PhD a requisite for senate polls
Having a PhD will continue to be a requisite qualification for lecturers to contest university senate elections.mumbai Updated: Oct 07, 2010 01:50 IST
Having a PhD will continue to be a requisite qualification for lecturers to contest university senate elections. The Bombay High Court, on Wednesday, dismissed a petition challenging the constitutional validity of the newly added section to the Maharashtra Universities Act, 1994, which made the degree compulsory.
“The state wants to encourage more and more teachers to acquire Ph.D. degrees,” said the bench comprising Justice DK Deshmukh and Justice ND Deshpande, while dismissing a petition filed by Pune-based lecturer Bhausaheb Bendre.
Counsel for the petitioner, Venkatesh Shastry, said the state had prescribed an unreasonable qualification as a precondition for contesting senate elections, because of which several ordinary teachers would be unable to represent their fraternity in the senate.
Shastry pointed out that apart from a Ph.D. degree, several other requirements like having five years experience as a paper setter and a moderator at the university level have also been introduced.
According to him, these requirements will further reduce the opportunities for teachers to contest elections.
Government pleader, SR Nargolkar, pointed out that the qualifications were relevant and had a direct nexus with the work of senate members.
Also, the University of Mumbai has started issuing election notifications for the various constituencies of these governing bodies according to the new norms. The new rules were put in place in September 2009, to improve the quality of these bodies such as the senate, management and academic councils.
“We have issued the notification as per provisions in the Maharashtra Universities Act, 1994,” said Rajan Welukar, vice chancellor, Mumbai University.
Last month, former senate members of Mumbai University had met the Chief Minister and the Governor to ask them to revoke the changes. Even the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, which had moved court challenging the new criterion for graduates, has lost the case.