UGC Pulled up by HC – Madras high court has pulled up the University Grants Commission (UGC) for failing to check irregularities committed by deemed universities which are offering unapproved courses. HC has directed the commission to take appropriate action against the Vinayaka Missions University for making M.Phil course available through distance education mode without necessary recognition.
Disposing of petitions from S. Sivan and 12 other teachers, Justice S.M. Subramaniam passes the order and said that the petitioners are not entitled for grant of any incentive increment for the qualification of M.Phil degree obtained by them from the Vinayaka Missions University, which has not got recognition by UGC Act and its regulations. Sivan is a BT assistant employed by state school education department. While on the job, in 2009, he completed his MPhil degree from Vinayaka Mission University and was receiving incentive increment from the UGC— an increment granted to teachers for acquiring higher educational qualification.
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Distressed Sivan approached the court and in his petitions he challenged the order of the department of school education, denying incentive increment to them. The government submitted that the MPhil obtained by him is invalid and therefore, he is not entitled to any incentive increment. Vinayaka Missions University was not authorized to conduct M.phil courses through distance education mode.
Justice Subramaniam said while recording the submissions that “This court is of an opinion that incentive increment is a concession granted to teaching staff in school education department to encourage the morale of the teachers. Such being the special nature of concession, the same is to be regulated in accordance with the terms and conditions of the orders in force.”
It is up to the UGC to initiate appropriate action since students from poor economic background are exploited, the court said, adding in the event of serious irregularities, the UGC is competent to initiate action, even to cancel the status of the university. Such actions, however, are rarely taken by the UGC for reasons not known to the court, the judge said. The university concerned must be held accountable by the authorities of UGC, the judge added.
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