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Supreme Court notice to NCTE on plea seeking extension of cut-off dates

The petitioner is a trust of 11 colleges duly recognized by NCTE to protect their rights and interests and the interests of all NCTE approved colleges located throughout the country. Apart from the 11 founder trustees, more than 2,500 NCTE approved/recognized colleges situated throughout the country are its members.

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The Supreme Court today issued notice in a petition filed by the Association of NCTE Approved Colleges Trust against the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) seeking an extension of cut-off dates for grant of recognition and affiliation for 2021-22, fixed in Supreme Court Case Maa Vaishno Devi Mahila Mahavidyalaya vs. State of U.P & Ors.

A three-judge bench headed by Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman, K. M. Joseph and B. R. Gavai has issued notice.

The Supreme Court in Maa Vaishno Devi Mahila Mahavidyalaya vs. State of U.P & Ors. Fixed time schedule and cut-off date of March 3 as the last date by which recognition granted by the NCTE shall operate from the academic session immediately following the said date and recognition granted after said date shall be effective only from the next academic session. Similarly cut-off dates were also fixed for granting of affiliation by the affiliating bodies throughout the country.

It is submitted that the above-said schedule and cut-off dates came to be fixed by the Supreme Court on the premise that academic session for the courses in question commences from April 1. However, academic sessions for each of the teacher training courses commence during different periods ranging from July to November in most states. As far as time for commencement of academic session is concerned, there is no uniform cut-off dates and schedule, neither fixed by the NCTE nor by the Supreme Court and therefore all the states have different time periods for the commencement of the admissions and courses and in one state itself, there are different time periods for the commencement of different courses.

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The petitioner is a trust of 11 colleges duly recognized by NCTE to protect their rights and interests and the interests of all NCTE approved colleges located throughout the country. Apart from the 11 founder trustees, more than 2,500 NCTE approved/recognized colleges situated throughout the country are its members.

It is further stated that a large number of members of the Petitioner Association had submitted applications in previous years for seeking recognition from the NCTE. The NCTE has never adhered to the schedule fixed by the Supreme Court. Applications are processed arbitrarily and the schedule fixed is invariably adhered to breach. The NCTE has granted recognitions to several institutions during October, 2020 – February, 2021 whereas such recognitions ought to have been granted on or before 03.03.2020. Large number of applications have not been decided by the NCTE till date and after 03.03.2021 the NCTE would be granting them recognitions for academic session 2022-23. All such institutions would be forced to approach this Hon’ble Court for seeking recognition for academic session 2021-22 otherwise there would be a delay of 1 year in the academic session.

In the above said decision the Supreme Court directed adherence to the schedule mandatory, prohibiting any authority to change it or carve out any exception therein and any violation has been directed to be made contemptuous with disciplinary action to be taken against any official found guilty of any violation thereof.

Ever since the 2012 judgment, around 100 writ petitions were filed in 2013 for seeking extension of the cut-off date of 03.03.2013 because after the lapse of 03.03.2013 the NCTE had granted recognition to all such institutions for academic session 2014-15 instead of 2013-14. The plea raised by all such institutions was that the counselling would be starting in Sept, 2013 and therefore in the interest of justice it was prayed that the recognition granted for academic session 2014-15 may be converted to have been granted for academic session 2013-14.

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Thus all such institutions were virtually forced to wait for one year to start the course notwithstanding the fact that recognition was granted to them. Number of such institutions thus being aggrieved approached this Hon’ble Court by filing writ petitions praying for antedating of the recognition orders from academic session 2014-15 to academic session 2013-14. The Supreme Court while realizing that there was sufficient time left in commencement of academic session 2013-14 antedated all such recognitions granted.

The same thing was repeated in 2015 on the instance of NCTE, this caused immense loss and hardship to the said institutions as they had to wait for one complete year for starting the course regardless of the fact that recognitions were granted to them but for academic session 2016-17. Similar writ petitions were filed in the year 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021.

The Petition is filed by Advocate-on-record Sanjay Sherawat.
Read the petition here;

Association-of-NCTE-Approved-SC-WPC

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