UGC can change criteria after exams: Supreme Court
New Delhi, September 22
The Supreme Court ruled that the University Grants Commission (UGC) had the power to fix the final qualifying criteria for the recruitment of teachers and other academic staff in universities and colleges from among the candidates who had obtained the minimum marks in all the papers in the National Eligibility Test (NET).
A Bench comprising Justices KS Radhakrishnan and AK Sikri pointed that UGC, exercising its powers under Section 26(1) of the UGC Act, had issued in 2010 regulations on recruitments of Assistant Professors for maintaining a proper standard in higher education.
“The power of the UGC to prescribe, as it thinks fit, the qualifying criteria for maintenance of standards of teaching, examination etc cannot be disputed,” the SC ruled.
As many as 2,04,150 candidates had obtained the minimum marks in all the three papers in the 2012 NET, of whom 43,974 were declared qualified for lectureship eligibility as per the qualifying criteria. UGC gave some further relaxation on September 18, 2012 and as a result a total of 57,550 candidates were declared successful in the NET Exam 2012.
“We are of the considered view that the candidates were not misled in any manner. Much emphasis has been made on the words ‘clearing the NET.’ Clearing means clearing the final results, not merely passing in Paper I, II and II which is only the initial step, not final,” the SC said.
The UGC had only implemented the opinion of experts by laying down the qualifying criteria “which cannot be considered as arbitrary, illegal or discriminatory or violative of Article 14 of the Constitution,” it ruled.