Gambhirdan K Gadhvi vs The State Of Gujarat on 3 March, 2022


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Supreme Court of India

Gambhirdan K Gadhvi vs The State Of Gujarat on 3 March, 2022

Author: M.R. Shah

Bench: M.R. Shah, B.V. Nagarathna

                                                                        REPORTABLE

                                 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                                   CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION

                               Writ Petition (Civil) No.1525 OF 2019


         Gambhirdan K Gadhvi                                          ..Petitioner (S)


                                               VERSUS


         The State of Gujarat & Ors.                                ..Respondent (S)




                                          JUDGMENT

M. R. Shah, J.

1. By this writ petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of

India the petitioner has prayed for a writ of quo warranto

challenging the appointment of respondent No.4 as a Vice

Chancellor of respondent No.2 – Sardar Patel University

(hereinafter referred to as “SP University”) and to quash

Signature Not Verified
and set aside the notification dated 29.08.2019, bearing
Digitally signed by R
Natarajan
Date: 2022.03.03
17:23:30 IST
Reason:

No.GH/SH/76/SPY/122010/2626/ KH­2 passed by

respondent No.1 – State of Gujarat, appointing respondent

1
No.4 as the Vice Chancellor of the respondent ­ SP

University. The petitioner has also prayed for any other

appropriate writ, direction and order directing respondent

authorities to recover from respondent No.4 all

consequential benefits not limited to pay, with

retrospective effect, that have been extended to him by

virtue of his illegal appointment as Vice Chancellor of the

SP University.

2. It is the case on behalf of the petitioner that the University

Grants Commission (hereinafter referred to as the “UGC”)

framed UGC Regulations on Minimum Qualifications for

Appointment of Teachers and Other Academic Staff in

Universities and Colleges and Measures for the

Maintenance of Standards in Higher Education, 2010

(hereinafter referred to as the “UGC Regulations, 2010”)

which, inter alia, prescribes in Regulation 7.3.0 that a

person shall have ten years of teaching work experience as

a professor in the University system. It also provides for

constitution of a Search Committee consisting of a

nominee of the Visitor/Chancellor, a nominee of the

2
Chairman of UGC, a nominee of Syndicate/Executive

Council of the University. That the Search Committee has

to recommend the names of suitable candidates for

appointment as Vice Chancellor of a University.

2.1 That the UGC Regulations, 2010 has been substituted

subsequently vide UGC Regulations, 2018 with slight

modifications which shall be referred to hereinbelow.

2.2 It is the further case on behalf of the petitioner that the

Union Ministry of Human Resource Development laid

down a Scheme of revision of pay of teachers and

equivalent cadres in the Universities following the 6 th

Central Pay Commission (hereinafter referred to as the

“Scheme”). The Scheme provides a fixed pay of

Rs.75,000/­ along with a special allowance of Rs.5,000/­

per month to the Vice Chancellor. Para 8(p)(v) of the said

Scheme provides that it is extended to Universities,

Colleges and other higher educational institutions coming

under the purview of the State Legislature, provided the

State Governments wish to adopt and implement the

scheme with certain conditions, inter alia, financial

3
assistance from the Central Government to the extent of

80% of the maintenance expenditure and remaining 20%

shall be met by the State Government. Payment of Central

assistance for implementing the scheme was subject to the

condition that the entire scheme of revision of pay scales

together with all the conditions to be laid down by the UGC

by way of regulations and other guidelines shall be

implemented by the State Governments and the

Universities thereunder without any modification.

According to the petitioner, the State of Gujarat passed a

Resolution dated 11.11.2009 adopting the Scheme. Since

the Scheme has been adopted, all regulations framed by

the UGC are binding upon the State of Gujarat including

the respondent ­ SP University. That on adoption of the

Scheme by the State Government as well as the SP

University, the said University is receiving Central

financial assistance under the Scheme and is included in

the list of State universities receiving Central financial

assistance as per Section 12(b) of the UGC Act, 1956. It is

the case on behalf of the petitioner that since the Scheme

has been adopted, all regulations framed by the UGC are

4
binding upon the State of Gujarat including the SP

University.

2.3 The UGC addressed a communication dated 11.08.2014

to H.E. ­ the Governor of Gujarat seeking compliance with

the UGC Regulations, 2010 with respect to appointment of

Vice Chancellors in the State of Gujarat. That H.E. ­ the

Governor of Gujarat communicated to the Government of

Gujarat vide communication dated 30.08.2014 to comply

with the UGC Regulations, 2010 with respect to the

appointment of Vice Chancellors. At this stage, it is

required to be noted that H.E. – Governor of Gujarat is the

ex­officio Chancellor of all the Universities in the State

including the SP University.

2.4 It is the case on behalf of the petitioner that ignoring

Regulation 7.3.0 of the UGC Regulations, a Search

Committee was constituted under Section 10(2)(b) of the

Sardar Patel University Act, 1955 (hereinafter referred to

as the “SPU Act”) on 29.07.2016 with no nominee of the

Chairman of the UGC. According to the petitioner, even as

5
per Section 10(2)(b), the Search Committee has only the

authority to recommend a panel of suitable candidates.

The Search Committee, in the present case, exceeded its

jurisdiction and prescribed its own eligibility criteria for

the post of Vice Chancellor by diluting the eligibility

criteria laid down in the UGC Regulations, 2010. That

respondent No.2 issued an advertisement, inviting

applications for the post of Vice Chancellor, while

mentioning the aforesaid eligibility criteria prescribed by

the Search Committee. Thereafter the State issued a

notification appointing respondent No.4 as the Vice

Chancellor of the SP University for his first term of three

years. According to the petitioner respondent No.4 was

not having teaching work experience as a professor for a

period of ten years, which is mandatory as per the UGC

Regulations, 2010. That respondent No.4 herein was

promoted to the post of Professor with effect from

08.03.2008. According to the petitioner though

respondent No.4 lacked the eligibility, he was appointed

as the Vice Chancellor at the fixed pay of Rs.75,000/­

6
which is as per the revised Scheme – Appendix I dated

31.08.2008.

2.5 That the petitioner challenged the said appointment of

respondent No.4 before the High Court by way of filing

Special Civil Application (SCA) No.18922 of 2017. By

judgment and order dated 05.07.2018 the Division Bench

of the High Court dismissed the said SCA by observing

and holding that the UGC Regulations had not been

adopted by the State of Gujarat and thus were not binding

upon respondent University. While dismissing the SCA

and upholding the appointment of respondent No.4 to the

post of Vice Chancellor of the University, the Division

Bench of the High Court referred to Section 10 of the SPU

Act, which does not provide for any qualification

whatsoever for appointment to the post of Vice Chancellor.

