Tamil Nadu

HC stays G.O. requiring deemed varsities to obtain NOC for agriculture courses

The Madras High Court on Tuesday stayed the operation of a Government Order issued on July 28 directing all deemed universities to obtain no objection certificates (NOCs) from the government within six months for conducting agriculture or allied courses and not to admit new students until such NOC was obtained.

Justice N. Anand Venkatesh granted the interim stay on petitions filed by SRM Institute of Science and Technology and Vellore Institute of Technology challenging the G.O. on the ground that the State government had no authority to force the deemed universities to obtain NOCs from it.

Senior counsel G. Masilamani and Chitra Sampath told the court the G.O. had been passed by referring to the University Grants Commission (UGC) regulations of 2004 and 2016, though all deemed to be universities across the country were now actually governed by the UGC (Institutions deemed to be universities) Regulations of 2019.

Mr. Masilamani contended that the regulations in vogue do not require the deemed universities to obtain NOCs from the State government. Central Government Senior Panel Counsel B. Rabu Manohar, representing the UGC, also told the court that there was no necessity for institutions deemed to be universities to obtain clearance from the State governments.

He brought it to the attention of the court that an association of self-financing agricultural colleges had already filed a writ petition seeking a direction to the government to implement the G.O. and prevent all nine deemed universities, that were offering agriculture and allied courses, from admitting students this year. The UGC had prepared a counter affidavit to that petition taking a stand that the government had no role to play in conduct of agriculture and allied courses by deemed universities, he said.

After recording his submission, the judge directed the High Court Registry to club the present writ petitions along with the old case filed by the association.

Holding that SRMIST and VIT, represented by their counsel on record B. Saraswati and A. Saravanan, had made out a prima facie case for grant of interim stay of the G.O., the judge ordered that the stay would be in operation until the disposal of the three writ petitions, which shall be heard next after four weeks.

Though a counsel representing Karunya University stated that he too had filed a writ petition on the same issue, the judge said it would be taken up as and when it gets listed before him.

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Printable version | May 16, 2021 8:23:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/hc-stays-go-requiring-deemed-varsities-to-obtain-noc-for-agriculture-courses/article32727288.ece

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