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Universities needn’t follow state government diktat in granting affiliations: Kerala High Court

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The Times of India | Mahir Haneef | TNN | May 17, 2017 |

KOCHI: A university granting affiliation for engineering or medical colleges should consider the application independently even if the state government is against granting affiliation, says the Kerala High Court.  The decision by a single bench was after considering a total of 15 petitions filed by self-financing colleges challenging the insistence of universities to produce No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the state government for considering applications for granting affiliations. A petition (WP-C No. 1758/2017) filed by the executive director of Vidya International Charitable Trust based at Thalakkottukara in Thrissur was considered as the lead case by the court. Referring to a Supreme Court decision of 2000, the court said state government’s approval was not required for a university to grant affiliation if the statute does not mandate it. The case referred to by the court was Jayagokul Educational Trust vs. Commissioner and Secretary to Govt Higher Education Department. The court pointed out that neither APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University (KTU) nor Kerala University of Health and Allied Sciences (KUHAS) are required to insist for the government’s NOC as per the statutes governing them.

However, lack of provisions in the relevant statutes does not mean that the universities cannot obtain the views of the government, the court said. “Even if the views of the Government are to the contrary, the University will be obligated to consider the application without being manacled by such views and without being completely confined by it. It will have to make an independent evaluation of all the circumstances by taking into account all relevant factors as are involved, one of which may be the views of the Government of Kerala. It is so ordered in all these cases,” the judgment stated. The university is obligated to consider application for affiliation independently and without being bound by the dictates of the government, the court held. – Courtesy

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