Validity of equivalence certificate issued by Association of India Universities, upheld: Rajasthan High Court
The Rajasthan High Court passed a judgement on 25-05-2022 in the case of Sharmila Barma vs. State of Rajasthan Civil Writ Petition 6411/2022. The Single Judge Bench of Arun Bhansali allowed the petition challenging the cancellation of the petitioner’s candidature for the post of Teacher Grade III (Level I) and quashed the determination made by respondents and held that since Association of Indian Universities (AIU) has issued equivalence certificate with regard to the qualification of the petitioner, the same made her eligible for the post.
FACTS OF THE CASE:
The petitioner had indicated that she had passed higher secondary certificate from Higher Secondary Educational Board, Nepal. However, the respondents had rejected her candidature on the grounds that the qualification held by the petitioner was not recognized as equivalent by the Board of Secondary Education, Rajasthan.
The petitioner contended that Ministry of Education (Department of School Education and Literacy) viz notification in November 2021 had indicated that equivalence granted by AIU would automatically be considered as inter-se parity between the Boards in India, permitting smooth inter-school education board migrations. Further the equivalence given by AIU to a School Education Board would be valid at all India Level for the purpose of higher education and employment.
Pursuant to the same, AIU had issued an equivalence certificate to the petitioner, wherein, it was indicated that her qualification was equated with twelfth year Senior School Certificate of Central Board of Secondary Education, Delhi or other Boards in India. Keeping the same in mind, the rejection of the petitioner’s candidature was not justified.
The respondent contended that they followed the equivalence granted by the Board of Secondary Education, Rajasthan which had not granted the equivalence certificate, making the petitioner’s rejection of the candidature justified.
The advertisement indicated the requisite qualification for the said post as senior secondary or its equivalent. There was no stipulation in the advertisement that the equivalence must be as per the Board of Secondary Education, Rajasthan, therefore, the rejection of petitioner’s candidature on account of absence of equivalence by the Board of Secondary Education, Rajasthan could not be countenanced.
The Court, after perusing the certificate issued by the AIU and the notification issued by the MoE, stated that AIU had issued an equivalence certificate regarding the qualification of the petitioner. Therefore, making the petitioner eligible for the post.
The Court quashed the determination made by the respondents pertaining to the equivalence of the petitioner and also directed them to treat petitioner’s qualification as equivalent to twelfth year Senior School Certificate of Central Board of Secondary Education, Delhi or other Boards in India, making her eligible to accord her appointment.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY CHANDANA SHEKAR