A college teacher’s work experience based on the prescribed qualifications during the relevant time cannot be ignored if additional qualifications are later required for recruitment in government colleges, the Madras High Court has ruled.

If the teacher had acquired the original requisite qualification in terms of UGC regulations/rules, that should be the yardstick for determining his teaching experience, the court said.

The court passed the order on a writ petition by a college teacher who had obtained a Ph.D in commerce, seeking the quashing of a corrigendum in a notification of the Teachers Recruitment Board calling for applications to fill 1,093 posts of assistant professor in Government Arts and Science Colleges.

He said that as per the notification calling for applications issued in May this year, candidates should have a PG degree in the relevant subject with 55 per cent marks and should have passed the State-level Eligibility Test/National Eligibility Test or Ph.D.

A corrigendum was issued by the board on June 19. As per the correction, even if one possessed the requisite qualification as per the UGC regulations, either at the time of appointment or subsequently, one’s service prior to obtaining Ph.D or qualifying in SLET/NET would not be counted as teaching experience.

The petitioner said this was illegal. Counsel argued that the petitioner’s work experience should be counted from the date of his appointment in the college as he possessed a postgraduate degree in commerce, the requisite qualification at that point of time. When he joined service, neither SLET/NET was required for assistant professor’s post.

Justice D. Hariparanthaman said he agreed with counsel that the teaching experience could not be determined based on the requisite qualification prescribed by the UGC regulations for the present for applying to a fresh post.

Additional Government Pleader P. Sanjay Gandhi said the board had decided to withdraw the corrigendum. However, the Judge said the advertisement did not give any guidelines about the determination of work experience. In the circumstances, he said if a teacher acquired the qualification as per UGC regulations/rules as prescribed by the government/university, the same should be the yardstick for determining the work experience.

The board should issue the clarification by way of notification in the newspapers, he said.

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