Teacher Education; State of Rajasthan Vs. LBS B.Ed. College [Supreme Court of India, 08-09-2016]

National Council for Teacher Education Act, 1993 – Regulations framed by the NCTE – the State has a say, may be a limited one – the word ‘limited’ because the State’s say is not binding on the NCTE – However, the NCTE is required to take the same into consideration, for the State has a vital role to offer proper comments supported by due reasoning – final authority rests with the NCTE – the NCTE shall take into consideration the recommendations and views of the State despite the fact that it has the final say.

National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE)


IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

(Dipak Misra) and (C. Nagappan) JJ.

CIVIL APPEAL NO. 9193 OF 2016

(Arising out of S.L.P. (C) No. 22637 of 2015)

September 08, 2016

STATE OF RAJASTHAN … Appellant VERSUS LBS B.ED. COLLEGE AND ORS. … Respondents

WITH

CIVIL APPEAL NOS. _9184, 9187, 9190, 9191, 9182, 9185, 9189, 9180, 9181, 9183, 9186, 9188, 9192 OF 2016 (Arising out of S.L.P. (C) Nos. 29129, 29133, 29134, 27621, 29130, 24700, 31128, 29132, 24699, 29135, 24698 of 2015, S.L.P.(C) Nos.27286 of 2016 (CC No. 20115/2015) and 4311 of 2016)

J U D G M E N T

Dipak Misra, J.

Leave granted.

2. The present appeals, by special leave, call in question the legal acceptability of the common order dated 22.01.2015 passed by the High Court of Judicature for Rajasthan at Jaipur Bench in D.B. Civil Special Appeal (Writ) No. 1866 of 2014 whereby the Division Bench has allowed the students to be admitted for the academic year 2015-2016 subject to fulfillment of the new guidelines issued by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) on 28.11.2014. At the very inception, it is seemly to note that the directions issued by the High Court have already been given effect to and neither the learned counsel for the State of Rajasthan nor the NCTE, the respondent herein, nor the other respondents have any kind of dispute over the same.

3. The crux of the controversy is whether the State Government has any say in the matter of grant of recognition to the institutions who apply for establishing institutions to get recognition from the NCTE under the

National Council for Teacher Education Act, 1993

(for brevity, “the Act”) and the Regulations framed thereunder. It is necessary to state here that the learned Single Judge had arrived at the conclusion that the State has remotely any authority or say in the matter of grant of recognition and the Division Bench has concurred with the judgment of the learned single Judge without adverting to the said aspect.

4. We have heard Mr. P.S. Narsimha, learned Additional Solicitor General along with Mr. Shiv Mangal Sharma, learned counsel for the State of Rajasthan, Mr. Gaurav Sharma, learned counsel for the NCTE and Ms. Vibha Dutta Makhija, learned senior counsel along with Mr. Anand Varma, learned counsel for the respondents.

5. The Act was enacted to provide for the establishment of a National Council for Teacher Education with a view to achieving planned and co-ordinated development of the teacher education system throughout the country, the regulation and proper maintenance of norms and standards in the teacher education system and for matter connected therewith. The Act came into force on 30th December, 1993. To appreciate the issue that has emanated for consideration, it is necessary to understand the scheme of the Act. Section 3 deals with establishment of the NCTE. Section 12 enumerates the functions of the NCTE. We think it appropriate to reproduce Section 12, in entirety:-

12. Functions of the Council

It shall be the duty of the Council to take all such steps as it may think fit for ensuring planned and co-ordinated development of teacher education and for the determination and maintenance of standards for teacher education and for the purposes of performing its functions under this Act, the Council may –

(a) undertake surveys and studies relating to various aspects of teacher education and publish the result thereof;

(b) make recommendations to the Central and State Government, Universities, University Grants Commission and recognised institutions in the matter of preparation of suitable plans and programmes in the field of teacher education;

(c) co-ordinate and monitor teacher education and its development in the country;

(d) lay down guidelines in respect of minimum qualifications for a person to be employed as a teacher in schools or in recognised institutions;

(e) lay down norms for any specified category of courses or trainings in teacher education, including the minimum eligibility criteria for admission thereof, and the method of selection of candidates, duration of the course, course contents and mode of curriculum;

(f) lay down guidelines for compliance by recognised institutions, for starting new courses or training, and for providing physical and instructional facilities, staffing pattern and staff qualification;

(g) lay down standards in respect of examinations leading to teacher education qualifications, criteria for admission to such examinations and schemes of courses or training;

(h) lay down guidelines regarding tuition fees and other fees chargeable by recognised institutions;

(i) promote and conduct innovation and research in various areas of teacher education and disseminate the results thereof;

(j) examine and review periodically the implementation of the norms, guidelines and standards laid down by the Council, and to suitably advise the recognised institution;

(k) evolve suitable performance appraisal system, norms and mechanism for enforcing accountability on recognised institutions;

(l) formulate schemes for various levels of teacher education and identify recognised institutions and set up new institutions for teacher development programmes;

(m) take all necessary steps to prevent commercialisation of teacher education; and

(n) perform such other functions as may be entrusted to it by the Central Government.”

6. Section 32 of the Act empowers the NCTE, by notification in the official gazette, to make regulations not inconsistent with the provisions of the Act and the rules made thereunder, generally to carry out the provisions of the Act. The NCTE had framed a set of Regulations, i.e.,

National Council for Teacher Education (Recognition, Norms and Procedure) Regulations, 2009.

The Regulations were superseded and another set of Regulations, namely, the National Council for Teacher Education (Recognition, Norms and Procedure) Regulations, 2014 (For short, “the 2014 Regulations”) came into force. Regulation 4 deals with eligibility which stipulates the categories of institutions who are eligible for consideration of the applications under the 2014 Regulations. Regulation 5 deals with the manner of making application and the time limit. Regulation 7 provides for processing of applications. The relevant part of the said Regulation which is pertinent for the adjudication of the controversy that has emanated herein, is extracted below:-