HC quashes JNU students’ plea against MPhil, PhD ‘seat cut’
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HC quashes JNU students’ plea against MPhil, PhD ‘seat cut’

cities Updated: Mar 22, 2017 12:14 IST

New Delhi

The Delhi High Court on Thursday dismissed pleas filed by JNU students against the procedure followed by the university while adopting a UGC’s notification capping number of students a professor can guide.

Justice VK Rao accepted Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta’s submission that UGC’s regulations are binding on the university under the UGC Act 1956.

“The Academic Council and Executive Council are necessarily to adopt the regulations in the University Ordinance without any deviation,” the court said.

The July 5, 2016 notification had said a professor, at any given point of time, cannot guide more than three M Phil and eight PhD scholars.

JNU students has contended the notification will result in “excess seat cuts” leading to no admission in the MPhil, PhD programmes at several centres of the varsity. They were on a sit in protest at the administrative block, which they have named as ‘Freedom Square’.

The petitioners – both existing and prospective students, who had moved the high court, had agreed to take an undertaking that they are not challenging the UGC notification and restricting their case to “procedural lapses” on JNU’s part in adopting the notification.

Mehta had told the court the UGC regulations were “binding on the university”. He said 43 central universities were already abiding by the UGC’s notification.

The students’ counsel had çontended that the university did not include the students’ representative in the meetings held to discuss the implementation of the notification. The students’ petition had claims that the notification “threatens to put their future in jeopardy” as they would not be able to find a supervisor.

The students had sought that the issue of adoption of the notification be sent back to the academic council of the varsity for urgent reconsideration.

Earlier, another bench of the high court had directed that peaceful protests in the university should be held but not within 100 metres of the administrative block.

The court had also directed the city police to ensure that the Vice Chancellor of JNU and other officials are not stopped from entering or exiting the varsity’s administrative block by students protesting against a 2016 UGC notification, which changes the admission policy of the university.

The court had ordered the Delhi Police to ensure compliance of the two directions by use of its officers, if necessary.

The court, however, directed the police to sensitise its officers about the manner in which they have to deal with the students if there is any untoward incident.

First Published: Mar 22, 2017 09:54 IST