Education must be left to educationists, says SC, sets aside Allahabad HC verdict

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“Education must be left to educationists”, the Supreme Court said on Monday while setting aside an Allahabad High Court’s 2018 verdict which had held that an M. Ed. qualified person could not be appointed as an Assistant Professor for the subject of Education.

The controversy centered around the sole issue of whether an M.Ed. Degree can be treated as an equivalent degree to M.A. (Education) for the purposes of appointment to the post of Assistant Professor as published in March, 2014 by the Uttar Pradesh Higher Education Service Selection Commission (UPHESSC).

The UPHESSC took help of an expert panel of four educationists who opined that for the post of Assistant Professor (Teaching), Faculty of Arts, the degree of M.Ed., as well as, the qualification of M.A. (Education) should be accepted.

Based on the opinion, the employing authority UPHESSC came out with a corrigendum on July 11, 2016 and allowed candidates having the two degrees to compete for the posts.   However, a division Bench of the Allahabad High Court, on May 14, 2018, opined that while M A (Education) is a master’s degree in the subject concerned, M.Ed. is not so, as it is only a training qualification.

“The conclusion reached was that an M.Ed. qualified person could not be appointed to the post of Assistant Professor in Education, and consequently the corrigendum dated July 11, 2016 was quashed,” the High Court had held.

A bench of justices S K Kaul, Aniruddha Bose and Krishna Murari found fault with the high court’s verdict and set it aside by allowing the appeal of one candidate Anand Yadav.

“We say so in view of the fact that matters of education must be left to educationists, of course subject to being governed by the relevant statutes and regulations. It is not the function of this Court to sit as an expert body over the decision of the experts, especially when the experts are all eminent people as apparent from the names as set out…,” the bench said.

“We are, thus, of the view that the impugned judgment is not sustainable and has to be set aside, and the challenge to the corrigendum dated  July 11, is repelled. The result having already been computed and awaiting declaration should now be declared forthwith so that persons looking for employment, as per the requisite eligibility criteria, can be employed, and so that the students have the benefit of education from the persons so employed,” it said.

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