1. Heard Mr. B.M. Bohra, learned counsel for the appellant State and Mr. M. Mridul, Senior Advocate, for the caveator respondent.
2. The Writ Petitions from which these appeals arise, were filed by Rajasthan Vidhya Peeth and terminated senior teachers seeking following directions:
'by appropriate writ, order or direction, it be declared that the B.Ed. degree granted by the petitioner to the candidates after grant of degree of B.Ed. (Child Development) and undergoing successful 3 months Bridge Course, is a B.Ed. degree which entitles a candidate to appointment being granted as Senior Teacher and above in the Government of Rajasthan. Further, the respondents be directed not to terminate the services of candidates appointed with this qualification as Grade II (Senior Teacher and above) Teacher hereinafter.'
3. The Rajasthan Vidhya Peeth is a 'deemed University' as declared by the Notification dated 12.1.1987 issued by the Ministry of Human Resources Development in exercise of powers conferred by Section 3 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956 on the advice of the University Grants Commission. One of the objectives of the Society is to prepare teachers and through them, to make the students conversant with the problems, needs and experience of rural masses and for that purpose, it runs Lokmanya Tilak Teachers Training College, Dabok, Udaipur for conducting Teachers Training Courses. Among others, it also conducts B.Ed. (Child Development) Course. The admissions in the Course are given on the basis of merit after Graduation. It is one year's Course like B.Ed., General Course. After completion of the Course, a Grants Course of duration of three months is conducted for imparting training for teaching secondary classes. After completion of the Bridge Course, the candidates are awarded degree of B.Ed. According to the writ petitioners, the Bridge Course of three months is actually more comprehensive then the Course for award of the Degree for B.Ed. General Course, conducted by the Vidhya Peeth as well as other Training Colleges, inasmuch as under the B.Ed. General Course, only 40 lessons and 2 Criticism lessons are prescribed, whereas 120 lessons and 6 Criticism lessons are required to be taken in B.Ed. Child Development and Bridge Course, taken together. Comparing with the ' S.T.C., it is averred that whereas B.Ed. Child Development is a Degree Course wherein the admission is only after Graduation, the S.T.C. is a Certificate Course, where the admission is made just after Higher Secondary/Senior Secondary. The petitioners have placed on record the letters of the Jai Narain Vyas University Jodhpur and M.D.S. University Ajmer, whereby the Degree granted after undergoing the Bridge Course, has been recognized as equivalent to B.Ed. A Communication of the State Government dated 8th August, 1988 has been placed on record, whereby it has been said that the degrees awarded by universities or institutions established by the Central or State Government or a University declared to be deemed University under Section 3 of the U.G.C. Act by Government of India, will not require any separate recognition and will stand recognised as given. It appears that on advertisement being issued and applications being invited for appointment to the post of Teachers Gr. II (now Senior Teacher), the candidates who had to their credit B.Ed. Child Development degree and had completed the Bridge Course and were awarded B.Ed. degree by Vidhya Peeth, were selected on merit and they were given appointment on such posts. However, such teachers have been given notice subsequently for removal from servioe on the ground that B.Ed. degree obtained from Vidhya Peeth after undergoing a Bridge Course, has been considered equivalent to S.T.C. Training Course only and, therefore, they are not eligible to hold the post of Senior Teacher in the pay scale of Teachers Gr. II. Subsequently, their services have been terminated.
4. A counter was filed supported by an affidavit of Shri Gyan Sagar Rohatgi, Senior Deputy District Education Officer (Legal), Jodhpur. The appellant respondents raised a preliminary objection that the question of equivalence or any other question of this nature falls within the category of academic matter. A decision taken by the State Government in this regard is final and this court would not be interfering in such a decision in exercise of powers under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. Regarding the Notification dated 8.8,88, it is simply stated that it is only a clarification in general. The appellant respondents placed on record some documents to show that the Government has considered B.Ed. (Child Development) Course equivalent to S.T.C. only and it has not been taken as equivalent to B.Ed., general Course. The learned Single Judge held that the Rajasthan Vidhya Peeth being a deemed University and the Degree granted by it/has to be accepted, as such, it is not open for the State Government to decide as to whether such a decree is equal to the decree prescribed under the rules governing the field. Accordingly, the learned Single Judge allowed all the writ petitions and granted the relied prayed-for.
