The Madras High Court has directed elementary educational authorities to enter the additional qualification of three persons, who had been conferred the B. Ed degree by Sastra University, Distance Education Course, Thanjavur, in their service registers. The exercise should be completed within three weeks.

Disposing of three petitions, Justice K.N. Basha said the course had been recognised and approved by the National Council for Teacher Education and the Distance Education Council of IGNOU.

The university had also been recognised and approved by the UGC. So there was no legal impediment for entering the additional qualification obtained by the petitioners in the registers.

R. Saravanan and two others, working as Secondary Grade Teachers, stated that they had not violated any of the conditions stipulated by the Assistant District Educational Officer in the proceedings of May 2008.

They had successfully completed the course in April 2009 and submitted their certificates with a request to enter the additional qualification in the registers.

Returning the applications, the Assistant Elementary Educational Officer had stated that the Director of Elementary Education and the District Elementary Educational Officer had expressed doubts over the recognition of the university. Only after obtaining suitable explanation from the university the additional qualification could be entered in the service registers.

The petitioners made further representation seeking the relief. This was kept pending.

Mr. Justice Basha said the elementary education authorities had stated in their counter that the B. Ed course offered by the university had not been included in the approved list of the State government and the DEE had sent a proposal to the government for consideration in October last year.

No justification

In view of this, the court was of the considered view that there should not be any discrimination between the petitioners and similarly placed candidates from other educational districts. There was absolutely no justification for returning their applications.