-Report by Akshita Singh
In the case of The State of Uttarakhand Vs. Nalanda College of Education and Others, it was held by the Supreme Court that the High Court committed a serious error in holding the communication/order of the State Government to be arbitrary as the State Government is expected to make its recommendations or comments to the Regional Committee in accordance with Rule 7(5) of the NCTE Regulations, 2014, upon receipt of the notification from the office of the Regional Committee to the State.
The State of Uttarakhand has filed the current appeal in response to the learned Single Judge’s decision on July 16, 2013, which nullified the State Government’s order rejecting the new B.Ed. colleges’ application for recognition and instead ordered the National Council for Teachers Education (NCTE) to make the proper determination regarding respondent No. 1’s request to increase the number of seats in the B.Ed. course. On 22.02.2008, Respondent No.1, in this case, Nalanda College of Education, Dehradun, received recognition from the NCTE under Section 14(1) of the NCTE Act for B.Ed. degree course with a one-year duration and an annual intake of 100 students.
The initial writ petitioner was affiliated with the HNB University after being recognised under the 1973 U.P. State University Act. The College requested an increase in student admission seats from the Northern Regional Committee of the NCTE for the academic year 2013–2014. According to the NCTE Regulations, 2014 the State Government’s viewpoint was requested. According to the State Government’s order/communication dated 16.07.2013, the majority of B.Ed. graduates would be jobless because only 2500 teachers are required against the 13000 students who complete the programme each year. As a result, the State Government recommended that no new recognition be provided for those pursuing a B.Ed. course and that the recognition of the College is revoked.
Shri Krishnam Mehra, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the State of Uttarakhand argued that a deliberate policy decision was made by the State Government not to grant recognition to the new colleges for B.ed. course based on valid grounds and the High Court’s Division Bench made grave mistakes in rescinding the communication/order dated 16.07.2013 as the High Court did not need to intervene with it to exercise its authority under article 226 of the Indian constitution. He further submitted that according to the NCTE Regulations, before the Regional Committee decides to award recognition or expand the intake capacity, the State Government’s opinion, which includes the comprehensive grounds with the appropriate facts, is the sine qua non, therefore the State Government’s decision was not arbitrary as it was also backed by the required facts and statistics and by declaring it to be arbitrary and throwing it aside, the High Court made a grave error.
Ms Manisha T. Karia, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the NCTE also supported the appellant by relying on the cases namely, Maa Vaishno Devi Mahila Mahavidyalaya v. The State of Uttar Pradesh & Others, in which this court had not interfered with the similar decisions of the State Governments. Also, in State of Rajasthan v. LBS B.Ed. College & Others, (2016) 16 SCC 110 it was stated that the State has a crucial role to play in providing appropriate comments supported by adequate reasoning, hence NCTE is compelled to consider the State Government’s viewpoint.
The issue before the Court was,
“whether the policy decision taken by the State Government can be said to be arbitrary which calls for interference of the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India?”
The court by applying the law laid down in Vidharbha Sikshan Vyawasthapak Mahasangh held that the High Court committed a serious error in holding the communication/order of the State Government to be arbitrary as the State Government is expected to make its recommendations or comments to the Regional Committee in accordance with Rule 7(5) of the NCTE Regulations, 2014, upon receipt of the notification from the office of the Regional Committee to the State. It further stipulates that the State Government must offer specific justifications for its opposition to the recommendation, together with any appropriate statistics, so that the concerned Regional Committee can take them into account when deciding how to proceed with the application. As a result, the need and/or requirement are included when the State Government is expected to give thorough justifications against the award of recognition with appropriate figures. As a result, the State Government was perfectly within its rights to advise against continued recognition of the new B.Ed. colleges and/or express this opinion.