PhD compulsory for Assistant Professor post in all Technical Institutions: SC

While upholding a Kerala High Court judgement, the Supreme Court has stated that a PhD degree is compulsory for Assistant Professor after 05/03/2010 as per AICTE Regulations.

A Bench comprising Hon’ble Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Hon’ble Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Hon’ble Justice Hrishikesh Roy dismissed SLPs filed against Kerala High Court order disposing of twelve petitions by Assistant Professors apprehending reversion due to lack of PhD degrees.

In the order, the Supreme Court stated that they agreed on a notification dated 18.02.2003 which granted seven years to acquire a PhD. Degrees for the right to hold the position of Associate Professors (re-designated from Assistant Professors) would end in 2010 and therefore, people who acquire the PhD. Degree on a subsequent date will only be considered from the date when they acquire a PhD. Degree.

Before the Court, the challenge was whether Rule 6A(ii) of Special Rules for Kerala Technical Education Service, 1967 is applicable or not after 5/3/2010. This rule granted seven years to the candidates to acquire a PhD degree.

In the impugned judgement the Kerala High Court held that “Rules 6A(i), 6A(ii) have no application beyond 5/3/2010, the date when “The AICTE issued pay Scales, Service Conditions and Qualifications for Teachers And Other Academic Staff InTechnical Institutions Degree Regulations. 

In other words, after 5/03/2010, the qualification of PhD is compulsory for the posts of Principals, Professors and Associate Professors (re-designated from the post of Assistant Professor)

The Kerala High Court also held that Kerala Technical Education Service Rules which were framed by the State under Article 309 of Constitution of India r/w provisions of Kerala Public Services Act would be subject to Regulations framed by AICTE regarding the qualifications, method of appointment etc. and the Rules framed by the State would, to the extent to Central Act/Regulations, be void and inoperative. Institutions should follow the AICTE Regulations in the absence of any enabling Rule or Regulation in the State Rules

Case Details:

Title: Dr Priyadarshini RS & Ors vs State of Kerala

Case No.: SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CIVIL) Diary No(s). 1917/2021

Date of Order: 02.02.2021

Coram: Hon’ble Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Hon’ble Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Hon’ble Justice Hrishikesh Roy

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