Holding that degrees offered by an open university are not valid for appointment and promotion, the Central Administrative Tribunal, Madras Bench, has dismissed an application of two railway employees challenging non-inclusion of their names in an eligibility test for promotions.

The Bench, comprising Members G. Shanthappa and R. Satapathy, said: “The Supreme Court has held that passing MA degree course without completion of a three-year degree course is not valid.”

G. Kamalakanniah and N.K. Balaji, working as clerks in Chennai division of Southern Railway, responded to a notification calling for applications from eligible candidates for the post of office superintendents under the Limited Departmental Competitive Exam (LDCE) quota. In the eligibility list, their names were left out as they had degrees from an open university.

They wanted the eligibility list set aside and their names included.

The railway said the applicants had acquired the degree through non-formal education and not in the regular system.

The applicants said after passing the entrance examination in lieu of plus two examinations, they had joined the Madras University.

They contended that the degrees obtained by them should be treated as valid.

Reiterating provisions of the University Grants Commission Regulations 2003, the Bench held that the degrees obtained by the applicants did not conform to statutory rules and regulations of the UGC and “such degree is not valid for the purpose of appointment and promotion.”