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SFI seeks directions to JNU over allocation of all PhD seats to JRF category candidates, HC issues notice

ANI | Updated: Jul 16, 2021 12:02 IST

By Sushil Batra
New Delhi [India], July 16 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Friday issued notice to Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on the Student Federation of India's unit in JNU seeking directions to the varsity to reconsider the decision to allocate all PhD seats to Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) category candidates, leaving no seat for non-JRF category candidates in the academic year 2021-22, in all its seven centres.
Advocate Monika Arora appearing for JNU administration informed the court that there is no change in admission criteria and one-third of seats are still reserved in the University.
The Division Bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh sought a response from the University and asked its lawyer to file all the details regarding grievances raised in the petition.
Advocate Ashok Aggarwal appearing for petitioner federation submits the shift in admission policy this year in comparison to the previous years is totally "arbitrary, irrational, unreasonable, unjust, opposed to public policy and unconstitutional".

The petition stated that in the previous year's PhD seats in seven centres of Jawaharlal Nehru University were filled up through JRF category candidates as well as an entrance examination for non-JRF candidates. "But in the current academic year 2021-22, the respondent JNU illegally, arbitrarily, unconstitutionally through its impugned e-prospectus decided to fill-up all (100 per cent) PhD seats through JRF category candidates in seven Centres."
The seven centres are Centre for International Trade and Development; PhD in Human Rights Studies (HRSH); Centre for English Studies; Centre for Indian Languages; Centre for Study of Law; Governance, Special Centre for Systems Medicine and Centre for Women Studies.
The petitioner submitted that JRF is a scholarship examination being held by University Grant Commission (UGC) as the "UGC NET-JRF examination twice every year that makes JRF qualified candidates eligible for teaching as well as availing scholarship from UGC."
The petition said that the maximum age for applying for UGC NET- JRF examination is 30 years with a relaxation of up to 5 years for reserved category candidates and that JNU allows JRF candidates to apply for PhD seats without the requirement of entrance examination. It said that two UGC-NET-JRF examinations have not taken place due to COVID-19 and pandemic conditions and those who could have appeared in the JRF examination could not appear for the same.
"These candidates are dependent upon the entrance examination only but as the entrance examination is not being held by respondent JNU and all seats here have been allotted to JRF candidates, such candidates are left with no option at all to apply for PhD seats in these seven Centres," the plea said. (ANI)