The Division Bench of the High Court observed that such

a position would leave room for a lot of arbitrariness in

the matter of selection of persons for appointment as Vice

Chancellor. The Division Bench of the High Court

observed that though it is true that UGC Regulations

7
provides for certain qualifications, however, the same are

not binding unless the State legislation is appropriately

amended. That the Division Bench of the High Court also

noted the communication dated 11.08.2014 addressed by

the UGC to H.E. – Governor of Gujarat. By the said

communication it was requested to ensure that all the

appointments of Vice Chancellors in the State are made in

accordance with the provisions laid down in the UGC

Regulations. The said Regulations, inter alia, provide for

minimum qualifications for the appointment of Vice

Chancellor in Regulation 7.3.0. The High Court noted that

the Principal Secretary to H.E. – the Chancellor had

addressed a communication dated 30.08.2014 to the

Principal Secretary, Government of Gujarat, requesting

him to take note of the said important communication

and take necessary steps at the Government level but the

same had been ignored by the State and no steps had

been taken pursuant thereto. Therefore, the High Court

observed that it is high time the State of Gujarat adopts

the UGC Regulations and amends the State legislation

appropriately so that no room is left for any manipulation,

8
arbitrariness, nepotism and favouritism. At this stage, it is

required to be noted that despite the above observations

made in para 24 by the High Court, no further steps have

been taken by the State Government to adopt the UGC

Regulations and amend the State legislation

appropriately.

2.6 Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the judgment and

order passed by the High Court dismissing SCA

No.18922/2017, upholding the appointment of

respondent No.4 to the post of Vice Chancellor of SP

University, petitioner preferred a Special Leave Petition

(SLP) before this Court by filing SLP (C) No.21792/2018.

The said SLP came up before this Court for final hearing

on 30.07.2019. However, by the time the said SLP could

be heard, only one month remained in the first term of

respondent No.4, therefore, this Court did not interfere

with the appointment of respondent No.4 and vide order

dated 30.07.2019 disposed of the same; however, this

Court specifically observed that all questions of law are

left open.

9
2.7 That thereafter an advertisement dated 12.06.2019 was

published, inviting applications to the post of Vice

Chancellor of respondent No.2 – SP University. According

to the petitioner again the Search Committee was not

constituted as per the UGC Regulations. According to the

petitioner in the said advertisement the Search Committee

has further diluted the eligibility criteria to suit

respondent No.4, in so far as it states that persons who

have remained Vice Chancellor for one term are eligible.

That thereafter respondent No.4 has been again appointed

as the Vice Chancellor of the SP University vide

notification dated 29.08.2019 for a further term of three

years. It is the case on behalf of the petitioner that

impugned notification appointing respondent No.4 as the

Vice Chancellor of the SP University is absolutely illegal

and in violation of the UGC Regulations, 2010 and the

UGC Regulations, 2018. Therefore, the present writ

petition has been preferred for a writ of quo warranto

challenging the appointment of respondent No.4 as the

Vice Chancellor of the SP University.

10
2.8 It is the case on behalf of the petitioner that the earlier

decision of the Division Bench of the High Court passed in

Special Civil Application No.18922/2017 may come in the

way of the petitioner and if again the petitioner

approaches the High Court by filing a writ petition under

Article 226 of the Constitution of India. This is because

the petitioner will have to face the decision of the Division

Bench of the High Court passed in SCA No.18922/2017

which though challenged before this Court, the same was

disposed of without considering the legality and/or

correctness of the judgment and order passed by the

Division Bench of the High Court in SCA No.18922/2017.

This was because by the time the matter was heard, only

one month of service of respondent No.4 was left and

while disposing of the SLP, it was observed by this Court

that all questions of law are left open. Hence, the

petitioner has preferred this writ petition under Article 32

of the Constitution of India. Therefore, it is prayed to

entertain the present writ petition and consider the same

11
on merits in the aforesaid facts and circumstances of the

case.

3. Shri I.H. Syed learned Senior Advocate appearing on behalf

of the petitioner has vehemently submitted that the

appointment of respondent No.4 as Vice Chancellor of SP

University is absolutely illegal and contrary to the

statutory guidelines issued by the UGC.

3.1 It is contented that appointment of respondent No.4 as

Vice Chancellor is by a Search Committee not legally

constituted as per the UGC guidelines.

3.2 It is submitted by Shri Syed learned Senior Advocate

appearing on behalf of the petitioner that at the relevant

time when his first appointment was made as Vice

Chancellor, he was not fulfilling the eligibility criteria

required as per the UGC guidelines as well as even the

eligibility criteria fixed by even the Search Committee. It is

further submitted that at the relevant time when

respondent No.4 was appointed, he was not having ten

years of experience as a professor which was mandatorily

12
required as per the UGC guidelines as well as the eligibility

criteria fixed by the Search Committee.

3.3 It is further contended by Shri Syed, learned Senior

Advocate appearing on behalf of the petitioner that in the

present case the Search Committee constituted was not

legal and valid. It is urged that as per the UGC guidelines

which the State and universities were bound, one of the

members of the Search Committee should be the

Chairman of the UGC and/or his nominee. It is submitted

that in the present case the Search Committee constituted

did not include the Chairman of the UGC and/or his

nominee. Hence, the appointment of respondent No.4 by

such an illegal Search Committee is absolutely illegal and

contrary to the statutory provisions and, therefore, the

same is required to be quashed and set aside by issuing a

writ of quo warranto.

3.4 It is further submitted by Shri Syed learned Senior

Advocate appearing on behalf of the petitioner that in the

present case even the Search Committee prescribed the

13
eligibility criteria for the post of Vice Chancellor. That the

SPU Act as such does not provide and/or prescribe any

eligibility criteria for the post of Vice Chancellor which as

such is a very important and prestigious post so far as the

University is concerned. That even the Division Bench of

the High Court in the earlier round of litigation in

paragraph 24 of the judgment specifically criticised the

State for not prescribing/providing the minimum

qualifications for appointment of Vice Chancellor at par

with the UGC Regulations, 2010. It is submitted that

Division Bench of the High Court even noted the

communication dated 11.08.2014 addressed to H.E. –

Governor of Gujarat to ensure that all the appointments of

Vice Chancellors in the State are made in accordance with

the provisions laid down in the UGC

Regulations/guidelines which provide for minimum

qualifications for the appointment of Vice Chancellor as

per Regulation 7.3.0 of the UGC Regulations, 2010 and

also noted that even H.E. – Governor of Gujarat addressed

a communication dated 30.08.2014 to the State

Government to take note of the communication dated

14
11.08.2014 and to take necessary steps at the Government

level. That thereafter the Division Bench of the High Court

has noted that said communications have been ignored by

the State government and no steps have been taken

pursuant thereto and therefore, it is high time that the

State government adopts the UGC Regulations and

amends the State legislation appropriately so that no room

is left for manipulation, arbitrariness, nepotism and

favouritism. That despite the above and even thereafter

also no further steps have been taken by the State

Government to amend the State legislation.

3.5 It is further submitted by Shri Syed, learned Senior

Advocate, appearing on behalf of the petitioner that by

adopting the Scheme dated 31.12.2008 vide Resolution

dated 11.11.2009, all regulations framed by the UGC shall

be binding on the State Government including the SP

University. That UGC Regulations, 2010 which, inter alia,

prescribe in Regulation 7.3.0 that a person shall have ten

years of teaching work experience as a professor in the

University system. It also provides for constituting of the

15
search committee, consisting of a nominee of the

Visitor/Chancellor, a nominee of the Chairman of the

UGC, a nominee of the Syndicate/Executing Council of the

University. That such a search committee has to

recommend the names of the successful candidates. It is

submitted that in the present case respondent No.4 was

appointed as Vice Chancellor for the second term even

though he did not fulfil the said criteria.

