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University Grants Commission (UGC) order Challenged

University Grants Commission (UGC) order Challenged

It exempts those with M.Phil, Ph.D. from clearing National Eligibility test

Chennai: The validity or a June 2006 order of the University Grants Commission (UGC), exempting M.Phil and Ph.D. degree holders from clearing the National Eligibility Test (NET) for appointment as college lecturers, has been challenged in the Madras High Court.

Justice Prabha Sridevan, before whom the writ petition field by K. Sathyamurthi of Chennai came up for hearing, asked UGC counsel to obtain a reply September 25.

The Petitioner said in 1991 the UGC laid down a rule that persons applying for lecturer posts must possess a postgraduate degree in the subject and have cleared the NET. Though upheld by the Supreme Court, the UGC amended the rule later, exempting those who had M.Phil and those who had submitted their Ph.D. thesis by December 31, 1993, from clearing the NET.

Two amendments

By two subsequent amendments, the UGC said those who possessed Ph.D. up to April 2002 would be eligible for lecturer post even without the NET qualification. On June 14, 2006, it passed the impugned order to the effect that the NET qualification would be a compulsory requirement only for those who have just a post graduate degree. Candidates with a Ph.D. were exempted from the NET requirement for teaching at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. The M.Phil holders would be eligible to take UG classes.

Challenging the order, the petitioner said it had been issued ignoring the fact that thousands of NET-qualified persons remained jobless.

The object of the regulation had not become unnecessary, warranting a dilution.

The NET was a tough test, he said, adding that the success percentage was only about 5. Still, thousands had cleared the test and were waiting appointment in college and universities.

Terming the amended regulation "illegal and unjustified," he said it had been introduced on the basis of a report, which was nothing but a "self-serving document without any scientific basis".

University Grants Commission (UGC) order Challenged

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