The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday held that the B Ed degree awarded by the Rabindra Bharati University (RBU) during the period 1996 to 2000 was not valid.
Delivering the order,Justice Tapan Kumar Dutt directed the Rabindra Bharati University to pay Rs 5,000 as compensation within 12 weeks to students who had obtained B Ed degree from the university during that period.
The HC also directed the university to return the course fees collected from the B Ed students. About 600 students who had obtained B Ed degree will be affected by the high court order.
The order came on a petition filed by Durba Sanyal Bhattacharya,a school teacher,who had challenged the decision of the School Service Commission (SSC),which did not allow her to appear in the examination in March 2008 for the post of headmistress for a secondary school in the state. The SSC had said the B Ed degree obtained from the Rabindara Bharati University was not valid.
In its submission in the HC,the SSC said the Rabindra Bharati University had conducted the B Ed course without obtaining mandatory recognition from National Council of Teacher Education (NCTE) during the period 1996 to 2000.
Durba had joined Sahanagar Girls School in 1995 as a teacher. She enrolled in B Ed course in Rabindra Bharati University in 1998-99 and passed out in 1999. Following the completion of the B Ed course,the education department had also given her financial benefit like annual increment. In 2008,Durba applied for the post of headmistress in the secondary school,but the SSC rejected her application saying her B Ed degree was not valid. She then moved the high court.
On Wednesday,Justice Tapan Kuamr Dutt ruled that Rabindra Bharati University had conducted the B Ed course without obtaining mandatory sanction from the NCTE.
The students should be careful before taking admission in the institution for such a course Justice Dutt said. They should enquire about the recognition of the course by the competent authorities,he said. Justice Dutt also stayed the order for four weeks for filing an appeal in the higher court.