3.6 It is submitted that even respondent No.4 was being paid a

fixed pay of Rs.75,000/­ along with a special allowance of

Rs.5,000/­ per month as per the Scheme dated

31.12.2008. It is submitted that once the Scheme dated

31.12.2008 had been adopted by the State government

and the SP University and the said University started

receiving central financial assistance and even it is

included in the list of State universities receiving financial

assistance as per Section 12(b) of the UGC Act, 1956,

thereafter it will not be open to the State and/or the

University not to follow the UGC Regulations and to

continue to appoint the Vice Chancellor illegally and

16
contrary to the provisions of the UGC Regulations, 2010

(now UGC Regulations, 2018).

3.7 It is further submitted by Shri Syed, learned Senior

Advocate appearing on behalf of the petitioner that the

UGC Regulations, 2010/2018 are Central legislation and

therefore, the State and/or the State universities are

bound by the Central legislation and UGC Regulations,

2010/2018, the subject ‘education’ being in the

Concurrent List of the Seventh Schedule of the

Constitution. Reliance is placed on the decisions of this

Court in the cases of Annamalai University represented

by Registrar Vs. Secretary to Government, Information

and Tourism Department and Ors, (2009) 4 SCC 590 and

Kalyani Mathivanan Vs. K.V. Jeyaraj & Ors, (2015) 6

SCC 363.

3.8 Shri Syed, learned Senior Advocate appearing on behalf of

the petitioner has submitted that the post of Vice

Chancellor in a University is a very important and

prestigious post. Post of Vice Chancellor can be said to be

17
holding of a public office. It is submitted that the future of

the students – next generation can be said to be in the

hands of the Vice Chancellor who has to run the

administration and management and lead the University

and guide the students. It is urged that therefore greater

care and caution should be taken while making the

appointment of the Vice Chancellor of a University and the

best talent shall have to be appointed as Vice Chancellor.

It is submitted that any appointment as a Vice Chancellor

contrary to the statutory rules and regulations warrants

issuance of a writ of quo warranto. It is submitted that the

Vice Chancellor, not having the requisite qualifications and

who does not fulfil the eligibility criteria and/or who is

appointed by a search committee which is not legally

constituted, cannot hold such an important public office.

3.9 Making the above submissions and relying upon the above

decisions, it is prayed to allow the present writ petition

and to issue a writ of quo warranto as prayed in the

petition.

18

4. Shri Manoj Ranjan Sinha, learned counsel appearing on

behalf of the UGC – respondent No.3 herein has as such

supported the petitioner. It is submitted that in a search

committee for appointment as Vice Chancellor, one of the

members of the search committee shall be a nominee of

the Chairman of the UGC. It is submitted that UGC

Regulations, 2010 and 2018 were/are binding to all the

States and the Universities.

4.1 It is further submitted that even as per clause 7.3.0 of the

UGC Regulations, 2010/2018, the members of the Search

cum Selection Committee, can be persons of eminence in

the sphere of higher education. It further provides that one

member of the search committee shall be nominated by

the Chairman of the UGC for selection of Vice Chancellors

of the State, Private and Deemed to be universities. That

as per the UGC Regulations, Visitor/Chancellor shall

appoint the Vice Chancellor out of the panel of the names

recommended by the Search cum Selection committee. It is

contended that being a Central legislation all the States,

Private and Deemed to be Universities are bound by the

19
UGC Regulations and the guidelines issued from time to

time.

5. The present petition is opposed by Shri Vinay Navare,

learned Senior Advocate appearing on behalf of respondent

No.2 ­ SP University.

5.1 Shri Vinay Navare, learned Senior Advocate appearing on

behalf of respondent No.2 ­ SP University has vehemently

submitted that in the earlier round of litigation, the

Division Bench of the High Court dismissed the writ

petition and did not interfere with the appointment of

respondent No.4 as the Vice Chancellor of SP University

and the SLP against the same was dismissed by this

Court. Therefore, it is not open for the petitioner to again

challenge the appointment of respondent No.4 as a Vice

Chancellor for the second term. It is submitted that as

such the UGC Regulations, 2010 and the subsequent

Regulations, 2018 have not been adopted by the State

government and therefore, the UGC Regulations are not

binding to the State and/or universities and in the present

case SP University.

20
5.2 It is submitted that appointment of respondent No.4 is

governed under the SPU Act, 1955 and the Search

Committee was constituted by the State government under

the SPU Act. That as such Section 10 of the said Act, does

not provide for any specific eligibility criteria/minimum

eligibility criteria for the post of Vice Chancellor, therefore,

the Search Committee itself prescribed the eligibility

criteria. That after selecting respondent No.4 and on the

recommendations made by the Search Committee,

respondent No.4 has been appointed.

5.3 It is submitted that in the absence of any statutory breach,

appointment of respondent No.4 has been made as per the

SPU Act, 1955 and hence no writ of quo warranto be

issued. It is submitted that while challenging the

appointment of respondent No.4 in the first term, the

Division Bench of the High Court rightly refused to issue a

writ of quo warranto. Therefore, with regard to the

appointment of respondent No.4 as a Vice Chancellor for

21
the second term also, no writ of quo warranto can be

issued.

5.4 It is further submitted by Shri Navare, learned Senior

Advocate, appearing on behalf of respondent No.2 ­ SP

University that even otherwise the petitioner has no locus

standi. It is submitted that the petitioner is an ex­

employee of the respondent ­ University and has a grudge

against the University and therefore, the present writ

petition has been preferred challenging the appointment of

Vice Chancellor. It is prayed not to entertain the writ

petition at the instance of such a person.

6. Shri Gaurav Agrawal, learned counsel appearing on behalf

of respondent No.4, while adopting the submissions made

by Shri Navare, has further submitted that so far as the

appointment of respondent No.4 as a Vice Chancellor for

the second term is concerned, UGC Regulations, 2010 are

not applicable as UGC Regulations, 2010 have been

substituted by the UGC Regulations, 2018.

22

7. Ms. Ruchi Kohli, learned counsel appearing on behalf of

respondent No.1 – State has opposed the present writ

petition.

7.1 When a pointed question was asked to Ms. Kohli, learned

counsel appearing on behalf of respondent No.1 – State,

whether the State legislation is amended providing for the

minimum eligibility criteria at par with the UGC

Regulations, as observed by the High Court in the earlier

round of litigation in para 24, she is not in a position to

satisfy and/or point out any such amendment in the State

legislation.

8. We have heard learned counsel appearing on behalf of the

respective parties at length.

