The Delhi High Court has issued an order directing the University Grants Commission (UGC) to take appropriate actions against universities and colleges offering unspecified degrees, emphasizing that such institutions could face penalties under Section 24 of the UGC Act, 1956. In a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) highlighting the UGC’s inaction regarding institutions providing unspecified courses, the bench comprising Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula issued this directive.
The court stressed the importance of the UGC regularly publishing specifications of approved degrees on its website to ensure that degrees from unspecified courses do not go unrecognized by the UGC. This measure aims to maintain uniformity in education standards. Advocate Vikram Singh Kushwaha, representing the petitioner Rahul Mahajan, argued that inconsistencies in UGC regulations have led to students receiving degrees that lack UGC recognition, resulting in wasted time, money, and effort.
The PIL also requested the UGC to ensure compliance by all universities, deemed-to-be universities, and colleges with a notification dated July 5, 2014, and connected notifications to standardize degree nomenclature. Furthermore, it sought the wide publication of a consolidated list of specified degrees at least twice a year before each academic session.
The UGC, in response, stated that it had previously urged all university Vice Chancellors to adhere to the degree nomenclature specified in the July 5, 2014 notification. It clarified that UGC regulations and notifications are legally binding on all universities.
The Delhi High Court acknowledged the UGC’s efforts to ensure compliance with the UGC Act, 1956, regarding degree specifications and concluded that no additional orders were necessary in the present writ petition. However, the court directed the UGC to take appropriate actions to ensure strict adherence to the provisions of the UGC Act, 1956.