Delhi HC Quashed Impugned Order and Directed to Award the Equivalence Certificate if Everything Found Is in Order

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In the case of Anubandha Anand v Union of India, Mr. Justice Jayant Nath, quashed the impugned communication dated 14.10.2019 issued by Respondent No. 2 and was directed to process application of petitioner expeditiously.

Brief facts

The petitioner passed out his class 12th and thereafter, joined ICAS, a unit of Manipal and pursued B.S. (Mechanical Engineering) Degree from ICAS. The petitioner was issued a migration certificate by ICAS certifying that the petitioner had partly completed successfully the first two years of the 4 year course in B.S. Petitioner then enrolled for 2 years at the University of Illinois, Chicago. 

After successful completion of studies at the said University, the petitioner was granted a degree of Bachelor of Sciences in Mechanical Engineering by the University of Illinois. The World Education Services (WES) granted the equivalence certificate to the petitioner stating that the Bachelor of Science awarded by the University of Illinois at Chicago in Mechanical Engineering is equivalent to a Bachelor’s Degree. The petitioner then applied to the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) for grant of equivalence certificate. But Respondent No.2 withholded the request made by the petitioner. 

Petitioner’s case is that he qualifies all the requirements as stated in the Information Brochure on Policies and Procedures for Equivalence of qualifications/degrees (“Brochure”) as issued by respondent No.2 in 1995. The respondent by a letter has issued a notification stating that those foreign qualifications which are equated by respondent No.2 are treated as recognised for the purpose of employment under Central Government.

Counter Affidavit

A counter affidavit was filed by respondent no. 2. It stated that the degree in question is a 4-year course whereas the petitioner studied only two years of the said course in Manipal and later studied two years of the said course in University of Illinois, Chicago.

An MOU exists between Manipal and University of Illinois, Chicago and there is a provision of credit for pursuing studies in foreign universities. The respondent No.2 requested petitioner to produce a copy of approval taken by Manipal University from UGC. It stated that the present petition is bad on account of non-joinder of the parties.

Arguments before the Court

Learned counsel for the petitioner urged that there is no such collaboration agreement between both universities. Reliance was placed on Regulation 55(b) of the Information Brochure issued by respondent No.2. Petitioner is entitled to a certificate of equivalence according to said brochure.

Learned counsel for respondent No.2 pleaded that there exists an agreement between both universities. Under Clause 6 (d) it is stated that no foreign educational institution or Indian educational institution shall establish or operate its educational activity in India through collaboration, in terms of UGC (Promotion and Maintenance of Standards of Academic Collaboration between Indian and Foreign Educational Institutions) Regulations, 2012. It was further stated that the respondent No.2 never rejected the application of the petitioner and the petition was premature.

Court’s observation

Court looked at the communication that was sent by respondent No.2, the document issued by Manipal University which talked about a twinning programme and existence of an MOU. It was clear that the petitioner in terms of Regulation 55(b) of the Brochure issued by respondent No.2 was eligible for grant of equivalence certificate and the grant of credits was permissible. Also, Respondent No.2 failed to place any document to prove any such collaboration between both universities.

Court’s Decision

The Court quashed the impugned communication dated 14.10.2019 issued by Respondent No. 2 and directed respondent no. 2 to process application of petitioner expeditiously, if everything found is well and good, to award the equivalence certificate to the petitioner within four weeks.


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