9. By way of this writ petition filed under Article 32 of the

Constitution of India, the petitioner has prayed for a writ

of quo warranto by challenging the appointment of

respondent No.4 herein as Vice Chancellor of the SP

University – respondent No.2 herein. When a writ of quo

warranto will lie has been dealt with by this Court in the

23
case of Rajesh Awasthi Vs. Nand Lal Jaiswal and Ors.,

(2013) 1 SCC 501. In para 19, it has been observed and

held as under: ­

“19. A writ of quo warranto will lie when the
appointment is made contrary to the statutory
provisions. This Court in Mor Modern Coop. Transport
Society Ltd. v. Govt. of Haryana
[(2002) 6 SCC 269]
held that a writ of quo warranto can be issued when
appointment is contrary to the statutory provisions.
In B. Srinivasa Reddy [(2006) 11 SCC 731 (2) : (2007)
1 SCC (L&S) 548 (2)] , this Court has reiterated the
legal position that the jurisdiction of the High Court to
issue a writ of quo warranto is limited to one which
can only be issued if the appointment is contrary to
the statutory rules. The said position has been
reiterated by this Court in Hari Bansh Lal [(2010) 9
SCC 655 : (2010) 2 SCC (L&S) 771] wherein this Court
has held that for the issuance of writ of quo warranto,
the High Court has to satisfy itself that the
appointment is contrary to the statutory rules.”

9.1 In the case of Retd. Armed Forces Medical Association

and Ors. Vs. Union of India & Ors., (2006) 11 SCC 731, it

has been observed by this Court that strict rules of locus

standi are relaxed to some extent in a quo warranto

proceedings. It is further observed in the said decision that

broadly stated, the quo warranto proceeding affords a

judicial remedy by which any person, who holds an

independent substantive public office or franchise or

liberty, is called upon to show by what right he holds the

24
said office, franchise or liberty, so that his title to it may be

duly determined, and in case the finding is that the holder

of the office has no title, he would be ousted from that

office by a judicial order. It is further observed that in

other words, the procedure of quo warranto gives the

judiciary a weapon to control the executive from making

appointments to public office against law and to protect

citizens from being deprived of public office to which they

have a right. These proceedings also tend to protect the

public from usurpers of public office. It is further observed

that it will, thus, be seen that before a person can

effectively claim a writ of quo warranto, he has to satisfy

the court that the office in question is a public office and is

held by a usurper without legal authority, and that

inevitably would lead to an enquiry, as to, whether, the

appointment of the alleged usurper has been made in

accordance with law or not. Thus, as per the law laid down

in a catena of decisions, the jurisdiction of the High Court

to issue a writ of quo warranto is a limited one, which can

only be issued when a person is holding the public office

does not fulfil the eligibility criteria prescribed to be

25
appointed to such an office or when the appointment is

contrary to the statutory rules. Keeping in mind the law

laid down by this Court in the aforesaid decisions on the

jurisdiction of the Court while issuing a writ of quo

warranto, the factual and legal controversy in the present

petition is required to be considered.

10. Respondent No.4 is holding the post of Vice Chancellor.

The post of Vice Chancellor in a University can be said to

be a public office. There cannot be any dispute about the

same. It is nobody’s case that holding the post of Vice

Chancellor cannot be said to be holding a post of public

office.

11. Now the next question which is posed for consideration of

this Court is, whether, the appointment of respondent

No.4 as a Vice Chancellor of the SP University –

respondent No.2 herein can be said to be contrary to any

statutory provisions and whether, can it be said that

respondent No.4 fulfils the eligibility criteria for the post of

Vice Chancellor

26
11.1 While examining the aforesaid issues the relevant

provisions of the UGC Regulations, 2010 enacted in

exercise of powers conferred under clauses (e) and (g) of

Sub­section (1) of Section 26 of the University Grants

Commission Act, 1956 and the relevant provisions of the

SPU Act, 1955, are required to be referred to.

11.2 The UGC Act, 1956 was enacted to make provision for the

co­ordination and determination of standards in

Universities and for that purpose, to establish a University

Grants Commission. Section 12 deals with “Functions of

the Commission”, while Section 14 speaks of

“Consequences of failure of Universities to comply with

recommendations of the Commission”. Section 26 deals

with “Power to make regulations”. As per Section 28 the

rules and regulations framed under the UGC Act are

required to be laid before each House of the Parliament

and when both the Houses agree then rules and

regulations can be given effect with such modification as

may be made by the Parliament. Therefore, any regulation

27
enacted in exercise of powers under Section 26 can be said

to be subordinate legislation.

11.3 For the appointment and career advancement of teachers

in the universities and institutions affiliated to it, UGC by

Regulation dated 04.04.2000, enacted the University

Grants Commission (Minimum Qualifications Required for

the Appointment and Career Advancement of Teachers in

Universities and Institutions Affiliated to it) Regulations,

2000. However, in the said Regulation of 2000, no

qualifications were prescribed for the post of “Pro­

Chancellor” or “Vice Chancellor”.

Thereafter, the Government of India, Ministry of

Human Resource Development Department of Higher

Education, New Delhi by Letter No. 1­32/2006­U.II/U.I(i)

dated 31­12­2008 communicated to the Secretary,

University Grants Commission, New Delhi the scheme of

revision of pay of teachers and equivalent cadres in

universities and colleges following the revision of pay

scales of the Central Government employees on the

28
recommendations of the 6th Central Pay Commission. By

the said letter, the Government of India directed that there

shall be only three designations in respect of teachers in

the universities and colleges, namely, Assistant Professors,

Associate Professors and Professors. In the said letter

revised pay scales, service conditions and Career

Advancement Scheme for teachers and equivalent

positions including the post of Assistant

Professors/Associate Professors/Professors in universities

and colleges were intimated. Pay scales of Pro­Vice­

Chancellor/Vice­Chancellor were also mentioned therein.

It was intimated that the said Scheme may be extended to

the universities, colleges and other higher educational

institutions coming under the purview of the State

Legislature, provided the State Governments wish to adopt

and implement the Scheme subject to the terms and

conditions mentioned therein. In view of the aforesaid

Letter No. 1­32/2006­U.II/U.I(i), dated 31­12­2008 issued

by the Government of India and in exercise of the powers

conferred under clauses (e) and (g) of sub­section (1) of

Section 26 of the UGC Act, 1956, UGC enacted the

29
Regulations, 2010 in supersession of the UGC Regulations,

2000. It was published in the Gazette of India on 28­6­

2010 and came into force with immediate effect.

11.3.1 Regulation 7.3.0 deals with the post of Vice Chancellor

which reads as under: ­

“7.3.0. Vice­Chancellor.—(i) Persons of the highest
level of competence, integrity, morals and institutional
commitment are to be appointed as Vice­Chancellors.
The Vice­Chancellor to be appointed should be a
distinguished academician, with a minimum of ten
years of experience as Professor in a university system
or ten years of experience in an equivalent position in
a reputed research and/or academic administrative
organization.

