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JNU admissions: MPhil, PhD rules don’t follow 2016 UGC notification, HC told

Arguing on behalf of Jawaharlal Nehru University, additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta said the 2016 UGC notification is binding on the varsity. Contrary to UGC rules which mandate 100 per cent weightage to viva-voce, JNU gives 80 per cent to entrance test and 20 per cent to viva voce.

delhi Updated: Mar 08, 2017 11:20 IST
Soibam Rocky Singh
Soibam Rocky Singh
Hindustan Times
JNU admissions,JNU,JNU MPhil
JNU students protest against the inability of Delhi Police and the JNU administration to locate Najeeb Ahmed at Admin block in JNU campus, in New Delhi, India, on Tuesday, December 13, 2016. (Photo by Sanjeev Verma/ Hindustan Times)(Sanjeev Verma/HT Photo)

Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) found itself in a spot before the Delhi High Court on Tuesday after its own lawyer took a different stand contrary to what the University had submitted in writing in connection with the implementation of a controversial 2016 UGC notification.

Additional solicitor general (ASG) Tushar Mehta, appearing for JNU, argued that the University Grant Commission’s notification — putting a cap on number of students a professor can provide guidance — was binding on the university and cannot deviate from it.

Read: JNU executive council okays UGC notification on interview

The UGC norms prescribe that 100 per cent weightage should be given to viva-voce for taking admissions in these courses. But JNU, in its affidavit, said the admission policy for MPhil and PhD programmes have a weightage of 80 per cent for entrance exam and 20 per cent for viva voce.

Justice VK Rao then said that what was argued in court by additional solicitor general Mehta “was not in consonance with what was filed in the affidavit”. He asked the additional solicitor general if the university had not deviated from the UGC’s norm by adopting an 80:20 criteria for the courses.

ASG Mehta responded that the vice chancellor had taken the decision “under duress” due to “hooliganism” of agitating students. Terming it as an “illegal decision” ASG Mehta said, “We could not have done that…We cannot tweak them (UGC norms)”.

The ASG further said that the process undertaken by the university to adopt the UGC’s notification was “an unnecessary exercise” as the university was bound by the notification. He said the notification was issued for maintaining minimum standards of education and ensuring varsities do not become “factories for mass production of degree holders”.

Read: Ramjas clashes: ABVP wary of JNU’s ‘leftist culture’ seeping into DU

Senior advocate Arvind Nigam, appearing for the students who have moved the court against the procedure followed by the university while adopting the UGC’s notification, said the varsity cannot jump position from its affidavit and asked whether the V-C had filed the document in court under duress.

Nigam sought that the issue of adoption of the UGC notification be sent back to the academic council for reconsideration.

The court noted that the petitioner have not challenged the UGC notification taking into consideration the written submission of the university. The court then reserved its judgment.


First Published: Mar 07, 2017 22:31 IST