Delhi High Court Refuses To Interfere With Plea Seeking Admission To PhD Course In JNU

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Delhi High Court has refused to interfere with a student’s plea seeking admission to the PhD course in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), claiming that varsity has not invited any applications for Ph.D. in Hindi course through JNUEE. Justice Prateek Jalan has dismissed the please of a student, who has challenged a communication on December 7, 2021, by which she has been held to be ineligible for the said course by JNU.

The petitioner had applied for admission to the PhD course in JNU in the National Eligibility Test (NET)- Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) category. Advocate Kumar Piyush Pushkar, counsel for the petitioner, submitted that in the academic session 2021-22, JNU did not offer any seats for PhD in Hindi other than through the NET-JRF category.

The petitioner’s contention was that although she had not taken the NET-JRF examination, conducted by the University Grants Commission (UGC), she was entitled to be considered in the said category as the NET-JRF has not been conducted in the last three cycles. Advocate Monika Arora, counsel appearing for JNU submitted that admission to PhD programs at JNU are offered either through the NET-JRF category or through the JNU Entrance Examination (JNUEE).

The candidate is not NET- JRF qualified, he/she is entitled to appear in the JNUEE, and seek admission to Ph.D. courses. On the other hand, a NET-JRF qualified candidate is not required to appear in the JNUEE but must submit himself/herself to an interview. The petitioner applied in the NET-JRF category and was subsequently interviewed, but was ultimately held to be ineligible as she has admittedly not taken the NET-JRF examination, observed the Court.

Petitioner counsel Pushkar submitted that the difficulty arises out of the fact that JNU has not invited any applications for PhD in Hindi course through JNUEE. “That is also, unfortunately, not a matter which can invite the interference of the writ court,” the Court said.

The Court further stated that “the categories and qualifications in which an academic institution seeks to attract students for various courses is a matter for the institution to decide, and the interference of the writ court in such matters is only upon a finding of manifest arbitrariness or perversity. No such case is made out in the present petition.” “For the reasons aforesaid, the writ petition, being bereft of merits, is dismissed, along with the pending application,” the Court added.

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