(ii) The selection of Vice­Chancellor should be through
proper identification of a panel of 3­5 names by a
Search Committee through a public notification or
nomination or a talent search process or in
combination. The members of the above Search
Committee shall be persons of eminence in the sphere
of higher education and shall not be connected in any
manner with the university concerned or its colleges.
While preparing the panel, the Search Committee
must give proper weightage to academic excellence,
exposure to the higher education system in the
country and abroad, and adequate experience in
academic and administrative governance to be given in
writing along with the panel to be submitted to the
Visitor/Chancellor. In respect of State and Central
universities, the following shall be the constitution of
the Search Committee:

(a) a nominee of the Visitor/Chancellor, who
should be the Chairperson of the Committee.

(b) a nominee of the Chairman, University
Grants Commission.

30

(c) a nominee of the Syndicate/Executive
Council/Board of Management of the
university.

(iii) The Visitor/Chancellor shall appoint the Vice­
Chancellor out of the panel of names recommended by
the Search Committee.

(iv) The conditions of service of the Vice­Chancellor
shall be prescribed in the statutes of the universities
concerned in conformity with these Regulations.

(v) The term of office of the Vice­Chancellor shall form
part of the service period of the incumbent concerned
making him/her eligible for all service related
benefits.”

11.3.2 Regulation 7.4.0 mandates that the universities/State

Governments shall modify or amend the relevant

Acts/Statutes of the universities concerned within six

months of adoption of these Regulations.

11.3.3 Thus, UGC Regulations, 2010, inter­alia, prescribes in

Regulation 7.3.0 that a person shall have ten years of

teaching work experience as a professor in a university

system. It also provides for constitution of a search

committee consisting of a nominee of the

Visitor/Chancellor, a nominee of the Chairman of the

UGC, a nominee of the Syndicate/Executive Council of

the University and the search committee has to

recommend the names of the successful candidates.

31
11.4 Prior to enactment of UGC Regulations, 2010, the Union

Ministry of Human Resource Development laid down a

scheme of revision of pay of teachers and equivalent cadres

in the Universities following the 6th Central Pay

Commission. The Scheme provides a fixed pay of

Rs.75,000/­ along with a special allowance of Rs.5,000/­

per month to the Vice Chancellor. Para 8(p)(v) of the said

scheme provides that it is extended to Universities,

Colleges and other higher educational institutions coming

under the purview of the State Legislature provided the

State Governments wish to adopt and implement the

scheme with certain conditions, inter alia, financial

assistance from the Central Government to the extent of

80% of the maintenance expenditure and remaining 20%

shall be met by the State Government. It further provides

that payment of Central assistance for implementing the

scheme is subject to the condition that the entire scheme

of revision of pay scales together with all the conditions to

be laid down by the UGC by way of regulations and other

guidelines shall be implemented by the State Governments

and the Universities thereunder without any modification.

32
In the present case, State of Gujarat has adopted the said

Scheme dated 31.12.2008 by a Resolution dated

11.11.2009 with effect from 01.01.2006 subject to the

conditions mentioned in the said resolution. Even in the

said resolution, condition No.13 provides that the State

Government will publish the educational qualifications as

per the UGC instructions published from time to time and

quality yardstick, teaching work days, norms, instructions,

resolutions will have to be implemented. It is not in

dispute that the SP University is receiving Central financial

assistance under the Scheme and it is included in the

State universities receiving Central financial assistance as

per Section 12(b) of the UGC Act, 1956. Therefore, having

adopted the UGC Scheme and implemented the same and

getting Central financial assistance to the extent of 80% of

the maintenance expenditure, the State Government and

the SP University are bound by the UGC Regulations,

2010. The UGC Regulations, 2010 are superseded by the

UGC Regulations, 2018. However, the eligibility criteria for

the post of Vice Chancellor and the constitution of the

search committee for appointment of a Vice Chancellor

33
remains the same. Therefore, the State of Gujarat and the

universities thereunder including the SP University are

bound to follow UGC Regulations, 2010 and UGC

Regulations, 2018.

12. Respondent No.4 herein has been appointed as a Vice

Chancellor of the SP University under the SPU Act, 1955.

Section 10 of the said Act relates to the post of Vice

Chancellor which reads as under: ­

“[10. (1) The Vice­Chancellor shall be appointed by the
State Government from amongst three persons
recommended under sub­section (3) by a
committee appointed for the purpose under sub­
section (2).

(2) (a) for the purpose of sub­section (1) the
Chancellor shall appoint a Committee which
shall consist of the following members, namely:

(i) two members (not being persons
connected with the University or with any
affiliated college or recognised institution)
out of whom one shall be a person
nominated in the manner prescribed by
Statutes by the Syndicate and the
Academic Council jointly and the other
shall be a person nominated in the
manner prescribed by Statutes by the
Vice­Chancellor of all the Universities
established by law in the State of Gujarat;

(ii) one member to be nominated by the
Chancellor.

34

(b) The Chancellor shall appoint one of three
members of the Committee as its chairman.

(3) The Committee so appointed shall, within
such time and in such manner as may be
prescribed by Statutes, select three persons
whom it considers fit for being appointed Vice­
Chancellor and shall recommend to the State
Government the names of the persons so
selected together with such other particulars as
may be prescribed by the Statutes.

(4) The Vice­Chancellor shall hold office for a
term of three years and he shall be eligible for
being appointed to that office for a further term
of three years only.

(5) The emoluments to be paid to the Vice­
Chancellor, and the terms and conditions
subject to which he shall hold office, 1 [shall be
determined by the State Government]:

Provided that such emoluments or such terms
and conditions shall not, during the currency of
the term of the holder of that office, be varied to
his disadvantage without his consent.

(6) (a) During the leave or absence of the Vice­
Chancellor, or

(b) in the event of a permanent vacancy in the
office of the Vice­Chancellor, until an
appointment is made under sub­section (1) to
that office,
the Pro­Vice­Chancellor, and in the absence of
the Pro­Chancellor, one of the Deans nominated
by 3 [the State Government], for that purpose
shall carry on the current duties of the office of
the Vice­Chancellor.”

12.1 As per Section 10 of the Act, 1955 the search committee

shall consist of two members (not being persons connected

with the respondent ­ University or with any affiliated

35
college or recognised institution) out of whom, one shall be

a person nominated in the manner prescribed by Statutes

by the Syndicate and the Academic Council jointly and the

other shall be a person nominated in the manner

prescribed by Statutes by the Vice­Chancellor of all the

Universities established by law in the State of Gujarat and

the third member to be nominated by the Chancellor.

Section 10 of the SPU Act does not provide any

qualification whatsoever for appointment to the post of

Vice Chancellor. Even the eligibility criteria to be

prescribed is left to the Search Committee. There are no

guidelines whatsoever on the eligibility criteria to be

prescribed by the Search Committee. On the other hand,

the UGC Regulations, 2010/2018 specifically prescribes

the qualification / eligibility criteria for the post of Vice

Chancellor. It also provides for the constitution of the

Search Committee. As observed hereinabove as per

Regulation 7.3.0 a person shall have ten years of teaching

work experience as a professor in the university system

and it also provides for constitution of a search committee

36
consisting of a nominee of the Visitor/Chancellor, a

nominee of the Chairman of the UGC, a nominee of the

Syndicate/Executive Council of the University. But

respondent No.4 did not/ does not fulfil the eligibility

criteria prescribed under the UGC Regulations,

2010/2018. He was/is not having ten years of teaching

work experience as a professor in the university system.

