The Punjab and Haryana high court has asked the University Grants Commission (UGC) to explain the rationale behind not recognising distance education degrees acquired by students for which examinations were conducted at centres outside the territorial jurisdiction of universities.
The high court bench of justice Jaswant Singh also asked the UGC to submit particulars of a “conscious decision” taken regarding the ban on such examinations for degrees of recognised distance education courses.
The response was sought after the Punjab government didn’t consider around 1,000 teachers — who had completed degree courses from universities having examination centres outside their territorial jurisdiction — for promotion.
In July, the high court stayed 2,200 promotions, but allowed Punjab to elevate these teachers in August with a rider that these would be subject to the outcome of petitions pending on the issue, and also that the state would not issue more promotion orders against vacant posts in state schools.
The UGC has also been asked whether any condition debarring the conduct of examinations through centres outside the territorial jurisdiction of universities was incorporated at the time of recognition of the courses and also whether statutes of these universities debar examinations through such centres.
Teachers who were not considered for promotion had completed their degree courses from the Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla, Annamalai University and Madu Rai Kamraj University, Tamil Nadu.
Following a notice in July, the UGC had maintained that degrees from universities with examination centres outside their jurisdiction were illegal. However, the court rejected the argument stating it was for the first time on July 19, 2016, that the issue came to notice.
The case will come up for hearing on November 21.