Left in the lurch by Pondicherry University, a student fights for justice

June 13 was a special day in the life of Anshu Ranjan. He had topped the qualifying test for admission to the LLM course (code: 312 in corporate law) advertised by Pondicherry University.

However, his happiness did not last long, as by August the Vice Chancellor of the university announced that the university was unable to offer the programme citing non approval of the said programme by the University Grants Commission as the reason for the withdrawal.

Anshu Ranjan claims that once his selection in Pondicherry University — a Central University – was confirmed, he neither applied for any other course, nor did he write the exam for the post of a law assistant in Uttarakhand.

“It is not only the question of wasting my year but also is at stake the career of 24 other students who had been selected,” he told The Hindu, adding that other students may not be fighting for justice but he would continue to.

He has filed several applications under the Right to Information, and even written to the President – in his capacity as the Chancellor of all Central Universities, the Vice President and the Ministry of Human Resource Development. While he is yet to get a response from the President, the Vice President’s office has informed him that they had referred the matter to the Vice Chancellor of Pondicherry University, who has replied saying, “I wish to inform you that though the LL.M course was advertised in anticipation of approval by the University Grants Commission (UGC) during the XII Plan period, the same could not be started as the UGC has failed to communicate the sanction of any XII Plan proposals so far. As such, this course could not be started for want of faculty, who cannot be appointed without clear approval of the UGC.”

The letter further stated that the applicant has been informed of the circumstances which resulted in the withdrawal and also been returned the application fee, with an apology. Mr Ranjan received the reply on November 20.

However, Mr Ranjan alleges that he had been receiving different responses to his queries. In response to delay in counselling, he was told that it was because of establishment of the new department, while in August the Registrar informed him that “the matter has not yet been decided and it is still pending before the Executive Council of the University. So, you will hold on and we will display counselling date as soon as possible.”

It was only on August 24 that the Vice Chancellor replied to him that the course had been dropped due to non-approval of the programme by UGC. This was much before it was posted on the website.