Moreover, his name was not recommended by the legally

constituted search committee, constituted as per the UGC

Regulations, 2010/2018. Also, the search committee has

prescribed the eligibility criteria for the post of Vice

Chancellor by diluting the eligibility criteria laid down in

the UGC Regulations, 2010/2018.

12.2 Thus, the provisions of the SPU Act, 1955/provisions

under the State legislation are just contrary to the UGC

Regulations, 2010/2018, which, as observed hereinabove,

are binding on the State Government and the universities

thereunder. Even the State Government has not bothered

to amend the State legislation – to put at par with the UGC

Regulations, 2010/2018 and has continued the

37
appointment in the universities dehors the UGC

Regulations.

13. At this stage, it is required to be noted that in the present

case the UGC vide communication dated 11.08.2014

addressed to the H.E. – Governor of Gujarat, who is also

the Chancellor of the University has drawn the attention of

H.E. – Governor of Gujarat to ensure that all the

appointments of Vice Chancellors in the State are made in

accordance with the provisions laid down in the

Regulations of UGC. The letter/communication dated

11.08.2014 reads as under: ­

“University Grants Commission
Prof. Dr. Jaspal S. Sandhu
Secretary

D.O.No.F.1­1/2014(Secy) 11th August, 2014

At the outset kindly allow me to apologise for
encroaching upon your precious time. But it is the
criticality of the subject which has compelled me to
draw your kind attention to it.

The appointment of Vice­Chancellors in our University
system has become a subject of widespread criticism.
We need visionary leadership to give proper direction
to higher education in today’s competitive world. It is
possible only when we have persons of the highest
competence & integrity, in the position of the Vice­
Chancellor. In this connection, the University Grants
Commission had brought out a Regulations titled
“Minimum Qualifications for Appointment of Teachers
and other Academic Staff in Universities and Colleges

38
and Measures for the Maintenance of Standards in
Higher Education, 2010. The UGC has prescribed the
minimum qualifications for the appointment of the
Vice­Chancellor in this Regulation, which reads as
under:

“Persons of the highest level of competence,
integrity, morals and institutional commitment are
to be appointed as Vice­Chancellors. The Vice­
Chancellor to be appointed should be a
distinguished academician, with a minimum of ten
years of experience as Professor in a University
system or ten years of experience in an equivalent
position in a reputed research and/or academic
administrative organization.”

It hardly needs any mention that the notifications
published in The Gazette of India are mandatory. May
I, therefore, request your Excellency to use your good
offices to ensure that all the appointments of Vice­
Chancellors in your State are made in accordance with
the provisions laid down in the aforementioned
Regulations of the UGC.

I am certain that your guidance and support in this
regard will make a huge difference in the governance
of higher education in the country.

Yours faithfully
Jaspal S.Sandhu

Shri O.P. Kohli
Hon’ble Governor of Gujarat, Raj Bhawan
Gandhinagar 382 020 Gujarat”

13.1 That thereafter H.E. – Governor of Gujarat – Chancellor of

the Universities communicated to the Principal Secretary

to the Government of Gujarat vide communication dated

30.08.2014 and emphasized and requested him to take

note of the UGC communication dated 11.08.2014 and

take necessary steps at the Government level. The

39
communication dated 30.08.2014 issued by the Principal

Secretary to the H.E. – Governor of Gujarat, reads as

under: ­

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO
THE GOVERNER OF GUJARAT
Raj Bhavan Ghandhinagar­382020.

Date: 30 AUG 2014

Important:

To,

The Principal Secretary to the
Government of Gujarat
Education Department,
Block No.5, 7th Floor,
New Sachivalay, Gandhinagar

Sub: Appointment of Vice Chancellors

Ref: A Communication from the Secretary,
University Grant Commission, Government of
India, New Delhi dated 11th August, 2014.

Sir,

With reference to the above subject, it is
stated that recently we have received a
communication from Prof. (Dr.) Jaspal S.

           Sandhu,       Secretary,     University      Grant
           Commission,      New      Delhi     reading    the

appointment of the vice chancellors in the
universities. It has been emphasized that the
order to ensure maintenance of standards in
Higher Education, the UGC has prescribed
certain minimum qualifications for the
appointment of the Vice Chancellors. Hon.
Governor has been requested to ensure the all
the appointment of the Vice Chancellors in
Gujarat are made in accordance with the
provisions laid down in the UGC Regulation.
(Copy of the communication is enclosed
herewith for ready reference)

40
You are requested to note the above
pertinent communication and take necessary
steps at the Government level.

Regards,
Yours faithfully,
sd/­
(Arvind Joshi)
Principal Secretary to Hon. Governor

13.2 Despite the above clear instructions from the office of H.E.

– Governor of Gujarat, who is also the Chancellor of all the

universities, it is unfortunate that till date the State

legislation has not been amended by the State Government

and the appointments to the post of Vice Chancellor in the

Universities in the said State are being made just contrary

to the UGC guidelines and Regulations. At this stage, it is

required to be noted that even in the earlier round of

litigation being SCA No.18922 of 2017 in which this very

petitioner challenged the appointment of this very

respondent No.4 as a Vice Chancellor of SPU made in the

year 2016, the Division Bench of the High Court made

certain observations against the State Government not

adopting the UGC Regulations and not amending the State

legislation appropriately. The relevant observations made

by the High Court in para 24 are as under: ­

41
“24. Even while upholding the appointment of the
sixth respondent to the post of Vice Chancellor of the
respondent University, this court cannot shut its eyes
to the fact that section 10 of the SPU Act does not
provide for any qualification whatsoever for
appointment to the post of Vice Chancellor which
would leave room for a lot of arbitrariness in the
matter of selection of persons for appointment as Vice
Chancellor. The UGC Regulations provide for certain
qualifications. However, the same are not binding
unless the State legislation is appropriately amended.
The UGC, by a communication dated 11 th August
2014, addressed to His Excellency the Governor of
Gujarat, has requested him to use his good offices to
ensure that all the appointments of Vice Chancellors
in the State are made in accordance with the
provisions laid down in the UGC Regulations, which
provide for minimum qualifications for the
appointment of Vice Chancellor with reference to
regulation 7.3.0 of the UGC Regulations, 2010.
Pursuant thereto, the Principal Secretary to His
Excellency the Governor of Gujarat addressed a
communication dated 30th August 2014 to the
Principal Secretary, Government of Gujarat, requesting
him to note the said important communication and
take necessary steps at the Government level.
However, it appears that such communication has
been ignored and no steps have been taken pursuant
thereto. It is, therefore, high time that the State of
Gujarat adopts the UGC Regulations and amends the
State legislation appropriately so that no room is left
for any manipulation, arbitrariness, nepotism and
favouritism.”

Even the aforesaid observations made in para 24 were

taken note of by this Court while disposing of the SLP (C)

No.21792 of 2018 in which the decision of the Division

Bench of the High Court was under challenge.

