University Grants Commission Ordered To Crack Down On Unspecified Degrees

The petitioner had claimed in his plea that there was inaction by the UGC with respect to universities and colleges providing unspecified degrees.

New Delhi: 

Taking a strong view of “unspecified degrees” by colleges, the Delhi Hight Court has directed the University Grants Commission (UGC) to intervene in the matter. The case was heard by a bench headed by Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma. A public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in the high court had sought directions from the court and it said the purpose of UGC-approved degree specifications was to maintain educational uniformity. The UGC has various functions including setting and upholding teaching, examination and research standards, monitoring developments in college and university education, and allocating grants to educational institutions.

The court acknowledged the UGC’s jurisdiction to take the required measures with regard to degrees that aren’t stated and highlighted that universities that provide “unspecified degrees” are susceptible to sanctions under the UGC Act.

The court made it clear that the objective of periodically posting degree requirements approved by the UGC on its website is to ensure that students enrolling in universities and colleges are aware that degrees from unidentified programmes will not be acknowledged by the governing body. Rahul Mahajan, who filed the PIL, claimed that the UGC was acting ineffectively and drew attention to its inconsistent rules. He alleged that students were receiving degrees that were not recognised by the UGC, resulting in a waste of time, resources and effort.

In addition, the court also said the UGC had a duty under the law to supervise scholarly activity at universities.The court affirmed the UGC’s competence to take appropriate action against universities and colleges offering unspecified degrees, emphasising that such institutions are subject to penalties under Section 24 of the UGC Act, 1956.

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