Delhi High Court Asks UGC To Take Action Against Colleges Offering Unspecified Degrees
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the University Grants Commission (UGC) to take necessary action against the varsities and colleges offering unspecified degrees and ensure compliance of law including penal provisions on the issue.A division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula observed that the purpose of providing specification of degrees approved...
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the University Grants Commission (UGC) to take necessary action against the varsities and colleges offering unspecified degrees and ensure compliance of law including penal provisions on the issue.
A division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula observed that the purpose of providing specification of degrees approved by UGC is to maintain uniformity in the standards of education.
The court said that the degrees of students who are studying unspecified degree courses would render such “unspecified degrees” unrecognised by the UGC.
Furthermore, the bench said that the UGC is competent within its powers to take appropriate action against those universities and colleges which are offering unspecified degrees, adding that such institutions are liable for penalty under Section 24 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956.
The court made the observations while disposing of a public interest litigation filed by one Rahul Mahajan against the failure of UGC to take action against institutions providing unspecified courses to students.
Mahajan submitted that there is lack of effective implementation of the rules and regulations on the issue in hand by UGC.
He thus sought an independent committee of retired judges to inquire into and fix accountability into the “systemic failure” resulting in large scale conferment of unspecified degrees.
The bench noted the UGC’s stand that any violation of law and its directions by the universities or colleges offering degrees not specified would render such unspecified degrees as unrecognised by the statutory body.
“In view of the above, no order is required to be passed in the present writ petition. However, UGC is directed to take appropriate necessary actions to ensure compliance of the provisions of the UGC Act, 1956,” the court said.
The bench observed that UGC is taking all necessary measures to ensure strict compliance of the UGC Act, 1956, with regard to specification of degree.
“The Act was enacted to make provisions for the coordination and determination of standards in universities. The UGC under the Act has been entrusted with the duty to take such steps as it may deem fit for the promotion and co-ordination of the university education and for the determination and maintenance of standards of teaching, examination and research in universities,” the court said.
Advocate Vikram Singh Kushwaha appeared for the petitioner.
Advocates Manoj Ranjan Sinha and Deepak Sain appeared for the respondents.
Case Title: RAHUL MAHAJAN v. MINISTRY OF EDUCATION & ORS.
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Del) 904