42
13.3 Thus, despite the communication by the UGC dated

11.08.2014 and thereafter, the communication by the H.E.

– Governor of Gujarat dated 30.08.2014 and even the

observations made by the Division Bench of the High

Court in paragraph 24 in its judgment and order dated

05.07.2018 in SCA No.18922 of 2017, reproduced

hereinabove, it is unfortunate that as on today, no further

steps have been taken by the State Government, to amend

the State legislation and to put the same at par with the

UGC Regulations, and the State and the universities

thereunder have continued to make the appointments of

Vice Chancellors just contrary to the UGC Regulations,

which as observed hereinabove are binding.

13.4 At this stage, it is required to be noted that as per Section

9 of the SPU Act, 1955, H.E. – Governor of Gujarat is the

Chancellor of the University and he shall, by virtue of his

office, be the head of the University and the President of

the Senate. Therefore, even as the head of the University,

his advice was/is binding upon the University and

therefore, the State ought to have taken the necessary

43
steps at the Government level as requested in the

communication dated 30.08.2014. Even the request made

by the H.E. – Governor of Gujarat, who is also the

Chancellor of the University, ought not to have taken very

lightly. The State ought to have taken the corrective

measures by suitably amending the State legislation on

par with the UGC Regulations.

14. The submissions made by Shri Navare, learned Senior

Advocate appearing on behalf of respondent No.2 – SP

University that as the earlier writ petition filed by the

petitioner herein, in which the appointment of respondent

No.4 herein as the Vice Chancellor, was under challenge

came to be dismissed and the High Court refused to issue

a writ of quo warranto and the judgment and order passed

by the High Court in SCA No.18922 of 2017 was not

disturbed by this Court and therefore, the controversy

stands concluded and it is not open for the petitioner to

raise the same issue again is concerned, the aforesaid

submissions is noted only to be rejected. This Court did

not opine anything on the merits of the judgment and

44
order passed by the High Court. This Court refused to

entertain the Special Leave Petition solely on the ground

that by the time the same was taken up for hearing the

tenure of respondent No.4 herein as a Vice Chancellor was

coming to an end. Even while dismissing the same on the

aforesaid ground alone, this Court specifically observed

that all the questions of law are left open.

15. Thus, we find that the appointment of respondent No.4 is

contrary to the UGC Regulations, 2018. Also, respondent

No.4 has been appointed by a search committee, not

constituted as per the UGC Regulations, 2018. Moreover,

respondent No.4 does not fulfil the eligibility criteria as per

the UGC Regulations, 2018, namely, having ten years of

teaching work experience as a professor in the university

system. As observed hereinabove, by adopting the Scheme

and having accepted 80% of the maintenance expenditure

from the Central government and when respondent No.4 is

paid a fixed pay of Rs.75,000/­ along with a special

allowance of Rs.5,000/­ per month, which is prescribed as

per the Scheme of 2008, the State and the universities

45
thereunder are bound by the UGC Regulations, including

the UGC Regulations, 2018. The appointment of

respondent No.4 is even otherwise not as per the eligibility

criteria prescribed by the Search Committee, which is as

under: ­

“1. Persons of the highest level of competence,
integrity, morals and institutional commitment.

2. Persons should be a distinguished academician
with proven leadership qualities shall be
satisfying anyone of the following:

 10 years’ experience of teaching
and research. As professor or

 Vice Chancellor / Pro Vice
Chancellor of any University
including former Vice Chancellor /
Pro Vice Chancellor or

 Director / Principal of a college /
institution / Research Organization
with 15 years of teaching /
research / administration.”

In fact, in the instant case, H.E. – Governor of Gujarat

who is also the Chancellor of all the Universities in the

said State had through his Principal Secretary directed

that the communication from the Secretary, University

Grants Commission, Government of India, New Delhi

dated 11th August, 2014 be complied and appropriate steps

be taken in that regard. We have referred to the aforesaid

46
letter dated 30th August, 2014. The letter of the Secretary

of the UGC dated 11th August, 2014 to H.E. – Governor of

Gujarat informing about the regulations titled “Minimum

qualifications for appointment of teachers and other

academic staff in Universities and Colleges and measures

for the maintenance of standards in higher education,

2010” has also been extracted above in the said letter. It

has been clearly stated that the UGC has prescribed

minimum qualifications for the appointment of a Vice­

Chancellor and therefore, such an appointment must be in

accordance with the provisions laid down in the afore­

mentioned regulations of the UGC. It is clear that the

respondent­State of Gujarat has failed to take note of the

communication from the UGC and instead the respondent­

University has left to the sweet will of the search

committee to prescribe eligibility criteria for the

appointment of the Vice­Chancellor of the University. The

eligibility criteria when once fixed by the UGC under its

regulations would in our view apply to all the universities

which are aided by the UGC to be bound by the said

regulations even in the absence of the same being

47
incorporated under the respective universities Act of the

respective States. Therefore, when the appointment of

respondent No.4 is found to be contrary to the UGC

Regulations, 2018 and the UGC Regulations are having the

statutory force, we are of the opinion that this is a fit case

to issue a writ of quo warranto and to quash and set aside

the appointment of respondent No.4 as the Vice Chancellor

of the SP University.

16. It cannot be disputed that the UGC Regulations are

enacted by the UGC in exercise of powers under Section

26(1)(e) and 26(1)(g) of the UGC Act, 1956. Even as per the

UGC Act every rule and regulation made under the said

Act, shall be laid before each House of the Parliament.

Therefore, being a subordinate legislation, UGC

Regulations becomes part of the Act. In case of any conflict

between State legislation and Central legislation, Central

legislation shall prevail by applying the rule/principle of

repugnancy as enunciated in Article 254 of the

Constitution as the subject ‘education’ is in the

Concurrent List (List III) of the Seventh Schedule of the

Constitution. Therefore, any appointment as a Vice

48
Chancellor contrary to the provisions of the UGC

Regulations can be said to be in violation of the statutory

provisions, warranting a writ of quo warranto.

17. In view of the above discussion and for the reasons stated

above, the appointment of respondent No.4 as a Vice

Chancellor of the SP University – respondent No.2 herein,

is contrary to the UGC provisions, namely, UGC

Regulations, 2018. We hence allow the present writ

petition and issue a writ of quo warranto quashing and

setting aside the appointment of respondent No.4 as the

Vice Chancellor of SP University. The present petition is

accordingly, Allowed.

17.1 Before parting we may hope and trust that wiser counsel

will now prevail and the State Government shall amend

the State legislation accordingly on par with the UGC

Regulations, which as such was recommended by the H.E.

– Governor of Gujarat as far as back in the year 2014 and

even thereafter, the Division Bench of the High Court had

made observations in para 24 of its judgment and order

dated 05.07.2018 in SCA No.18922 of 2017, in which, the

49
High Court observed that it is high time that the State

Government adopts the UGC Regulations and amends the

State legislation appropriately so that no room is left for

any manipulation, arbitrariness, nepotism and

favouritism, before any fresh appointment as a Vice

Chancellor in the State and the universities thereunder are

made. As observed hereinabove, prescribing the eligibility

criteria shall not be left to the sweet will of the search

committee. It may lead to arbitrariness and different

search committees in absence of any statutory guidelines

and/or prescription, may prescribe different eligibility

criteria.

