UGC had issued a public notice in March saying that the university should not admit any students in any programme as it had not obtained the recognition from 2014-15 academic year.

Administrative building of Annamalai UniversityWIKIMEDIA COMMONS/ARUNSHARIHARAN (CC BY-SA 3.0)
news Court Wednesday, May 11, 2022 - 08:57

Annamalai University in Tamil Nadu moved the Madras High Court (HC) challenging an order of the University Grants Commission (UGC), which restrained it from admitting students. The writ petition from the Chidambaram-based institution in the state sought to quash an UGC public notice dated March 25 and 30 this year, which said that Annamalai University should not admit any students in any programme on the grounds that it had not obtained recognition from the UGC from the 2014-15 academic year.

The writ petition prayed for the court to issue a direction to the UGC to recognise open and distance learning programmes for the 2022-23 academic year. The interim prayers are to stay the operation of the March 2022 notice and a direction to the UGC to permit the petitioner university to admit students under the open and distance learning programmes from 2022-23.

When the matter came up before Justice R Mahadevan on May 6, Additional Advocate-General, representing the University, pointed out that periodically this matter was being taken into consideration by this court by passing interim orders only and the students were being admitted. He also submitted that any admission made was subject to the result of this writ petition. The judge recorded this and posted the matter for further hearing immediately after summer vacation.

The petitioner contended that the public notice was totally against the facts and circumstances of this case. The university had applied for recognition every year and UGC maintained a status-quo knowing very well that an interim order passed on a writ appeal in 2015 stating that all admissions made by the University in respect of Distance Education Program for the centres situated outside the territorial jurisdiction, shall be subject to final decision of the pending appeal.

In view of the interim order, the petitioner university applied for recognition for every year and the respondents neither granted approval nor rejected. Thus, the impugned March public notice was spoiling the reputation of the University in the public and creating fear to students who were studying their courses the University further contended.

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