Relief for students, court stays order backing UGC norms in JNU

educationIn a breather to JNU students, a division bench of the Delhi High Court Tuesday granted an interim stay against its earlier single judge order dismissing their petition contesting the University Grants Commission (UGC) gazette notification of May, 2016.

Justice V Kameswar Rao had said that the university was mandated to follow the UGC-framed regulations.
JNU students had filed an appeal against the decision. A division bench of acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra granted an interim stay. The bench passed the interim order as the findings of the single judge “would have wide ramifications” and the appellant students had “made out a prima facie case”. The matter has been posted for further hearing on April 28.

Counsel for JNU, additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta and advocate Monika Arora, argued that the notification was applicable to every university.

Counsel for the students, Arvind Nigam, argued in court that the students did not challenge the new rules but only its adoption and implementation. The students, in their appeal, had contended that the single judge had “erroneously granted complete supremacy to the applicability of the UGC Act”.
As per the UGC gazette, there should be a cap on the number of students a supervisor could guide, thereby leading to seat cuts. It also means that JNU’s existing rule — regarding 80 per cent weightage of marks being provided for written exam for MPhil/PhD admissions, 20 per cent for viva voice and the deprivation points it gives to students from backward classes — would have to be done away with.

The guidelines also mandated that marks secured in the written exam were only to qualify for viva-voice, and the marks secured in viva-voice had to be considered for final admission.
The JNU prospectus for the coming academic session has drastically cut down seats.

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