The Delhi High Court has sought response of the University Grants Commission (UGC) on a PIL challenging its regulations regarding award of MPhil and PhD degrees and appointment of teaching staff. A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal issued notice to the UGC and sought its stand on the issues raised in the petition which claims the regulations would adversely affect those teaching in ad-hoc capacity in colleges and varsities across the country.
According to the petitioner NGO, 50 per cent of the teaching strength of the Delhi University is of ad-hoc teachers. The plea claims that under the 2016 regulations, PhD and MPhil degree holders who were earlier exempted from the National Eligibility Test (NET) for appointment as teaching staff, have been made ineligible to continue where they work in ad-hoc capacity as the exam is a requirement for appointment now.
The NGO, Forum of Indian Legists, has also claimed that those who got PhD degrees prior to 2009 and with several years of experience have also been made ineligible due to the new regulations.
The petition also challenges the minimum standards and procedure for award of PhD and MPhil degrees set out in the 2016 regulations, saying under it scholars have to publish one article based on their research in a refereed journal a list of which was only released after January 2017.
“Due to this all MPhil dissertation and PhD thesis submitted between July 2009 and January 2017 in any university and any degree awarded thereon have become invalid,” the petition has alleged.
The court has listed the matter for further hearing on July 19.