The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) today told the Delhi High Court that the UGC notification setting a limit of eight students per professor for M.Phil and PhD courses, was binding on all varsities in the country.
“The said notification is binding and is mandatory in nature and is to be followed by all the Universities (Central, State and Deemed Universities) including JNU,” Justice V Rao was informed.
The court was also told that it was obligatory for JNU to apply the notification.
“It is not the discretion of any university to apply or reject the notification,” Centre’s standing counsel Monika Arora, appearing for JNU, said.
She further said there were over 40 universities and all of them have adopted it.
JNU students have been protesting the UGC notification since February 9 and allegedly blockading the administrative block of the varsity.
Senior advocate Arvind Nigam, appearing for the students, said he did not doubt the validity of the University Grants Commission’s (UGC) notification and was only challenging the procedure of JNU in adopting it.
Taking note of this, the judge said it means the students are not challenging the May 5, 2016 notification of UGC, which allegedly “threatens to put their future in jeopardy as they would not be able to find a supervisor”.
Nigam agreed and said, “I am only questioning procedure of adoption by JNU.”
However, the counsel for UGC raised objection over the maintainability of the petitions.
The petitioners have contended that the notification not only affected the existing students, but would also result in fewer admissions in the current academic session, “thereby violating constitutionally mandated reservation norms”.
JNU, in its affidavit, has stated that the adoption of the notification was in “accordance with the provisions of the JNU Act, Statutes and Policies”.
“Due process has been followed in adoption of the Regulation through its statutory bodies. It is reiterated that New Admission Policy 2016 is in accordance with the reservation policy of the Government of India and therefore any apprehension in this regard are misplaced. Existing JNU students will not be affected by the New Admission policy,” the affidavit stated.
The court fixed the matter for further hearing on March 7.
( Source – PTI )