5. It is contended by Mr.B.M. Bohra, the learned counsel for the appellants, that they decision of the learned Single Judge is contrary to the catena of decisions of the Apex Court, wherein it is consistently held that the academic matters particularly the matters regarding equivalence, should be left open to be decided by the body of experts constituted by the Government and it is not for the Court to dwell into such matters. Learned counsel places reliance on the decisions of the Apex Court in University of Mysore v. Govinda Rao (1), Rajendra Prasad v. Karnataka University (2) and Medical Council of India v. Silas Nelson (3).
6. The core question which falls for consideration is 'whether the B.Ed. (Child Development) followed by Bridge Course awarded by the Rajasthan Vidhya Peeth Udaipur, a deemed University, is a degree in Education or Montessori for the purpose of appointment as Senior Teacher Gr. II under the Rajasthan Educational Subordinate Service Rules, 1971'?
7. At the outset, we may say that there is no quarrel to the proposition of law that it is for the each University to decide the question of equivalence of examinations and it is not for the Courts to sit in judgment over the decisions of the University because it is not a matter on which the Court possesses any expertise. This is the consistent view which the Apex Court and this Court have taken in catena of decisions. This is what has been laid down in all the three cases of of the Apex Court cited by the learned counsel for the appellants. There is also no quarrel to the proposition that laying down the criteria for recruitment including the eligibility criterion and the requisite educational qualification is within the domain of the employer and it is for the State Government to lay down the requisite eligibility conditions for employment for appointment on the post of Senior Teacher Gr.II or other, posts under the Rules of 1971 and the eligibility of the candidates thereto had to be judged in the light of that criterion alone. The State Government has laid down the qualification for Senior Teacher under the Rules of 1971. For convenience, we have dissected the minimum qualification into two parts as follows:
'i, Graduate or equivalent examination with atleast two subjects taught in Schools;
ii. Degree or Diploma in Education or Montessory Training.'
8. So far as the first part is concerned, there is no dispute that the writ petitioners are Graduate. Infact, the Graduation is the minimum qualification for admission to B.Ed. (Child Development) Course. As regards the second part, the question arises for consideration is as to whether the Degree in Education awarded by the Vidhya Peeth after an integrated course i.e. B.Ed. (Child Development) followed by three months' Bridge Course is a Degree in Education or just a Certificate, equivalent to S.T.C. only for the purpose of appointment as Senior Teacher under the Rules of 1971. The requirement of the rule of holding a Degree or Dilpoma in Education is not circumscribed by any other conditions, such as Degree recognized by the State Government or the Degree with specified duration of Courses with specified subjects only and so on. It is plain and simple Degree in Education. Therefore, the rule leaves no scope for the State Government or anybody to entertain the exercise of drawing equivalence on the basis of the Courses, which results in grant of Degree in Education or Diploma in Education by any institution recognised in law entitled to award the said Degrees.
9. The Apex Court in Dr. B.L. Asawa v. State of Rajasthan (4) has held that in case of a post graduate degree in the concerned subject awarded by a statutory Indian University, no recognition or declaration of equivalence by any other University is called for. In the said case, the the candidate applied for the post of Lecturer in Forensic Medicine in response to the advertisement issued by the Rajasthan Public Service Commission. The basic qualification was M.C. Degree in Forensic Medicine. The appellant possessed M.D. Degree of Bihar University in Forensic Medicine. His candidature was rejected on the ground that he was ineligible for the post as his M.D. Degree in Forensic Medicine was not recognized by the University of Rajasthan as an equivalent qualification. The learned Single Judge of this Court allowed the writ petition holding the Public Service Commission had acted illegally in treating the appellant as not possessing the request qualification and in rejecting his candidature for the post of Lecturer in Forensic Medicine on the said ground. The Division Bench reversed the judgment of the learned Single Judge. The Apex Court o appeal by Dr. B.L. Asawa held that the Division Bench of this Court was in error in thinking that since the post graduate degree possessed by the appellant was not one obtained from the University of Rajasthan, it could not be treated as a valid qualification for the purpose of recruitment in question in absence of any specific order by the University of Rajasthan recognising the said degree or declaring it as an equivalent qualification. The Apex Court held thus:-
'A Post-graduate Medical Degree granted by a University duly established by statute in this country and which has also been recognised by the Indian Medical Council by inclusion to the Schedule of the Medical Council Act has ipso facto to be regarded, accepted and treated as valid throughout our country. In the absence of any express provision to the contrary, such a degree does not require to be specifically recognised by other Universities in any State in India before it can be accepted as a valid qualification for the purpose of appointment to any post in such in such a state.'
10. We find no infirmity in the order of the learned Single Judge. We, accordingly, endorse the view take by the learned Single Judge and dismiss all the Special Appeal filed by the State in limine.