integrated B/E./B.Tech.-MBA and Integrated B.E./B.Tech.-M.Tech., and Dual Degrees awarded shall be recognised for direct recruitment & promotion of faculty under CAS.
  • It has also laid down guidelines for considering Industrial experience for appointment of faculty. Though it say that working experience in public sector undertaking is preferred, however it clarifies that work experience in private sector can also be considered provided the Industry has a successful continuous standing of at least 10 years. The area of operation of Industry shall be related to the relevant field of discipline. 50% of the total service rendered in industries shall be considered as an equivalent to teaching experience provided total experience is at least 10 years and above.
  • Academic performance index (API) requirement of teachers appointed in Regulatory/ Advisory bodies & Funding Agencies of State/ Central Govt. on deputation/ Lien/Foreign service shall be relaxed and the ACR/self appraisal performance report shall be taken as equivalent to API, provided the candidate has scored at least “Very Good” and above rating in the ACR.

EduLegaL View:

It is good to see that the Regulators have touched the reality and have realized that there is shortage of faculty, according to the qualifications, which have been prescribed by them. This was long awaited measure. Infact this seems to a parallel of acclaimed “economic liberalisation” to “educational liberalisation”.

Ravi Bhardwaj | mail@edulegal.in