Kochi | The Kerala High Court has upheld the qualifications laid down by the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS) for teaching posts in the varsity.
Justice Sathish Ninan upheld the higher qualifications for teaching posts laid down by the university, saying they were prescribed "to uplift the quality of education." The decision came while dismissing a joint plea by several aspirants to the posts of Assistant Professors in the university.
The petitioners had contended that qualifications prescribed were contrary to those prescribed under the University Grants Commission (UGC) regulations and were also "irrational and unreasonable." The university, represented by senior advocate Jaju Babu, contended that the UGC regulations lay down only the 'minimum qualification' for appointment of teachers.
"Therefore, the qualification prescribed by the University shall not be lower than the one mandated by the UGC. Prescription of qualifications in addition to the minimum qualification fixed by the UGC does not amount to violation of the UGC Regulations," he told the court.
Agreeing with the stand of KUFOS, the court noted that since knowledge is to be imparted to the students of BFSc course, the State deemed it appropriate that the teachers who impart knowledge should possess the degree in Fisheries Science and Post Graduate degree in the subject concerned.
"It can only be understood to be the prescription of a higher qualification to uplift the quality of education. It does not do away with the minimum qualification of 'Masters Degree; as prescribed under the UGC regulations.
"Therefore, the challenge against the provision on the ground of repugnancy, fails," the court said.
The court also disagreed with the petitioners' contention that securing of a degree in Fisheries Science approved by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is an impossibility, saying it "cannot be acceded to".
"Therefore, the said ground of challenge also fails." it said.