“From arguments advanced by all parties, we gather that the situation prevailing has not cropped up suddenly. It’s over the years that the system has neglected the requirements of law and that led RTMNU to ban the colleges operating without teachers,” stated the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court.
In a tersely worded order, the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court noted that students should not be admitted in colleges operating with insufficient teachers in normal circumstances. The Court’s harsh observations came while hearing petitions regarding the vexed issue of Rashtrasant Tukdoji Maharaj Nagpur University’s (RTMNU) 250 banned colleges wherein the petitioners said that about 35 of them had appointed one or two regular lecturers and sought removal of their names from the list.
“Whether colleges with only one teacher can be permitted or not should be looked into by the competent authority, including RTMNU. In the last order of December 17, we had made some comments in this respect by giving an illustration of one institute. This Court has also noted that in the normal course, admissions of students could not have been made in such colleges,” a Division Bench comprising Justice Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Justice Atul Chandurkar stated while directing RTMNU and Technical Education Director to file affidavits in this regard.
The judges added that efforts need to be made to streamline everything before the next academic year (2014-15). “For the purpose, we direct the Government to place on record a list of available NET/SET candidates so as to enable the colleges to find out suitable candidates to meet their needs,” the judges said.
Flaying the Government, the judges said, “If it had permitted colleges to function all over Maharashtra without the proper number of qualified teachers, it may have already affected the studies of students adversely. This issue also needs to be addressed by the Government immediately,” they said.
The judges critically remarked that education can’t be permitted to suffer in this situation. “Other Maharashtra universities are not parties before this Bench, but the Government can secure relevant information from them and also monitor similar problems which may be faced by their students. The Government has to keep in mind that it is not concerned with any particular educational institute of management and ultimately, they are also meant for advancing educational goal.”
Earlier, petitioner Sunil Mishra blamed RTMNU of applying different yardsticks to professional colleges as they were operated by influential persons. He pointed out that same situation prevails in all 44 universities operating in the State. His stand was endorsed by counsels for banned colleges — Bhanudas Kulkarni and Shrirang Bhandarkar — who drew attention towards majority of colleges operating with just a single approved teacher.
However, Additional Government Pleader Bharti Dangre countered them by asserting that sufficient number of qualified NET/SET holders was available and the colleges were duty bound to appoint them.
“From arguments advanced by all parties, we gather that the situation prevailing has not cropped up suddenly. It’s over the years that the system has neglected the requirements of law and that led RTMNU to ban the colleges operating without teachers,” the Court said before adjourning the hearing till January 15.