Making it clear that the more than 1,000 posts of lecturers in difference colleges could not be filled because of inaction on the part of the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the Union Ministry of Human Resources Development (HRD), the Madras High Court on Wednesday directed the HRD Ministry to send its instructions to the UGC on the appointment by November 9.

“If, by the time, the concurrence of the HRD is not sent to the UGC, it shall be presumed that the HRD has no objection to the decision taken by the UGC. We shall dispose of the cases in accordance with law,” said the First Bench, comprising Justices M. Yusuf Eqbal and T.S. Sivagnanam.

The judges made the observations on a batch of writ petitions and writ appeals seeking to quash the notification of the University Grants Commission declaring National Eligibility Test (NET) or State-level Eligibility Test (SLET) mandatory for appointment of lecturers and exempting Ph.D holders from it. The notification was issued on July 11, 2009 based on the UGC (Minimum qualifications required for the appointment and career advancement of teachers in universities and institutions affiliated to it) 3rd amendment, Regulation, 2009. In March 2010, Teachers Recruitment Board (TRB) issued an advertisement for recruitment based on the notification. The contention of the petitioners, who have been working as lecturers, was that the notification had withdrawn the exemption given to M.Phil holders ever since 1991.

A single Judge of the Madras High Court, however, upheld the legality of the notification making NET or SLET as the mandatory qualification for lecturer posts. The present petitions are to challenge the singe Judge's order.

When the matter came up for hearing before the First Bench, senior counsel R. Krishnamurthy, appearing for the UGC, told the court that the resolution of the UGC taken in August 2010 was sent to the Union government for its concurrence. The communication had not yet been received.

Though Additional Solicitor General M. Ravindran submitted that he had no information from the department of the HRD, he later told the court that he would get instructions in this matter and, if possible, send the concurrence of the department to the UGC.

Additional Advocate General P.Wilson argued for lifting the stay on appointment saying students in various arts and science colleges across the State were facing difficulties because of 1,064 vacancies of lecturers.