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Delhi High CourtIndian Cases

Pramod Kumar Kushwaha vs Indian Institute Of Technology on 20 October 2003

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Delhi High Court
Pramod Kumar Kushwaha vs Indian Institute Of Technology on 20 October, 2003
Equivalent citations: 2003VIIAD(DELHI)316
Author: Vikramajit Sen
Bench: Vikramajit Sen

Vikramajit Sen, J.

1. The Petitioner had applied for admission to the MBA Course conducted by the I.I.T. , Delhi. Not only had he cleared the Examination but he had also been called for the Interview. It was after that stage that the Respondents took the decision that his educational qualifications are not equivalent to those acceptable by them. The fact that the Petitioner had reached this advanced stage before the Respondents considered it appropriate to look into his qualifications is a factor which the Respondents should ensure that does not recur in the future. So far as appearing in the Examination is concerned, it may be reasonable for a University to fall back on the large number of applications it receives to submit that it is not feasible to check equivalence or basic qualifications at the early stage. But certainly when candidates are called for Interviews, and they are shortlisted prior to the interview, it is certainly feasible that such a scrutiny should be undertaken.

2. The eligibility criteria for admission to the MBA Course is a Bachelors’ Degree in sundry disciplines or a Masters’ Degree also in various specified subjects. So far as the Petitioner is concerned, he holds a Bachelors’ Degree in Engineering (AMIE) conferred by the Institute of Engineers (India). In its Counter Affidavit the Respondents have categorically and unequivocally stated that “the AMIE qualification has never been considered equivalent to the B.Tech. Degree offered by the answering respondents”. It is contended by learned counsel for the Petitioner that this was not stated in the Prospectus, as has been so stated by I.I.T. , Kanpur. In my opinion this would make no material difference since it would be unreasonable to mention each and every qualification which is not recognised.

3. The next question is whether the M.S. Degree received by the Petitioner from B.I.T.S., Pilani falls with the eligibility criteria for JMET-2002. The Respondent’s stance in this regard is that the Master of Science Degree awarded by B.I.T.S., Pilani for the Off-campus Distance Learning and Collaborative Programme cannot be regarded as equivalent to the M.E./M. Tech Degree. In the letter dated 22.5.2003 the reasons why this decision has been taken has been spelt out. This policy appears to have been uniformally followed by the I.I.T. , Delhi. Learned counsel for the Petitioner has attempted to show that his professional experience renders the three conditions superfluous, but this question must be left to the University.

4. Reliance has been placed by learned counsel for the Petitioner on Arvind Kumar v. Govt. of NCT of Delhi, , Dr. B.L. Asawa v. State of Rajasthan and Others, , Tariq Islam v. Aligarh Muslim University and Others, , A.K. Raghumani Singh and Others v. Gopal Chandra Nath and Others, AIR 2000 SC 1580 and Krishna Priya Ganguly etc. etc. v. University of Lucknow and Others etc., (also relied upon by learned counsel for the Respondent). In these cases the Court was concerned with the equivalence or recognition which has to be bestowed on different degrees from different universities for the purpose of employment. This is distinguishing feature between those decisions and the controversy before me.

5. Very recently, in Medical Council of India v. Sarang and Others, it had been observed by the Apex Court that “in matters of academic standard, Courts should not normally interfere or interrupt the rules and such matters should be left to the experts in field”. The Hon’ble Supreme Court had relied on its previous Judgments in University of Mysore v. C.D. Govinda Rao, . State of Kerala v. Kumari T.P. Roshana, and Shirish Govind Prabhudesai v. State of Maharashtra, . Similar views have also been expressed in Ganguly’s case (supra). Added to these decisions is that rendered in Indian Medical Association, Jabalpur v. Silas Nelson, (1993) 3 SCC 185 in which it has been observed that- “equivalence has to be decided by only an expert body, that too on technical and academic matteRs. It is not in the domain of assessment or evaluation by the Court. The High Court should not have embarked on the determination of equivalence on the basis of the sketchy materials placed before it”. Similar views are contained in Rajendra Prasad Mathur v. Karnataka University, (1986) Supp SCC 741 and State of Rajasthan v. Lata Arun, .

6. In the present case there is no allegation of malafides or the incorrect application of the criteria of eligibility set down by the I.I.T. itself. I cannot lose sight of the fact that so far as the Petitioner’s initial qualification of AMIE Degree is concerned this has not been recognised by another reputed educational institution, namely I.I.T., Kanpur. The Institute of Engineers appears to be neither a recognised University or a Deemed university. It would also be ruinous for educational standards of premier institutions to foist on them the acceptance of qualifications of employees whether governmental or private. The All India Council for Technical Education has not interfered in such subjects and has adopted the position that “For matters of admission the equivalence of the qualification will be decided by the respective institution”. It is also not unreasonable for the I.I.T. or any University to refuse to place on parity a distance learning qualification with that of a regularly attended course.

7. No case is made out for interference under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. Petition is dismissed.