August 7, 2020 1:06:23 pm
The Punjab and Haryana High Court, while rapping Panjab University, has set aside the varsity’s order to refuse extension of its affiliation to DAV College in Sector 10, for its MBA management course.
The bench of Justice Arun Monga, while disposing of the matter, ordered that the competent authority of the university will constitute a fresh Inspection Committee strictly in accordance with the provisions of Regulation 4.7 of the UGC (Affiliation of Colleges by Universities) Regulations 2009, which should not include any person who has already expressed adverse opinion against the grant of initial affiliation or extension of affiliation for the petitioner’s (DAV Institute of Management) MBA programme, and on the consideration of inspection report of the newly-constituted Inspection Committee, the competent authority will take a fresh decision on the extension of the petitioner’s affiliation.
The HC bench ordered that till a fresh decision is taken by the competent authority of the university on extension of the DAV affiliation, the college’s affiliation for MBA programme will stand extended and the university is directed to let the petitioner submit ‘student return’ and complete the requirements for their registration with the university for the academic session, till its fresh decision on extension of the petitioner’s affiliation.
The DAV Institute of Management had approached the HC, pleading that it applied to the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) for approval to start the course of MBA governed by AICTE Regulations. Being satisfied with eligibility, suitability and other pre requisites, AICTE granted its approval to DAV on April 30, 2017 to conduct the course for academic year 2017-2018.
The AICTE approval was, however, subject to DAV, obtaining necessary affiliation from the concerned University as per the prescribed schedule of the University. Accordingly, petitioner then applied to the University for affiliation (temporary), which though was granted, but its continuation is now the very law suit herein, owing to alleged non-compliance of the contingent conditions/deficiencies pointed out by Inspection Committee.
Advocate Dr RD Anand, counsel for the DAV Institution submitted that the University had granted temporary affiliation for MBA course for the session 2017-18 following which the petitioner conducted admissions for the first semester of the MBA course and thereafter for next session 2018-19 on the basis of temporary affiliation. For continuance of temporary affiliation, another 6 member Inspection Committee of the University visited the Institute in October 2018, and committee submitted its report and pointed out certain deficiencies.
While later the University informed DAV that the Syndicate had resolved that DAV be asked to comply with the conditions already imposed, in order to consider the case for extension of affiliation for the session 2018-19. It has been argued that DAV institution submitted a point wise detailed compliance report, but the Syndicate meeting was not held in June due to vacations, and when the matter was not taken up by Syndicate in the next meeting, and no action was taken by University regarding admission of students for new sessions, DAV moved to HC.
In its reply, PU said that DAV institution had failed to remove the deficiencies pointed out by the Inspection Committee for extension of the affiliation, and the compliance report submitted later was merely an eye wash as the deficiencies were not actually removed or complied with.
Meanwhile, during the proceedings of the case, the HC directed the varsity to conduct fresh inspection on March 6 and the college was thus inspected on March 13.
Meanwhile, the DAV counsel urged that the copy of the March 13 inspection report was given only on June 22, only after the directions of the court, contained in order dated June 19, in present writ proceedings.
After hearing the arguments, the HC bench held that “For every student, alma mater carries a certain sense of pride for rest of their life. In the present case, a peculiar situation has arisen owing to the institutional clash of country’s two premier institutions, the alumnae of the second academic sessions are facing the paradox of no alma mater. If the stated stand of the respondent university is to prevail, the management institution will have to shut down. The students who have already graduated would naturally be awarded degrees, but for the rest of their lives, they will be the product of a defunct institution.”
“Educational Institutes, to my mind, cannot and ought not to be treated as retail outlets of a licensed commodity. It is not a gas station/petrol retail outlet which can be commissioned or de-commissioned, in any manner, as the licensing authority so wishes, depending upon its business exigencies,” read the HC judgment.
The HC bench held that the petitioner requested the university to permit the institute to admit students for MBA course for 2019-21 batch, but the university maintained a stoic silence knowing that the academic session begins in July. Forced by circumstances, and perhaps mindful that the university would take its own time to take any decision in the matter, the petitioner was compelled to approach the court.
“…It appears that though petitioner had applied for the extension of affiliation for the session 2019-20 as per the university regulations by November 1, 2018, but the university slept over the matter till a wake up call was given by way filing of instant petition…The university did not bother to adhere to the schedule laid down by the Supreme Court… This entire lackadaisical approach and demeanor of the university in such nonchalant manner does not inspire confidence, to say the least.. Why can the university not adhere to the strict timelines as laid down by the Supreme court?” stated the bench.
The bench, thus, held that the Inspection Committees constituted in the present case and their inspection reports forming the basis for refusal of temporary extension of petitioner’s affiliation are not in accordance with law.
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