17.2 It is to be noted that the post of Vice Chancellor of the

University is a very important post so far as the University

is concerned. Being a leader and head of the institution,

the Vice Chancellor of the University has to play very

important role. While academic qualifications,

administrative experience, research credentials and track

record could be considered as basic eligibility

requirements, the greater qualities of a Vice Chancellor

50
would be one who is a true leader and a passionate

visionary. A Vice Chancellor needs to be one who

understands and handles the affairs of the University as

ethical business and maintains a pellucidity in his conduct

towards the betterment of the University as well as the

students therein. A Vice Chancellor should be one who can

inspire students and guarantee entry of high­quality

teachers into the University system. A Vice Chancellor

functions as a bridge between the executive and academic

wings of a university as he is the head of both a ‘teacher’

and an ‘administrator’.

We may refer to some of the significant commission

reports concerning the personality and role of a Vice­

Chancellor of a university as under:

a) The 1949 Radhakrishnan Commission stated that

originally, the Vice­Chancellorship of an Indian

University was regarded as an honorary post to be

filled by a prominent man in his leisure time. But

now the position has changed, there is enough work

to justify a full­time appointment and the Universities

51
should have full time paid Vice­Chancellors. While

discussing the duties of a Vice­Chancellor, the

Commission stated that a Vice­Chancellor must be

the chief liaison between the University and the

public and must be a keeper of the university’s

conscience, both setting the highest standard by

example and dealing firmly and promptly with

indiscipline and malpractice of any kind. He/she

must have the strength of character to resist

unflinchingly the many forms of pressure. Being a

full­time task, it needs an exceptional man (or

woman) to undertake it. The Commission rejected the

proposal of selecting the Vice­Chancellor by an

external body and recommended that the Chancellor

should appoint the Vice­Chancellor upon the

recommendation of the Executive.

b) The 1971 Report of the Committee on Governance

of Universities and Colleges by the University

Grants Commission chaired by Dr. P.B.

Gajendragadkar, former Chief Justice of India

52
while reiterating the recommendations and

observations made by the aforesaid commissions also

stated that the selection of a Vice­Chancellor is the

single most important decision that the governing

body of the university may be called upon to make.

While the Chancellor of a University may be a high

dignitary of the State of Union of India or an eminent

scholar or eminent person in public life of the State,

the appointment of Vice­Chancellor, being the

important functionary of the University is most

strategic. The powers of proper maintenance of

discipline and a healthy environment for both

teachers and students in the university is vested with

the Vice­Chancellor along with all the other powers

vested in him/her by various Statutes, Ordinances or

Regulations. The Commission also stated that

appointment of a Vice­Chancellor is made in most of

the Universities out of a panel of at least three names

by the Chancellor in case of State Universities and by

the Visitor in case of Central Universities. The panel

of names is prepared by a Search Committee

53
constituted in accordance with the provision of

Act/Statute. Since it was difficult to have a uniform

system of forming a committee in all the States, the

alternatives to constitute the Search Committee were

also provided in the report.

c) The 1990 Report of the UGC Committee towards

New Educational Management by Professor A.

Gnanam (also called as the Gnanam Committee

Report, 1990) accentuated the role of a Vice­

Chancellor, stating that the Vice­Chancellor should

be a person with vision and qualities of academic

leadership and with a flair for administration because

what the universities need is a sensitive, efficient, fair

and bold administrator. The Vice­Chancellor should

be a distinguished educationist from the higher

education system having highest level of competence,

integrity, morals and self­respect.

d) The Ramlal Parikh Committee 1993 accented that

the universities need distinguished and dignified

persons as Vice­Chancellors and it is necessary to

54
ensure that they are treated with dignity and regard,

which the office merits.

e) The University Grants Commission in its hand

book titled Governance in Higher Education:

Hand Book for Vice­Chancellors published in 2019

has penned down the role of Vice­Chancellor of

Indian Universities having gained a paramount

importance in the recent times. In the words of the

Prof. D.P. Singh, the then Chairman of University

Grants Commission and Former Director of National

Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC): ­

“As Chief Executives and Academic Heads
of Universities, the Vice Chancellors are
expected to be efficient and effective in
terms of: ­
a. Implementation of National Higher
Education Policy and programmes,
b. Institutional change in tune with the
national reforms package,
c. Quality and innovation enhancement
and their sustainability,
d. Productive engagement with
‘communities of scholars’ from within
their universities and from national
and international domains,
e. Nurturing of ‘Research and Innovation
Ecosystem’ and translation of
deliverables to society and economy
f. Adoption of international best practices
of ‘Good Governance.”

55
‘The Vice Chancellor has to evolve as the
leader of a symphony of orchestra with
the attributes of: ­
a. Developing teams and teamwork,
building partnerships and
collaborations delicately interwoven
by collegiality, friendship and
intellectual engagement;

           b. devising a strategy and action plan
              with     defined       milestones    and
              deliverables;

c. ensuring primary accountabilities of
self and the above­mentioned
university governing bodies; and
d. steering an institutional monitoring
and evaluation mechanism on
university performance built on
principles of transparency.’

Discussing the situation in the backdrop of principle of

governance as quoted by Chanakya in his Nitishastra­

‘Yatha Raja Tatha Praja’, the sense of morality must begin

from the door of the leader who preaches it.

Thus, universities are autonomous and the Vice­

Chancellor is the leader of a higher education institution. As

per the norm, he/she should be an eminent academician,

excellent administrator and also someone who has a high

moral stature. The aforesaid reports of the Radhakrishnan

Commission, Kothari Commission, Gnanam Committee and

Ramlal Parikh Committee have highlighted the importance

of the role of Vice­Chancellor in maintaining the quality and

56
relevance of universities, in addition to its growth and

development, keeping in view, the much­needed changes

from time to time. Further, these committees have also

made suggestions and recommendations for identifying the

right person for the said position. At this stage, it is correct

to say that a Vice­Chancellor is the king­pin of a

University’s system and a keeper of the University’s

conscience.

Further, in our view, the Search / Selection Committee

plays a vital and significant role in the selection of the Vice

Chancellor; yet the selected Vice Chancellor’s performance

in the universities vary from university to university.

Therefore, the members of the Search Committee, who are

given the privilege and honour of selecting and suggesting

names for the appointment of Vice Chancellor are directly or

indirectly responsible for the achievement of the University.

Commitment to the quality and the objectives of the

universities in particular and higher education system in

general, are of course the deciding factors in selecting the

right person.

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We are sure and we hope and trust that while making

afresh appointment of Vice Chancellor in the State and the

universities thereunder, the aforesaid aspects shall be kept

in mind by the State and the concerned universities. With

this hope and trust we leave the matter there.

…………………………………J.

                                    (M. R. SHAH)




New Delhi                          …………………………………J.
March, 03 2022.                     (B.V. NAGARATHNA)




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