Thursday, 10 January 2013

UGC plea against verdict on NET criteria

KOCHI, January 10, 2013: The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Wednesday filed an appeal in the Kerala High Court against a single judge’s verdict quashing the new qualifying criteria prescribed by the UGC in the National Eligibility Test (NET) for lectureships.
The single judge had held that the UGC regulations did not confer any right on the UGC to fix high marks after holding the NET. Nor such criteria could be introduced through regulation just before the announcement of the results by executive orders. The introduction of the new criteria was not supported by the law. As per the new criteria, candidates in the general category who had scored an aggregate of 65 per cent for all three papers would be eligible for lectureship while OBC candidates need 60 per cent and the marks for candidates in the SC/ST category was 55 per cent.
The single judge had also declared that the petitioners who had obtained separate minimum marks prescribed in the UGC notification had cleared the NET. The court had ordered that they should be given the necessary certificates in a month.
In its appeal, the UGC contended that the High Court had no right to make a declaration regarding the result of a test. It had been clearly stated in the original notification that candidates should obtain minimum required marks in each paper separately. It had also been said that the qualifying criteria for Junior Research Fellowship and eligibility for lectureship would be decided by the UGC before declaration of results. It was the moderation committee appointed by the UGC and consisting of senior academicians which had recommended that the general, OBC (non-creamy layer) and SC/ST candidates would be required to obtain an aggregate percentage of 65, 60 and 55 respectively in addition to the paper-wise minimum percentage as qualifying criteria. The notification had clearly said that the final cut-off marks shall be decided by the Commission before declaration of results. The single judge’s ruling would lower the standard of education, the UGC said.

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