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Gujarat High Court upholds government decision on eligibility of lecturers

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The Times of India | TNN | May 11, 2016 |

Ahmedabad: Gujarat high court has upheld the decision taken by commissioner of higher education that candidates for the post of assistant lecturer or professor must possess degrees in undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the same subject and in the same stream.  For example, a person who changed stream from BCom degree with Economics to MA degree in Economics will not be eligible, even with the same subject in graduation and post graduation, to become a teacher in grant-in-aid colleges in the state. Similarly, a person who has done BCom in Economics, but MCom in some other subject will not have eligibility. The candidates, whose candidature for the post of assistant lecturer was rejected last year, had questioned the decision on the ground that the University Grants Commission (UGC) provided for the criteria of 55% in PG with a PhD or NET/SLET. There is no mention of having studied the same subject in the same stream. They had applied for 496 vacant posts of assistant professors in the state.

Upholding the decision by the commissioner of higher education, the HC said, “The government owes a duty to see that the quality of higher education is maintained. It has, therefore, every authority to prescribe conditions of eligibility for appointments on the posts in question.” The HC further noted that the UGC has clarified that the relevance of subject or interdisciplinary nature of subject should be decided by the appointing authority with help of subject experts. The HC said that the committee set up by the commissioner was empowered to deal with this matter.  Turning down petitions filed by various candidates, who had applied for the post of assistant lecturers in grant-in-aid colleges, Justice J B Pardiwala said that the authority’s decision is to maintain the quality of higher education is proper and it does not require any interference on part of the court.  The court also upheld the validity of the decision even though it has not been done through a government resolution. In order to ensure quality of higher education in the state’s grant-in-aid colleges, the commissioner of higher education had decided that to teach a subject at college level, the teacher must have graduation and postgraduation in the same subject and the same stream. This led to rejection of a number of applicants for posts of assistant lecturers, who, disgruntled by the state government’s decision had moved the HC. – Courtesy


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