The Delhi High Court – National Eligibility Test Junior Research Fellowship (NET-JRF) can’t be treated as National Fellowship for Schedule Caste Students (NFSCS)

Title: Devendra Singh Chaudhri v. Jawahar Lal Nehru University Through its Registrar and Others

Decided on: September 18, 2023.

W.P.(C) 3699/2023 & CM APPLs. 14305/2023, 15326/2023



The Delhi High Court held that the National Eligibility Test-Junior Research Fellowship ( NET-JRF) and National Fellowship FOR Schedule Caste Students (NFSCS) both are different things and every university has to follow UGC guidelines for the curriculum of the university. University is not bound to take admission of any students who does not fulfill the admission criteria.

Facts of the case

The facts of the present case is the petitioner had appeared for the National Eligibility Test- Junior Research Fellowship (NET-JRF) in 2019-2020 cycle and was awarded the National Fellowship for Schedule Caste Students (NFSCS) award later dated 30-11-2020. The petitioner then desirous to take admission in respondent university for pursuing Ph.D. in the course of Medieval History, applied on 19-09-2022. For the said course in the said application he mentioned the title of the national qualified test as NFSCS. The petitioner completed the requisite criteria for the admission and have been called for the interview and got his name in the merit list in the category of SC as rank 1 but when he went to complete the formalities of the admission then the respondent university denied to take his admission and showed that under the guidelines of UGS petitioner is not eligible to take admission in the said course as the only criteria to take admission in said course is qualification in (NET-JRF) and the petitioner has not qualified the (NET-JRF) although he is eligible to take the fellowship under the scheme of National Fellowship for Schedule Caste Students (NFSCS).

Courts analysis and decision

In the present case the court has observed that the petitioner had not qualified the (NET-JRF) rather he had qualified for (NFSCS) which is not the criteria for taking the admission in Ph.D.

The Court said that it is the University who decides the admission criteria for the courses and took the example of Supreme Court in the case of Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary v. Paritosh Bhupesh Kumar Seith. Wherein the Hon’ble Supreme took the view that Court should not interfere in the matters of educational institutions as they have there on specialist in the fields of technical education and other important things also lies and said that the courts are neither equipped nor have the technical background and can’t substitute themselves in the place of professional bodies and take decisions in academic matters. The eligibility criteria mentioned in the prospectus is final and candidates should follow the prospectus guidelines of particular institutions or universities in which they wanted to take admission. The court said that as the petitioner does not fulfill the criteria of admission as per the university guidelines as the admission criteria is qualifying (NET-JRF) and the petitioner avails only (NFSCS) which did does not come under the criteria of university guidelines for taking admission in Ph.D. Accordingly, the petition is dismissed with pending application.

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Written by:-Aamir Hussain

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