Jharkhand High Court: In a case relating to qualification to be appointed as a professor at Vinoba Bhave University, Anubha Rawat Choudhary, J, considering that the respondent had completed 16 years of working as a Lecturer/Reader and that there was considerable progress in work of the research student whom she had been guiding, held that respondent had the required experience of guiding research at Doctoral level as on the cut off date, even though the concerned research student did not receive Ph.D degree within the stipulated time.

The respondent obtained Ph.D degree on 09.11.1985 after which she guided a student for research who was enrolled in the year 1987 and the Ph.D work was to be completed in 4 years and a further extension of 2 years time was to be given and the same expired in 1992. The student got re registered on 14.12.1996. On the cut off date i.e. on 22.09.1995, no student was enrolled for research under the respondent and the student who was enrolled in the year 1987 did not complete his research work within the stipulated time and was not granted Ph.D although the papers were published and were presented in the conferences. It was, hence, contended that the respondent was not duly qualified on the cut-off date.

Respondent, on the other, argued that as per the statute for time bound promotion of teachers under the Bihar Universities Act, a teacher was entitled to be promoted after 16 years of continuous service to the post of professor as a time bound promotion, subject to concurrence of the University Service Commission. She further contended that though the candidate was not conferred the Ph.D degree, but the thesis was submitted, which indicated that she had guided her in the matter of research.

Reliance was placed on Patna High Court’s decision in Dr. Kalpnath Singh v. the Bihar State University Service Commission, CWJC No. 2014 of 1997 wherein it was held,

“… while guiding research at doctoral level starts from the date of registration of the students for Ph. D. Degree, it has got nothing to do with publication of results of Ph. D. Degree of such students. It is the experience during the intervening guiding period at the doctoral level, which is the requirement to count experience of a Reader for promotion to the post of University Professor and the same has got nothing to do after the student obtained Ph. D. Degree on passing the examination.”

The Court, hence, held that Jharkhand Public Service Commission’s contention that the respondent did not have the requisite experience of guiding a student for research, was devoid of any merits and hence dismissed the review petition.

[Jharkhand Public Service Commission v. Vanmala Choudhary, 2022 SCC OnLine Jhar 494, decided on 13.06.2022]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Sanjay Piprawall, Advocate, for the petitioner;

I. Sen Choudhary, Advocate, for the University;

Siddharth Roy, Advocate, for the State.

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