New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the University Grants Commission (UGC) to take necessary action against universities and colleges which offer unspecified degrees and to ensure compliance with the law, including penal provisions.
A division bench headed by Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma said that specifying degrees approved by the UGC serves the purpose of maintaining uniformity in education standards.
The court said that students studying unspecified degree courses would find their degrees unrecognised by the UGC.
The bench, also comprising Justice Sanjeev Narula, noted that the UGC has the authority to take appropriate action against universities and colleges offering unspecified degrees, and such institutions are liable for penalties under Section 24 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by a person named Rahul Mahajan, who pointed out the UGC’s failure to take action against institutions providing unspecified courses to students.
Mahajan sought the formation of an independent committee of retired judges to investigate and hold those responsible accountable for the systemic failure resulting in the widespread conferment of unspecified degrees.
The bench noted the UGC’s stand that any violation of law and its directions by the universities or colleges offering degrees not specified would render such unspecified degrees as unrecognised by the statutory body.
“In view of the above, no order is required to be passed in the present writ petition. However, UGC is directed to take appropriate necessary actions to ensure compliance of the provisions of the UGC Act, 1956,” the court said.
The court acknowledged the UGC’s stand to enforcing the UGC Act, 1956, and ensuring compliance with degree specifications.