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"These NLUs are branded as top notch colleges. If such NLUs are not obeying the orders of UGC, state governments and constitutional provisions, what signal these NLUs are sending to the other educational universities?"
The National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) on Wednesday directed the University Grants Commission (UGC) to take stringent action against National Law Universities (NLUs) flouting mandatory reservation polices for students belonging to socially and economically backward classes.
The order signed off by NCBC Chairman Dr Bhagwan Lal Sahni has also recommended that NLUs strictly implement the reservation policies applicable for OBC students and domicile students (as prescribed by the respective states) from the academic year starting in 2020.
The order states,
A complaint over the issue had been moved last year by Senior Advocate Ramesh Babu Vishwanathula, following which the Commission had initially summoned the Vice-Chancellor of NALSAR, Hyderabad in June 2019.
Later that year, the NCBC also summoned Vice-Chancellors of other NLUs and state authorities. The complainant had alleged that despite provisions for reservations in the Constitution, Central and state laws, NLUs across the country were flouting the same.
The Commission was further told that repeated directions and advisories were served on the NLUs to implement the reservation policies, to no avail. Where reports were sought, the Commission was told that vague replies were given.
The Commission on Wednesday also expressed disapproval over a submission that the NLUs were completely governed by their respective statutes and that no other law was applicable. The Commission responded,
The Commission added,
"These NLUs are branded as top notch colleges in the country, and providing legal education towards nurturing and raising quality lawyers who will be useful to this nation. If such National Law Universities are not obeying the orders of UGC, state governments and constitutional provisions, here question raises as to what signal these NLUs are sending to the other educational universities and institutions in this country (sic)."
The Commission went on to take critical note that some NLUs were reserving 15 seats for foreign nationals, despite the absence of a provision to admit such students. Thereby, admission to Indian students from the Backward Classes was denied.
Moreover, an objection was also raised over a submission that NALSAR, Hyderabad did not receive any funds from the UGC or the state government, which the Commission found was false information.
On this issue, the Commission referred to documents submitted by the complainant showing that NALSAR receives Rs 2.5 to 4 crore every year from the UGC. A UGC member present also told the Commission that the University has received UGC funds.
"The statements of both the UGC and State Government representatives about these universities raises a concern over the basic functioning of these NLUs. The wrong statement given by the NALSAR university Vice Chancellor stating in writing that no public funding is received by them raises much alarm and concern over the basic quality of eduction provided by them.”
[ReaWith these observations, the NCBC has now issued the following directions:
The UGC should immediately take note of the serious irregularity in the admission process in NLUs.
The UGC should ensure that the NLUs comply with the mandate for 27% OBC reservations as well as the state-prescribed domicile reservation.
A compliance report on the same is to be filed at the earliest.
Stringent action to be taken by the UGC against the universities that do not follow the orders of the UGC and which have blatantly violated the rule of reservation for OBC in admissions until the academic year 2019.
[Read the order]