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UGC rules not binding on unaided varsities, rules H

March 24, 2019 06:56 AM


UGC rules not binding on unaided varsities, rules HC


The Punjab and Haryana high court has clarified that the University Grant Commission (UGC) regulations are not mandatory for unaided and self-financed varsities. For these institutions, the UGC regulations are directory in nature, it added.

Justice Jaswant Singh of the high court also said that additional conditions other than those prescribed under the UGC regulations can always be imposed by such unaided and self-financed universities. The high court also dismissed a petition filed by Jyoti Rani, in which she had challenged the June 7, 2018 decision taken by the Patiala-based Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology (TIET)’s board of governors to discharge her from the post of assistant professor (food science & technology). TIET, Patiala is a deemed university.

‘Petitioner was removed on basis of quarterly appraisal’

The post was advertised in April 2015 and filled through a three-tier selection process. The petitioner, Jyoti Rani, was selected and issued an appointment letter on July 11, 2015 in which it was mentioned that she would be on probation for a period of two years, which may be extended.

The petitioner joined the university on July 27, 2015. Her two-year period of probation was extended by a year. However, during the extended period of probation, in June last year, she was ordered to be discharged from service. Challenging her removal, the petitioner argued before the high court that according to the UGC regulations, the maximum period of probation for employees appointed to permanent posts is two years.

The university, however, contended that the petitioner was removed on the basis of her quarterly appraisal report. The Patiala-based varsity also submitted that the extension of probation by one year was an opportunity granted to the petitioner to show improvement.

Hearing all the parties, the high court observed that the issue hinges on the question whether the “UGC Regulations 2010” are applicable to the petitioner and whether they prevail over and above the regulations prescribed by TIET, Patiala, an unaided and self-financed deemed university getting no grant in aids from the UGC. The petitioner relied on the “UGC Regulations 2010” and argued that these regulations are mandatory for compliance by the respondent university and the probation clause could not be in derogation of the UGC probation regulations.

However, the high court was of the view that the UGC regulations entail withholding of grants to the university to be made from the UGC funds in case of non-compliance of rules by the institutes. However, TIET, Thapar is an unaided/self-financed ‘Deemed to be University’ and is not receiving any ‘Grant in Aid Funds’ either from UGC, Government of India or the Government of Punjab. The UGC has no power to frame regulations regarding the conditions of service of employees of such universities and the “UGC Regulations 2010” would not be mandatory for such institutes,” held the high court

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