PRAKASH CHANDRA SINGH DANU; KALA BHATT & OTHERS; RAJESH KUMAR TIWARI & OTHERS Vs. STATE OF UTTARAKHAND & OTHERS
LAWS(UTN)-2013-7-203
HIGH COURT OF UTTARAKHAND
Decided on July 25,2013

Prakash Chandra Singh Danu; Kala Bhatt And Others; Rajesh Kumar Tiwari And Others Appellant
VERSUS
State of Uttarakhand and others Respondents

JUDGEMENT

- (1.) In this bunch of writ petitions, the common factor is that all the petitioners are candidates in the examination known as Teachers Eligibility Test (hereinafter referred to as T.E.T.). An aspirant to the post of Assistant Teacher in Primary School now has to qualify the above test i.e. T.E.T.-1 and in order to become the Assistant Teacher in Senior Primary School (Class VI to VIII), one has to qualify the test known as T.E.T.-2. After the Right to Education becoming a fundamental right under Article 21-A of the Constitution of India, the Parliament enacted a legislation known as "Right to Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009" (hereinafter referred to as the Act), which not only seeks to provide every child a right to elementary education, but a right to a "meaningful" elementary education. Under the Act, the qualifications were to be prescribed by a body which was to be designated by the Central Government which would then become a standard qualification for a teacher in an elementary school. These norms were applicable through out the country. Consequently, the body, who was entrusted to frame the qualifications under the Act, is the National Council for Teachers Education (hereinafter referred to as the N.C.T.E.). The N.C.T.E. vide its notification dated 23.08.2010, inter-alia, has prescribed certain minimum qualifications for the appointment of Assistant Teachers in primary school and in senior primary school. This notification divides the category of teachers as well as category of school in elementary education into two. First is from class I - class V, which is known as primary school and the second is class VI VIII, which is known as senior primary school also known as junior high school, in the State of Uttarakhand. It prescribes minimum qualification for teachers as under : "Minimum Qualifications:- Classes I-V (a) Senior Secondary (or its equivalent) with at least 50% marks and 2 years Diploma in Elementary Education (by whatever name known) OR Senior Secondary (or its equivalent) with at least 45% marks and 2 years Diploma in Elementary Education (by whatever name known), in accordance with the NCTE (Recognition Norms and Procedure), Regulations 2002. OR Senior Secondary (or its equivalent) with at least 50% marks and 4 year Bachelor of Elementary Education (B.El.Ed.) OR Senior Secondary (or its equivalent) with at least 50% marks and 2 year Diploma in Education (Special Education) AND (a) Pass in the Teacher Eligibility Text (TET), to be conducted by the appropriate Government in accordance with the Guidelines framed by the NCTE for the purpose. Classes VI-VIII (a) B.A./B.Sc. and 2 year Diploma in Elementary Education (by whatever name known) OR B.A./B.Sc. with at least 50% marks and 1 year Bachelor in Education (B.Ed.), in accordance with the NCTE (Recognition Norms and Procedure), Regulations issued from time to time in this regard. OR Senior Secondary (or its equivalent) with at least 50% marks and 4 year Bachelor of Elementary Education (B.El.Ed.) OR Senior Secondary (or its equivalent) with at least 50% marks and 4 year BA/B.Sc. Ed. Or B.A.Ed./B.Sc.Ed. OR B.A./B.Sc. with at least 50% marks and 1 year B.Ed. (Special Education) AND (b) Pass in the Teacher Eligibility Text (TET), to be conducted by the appropriate Government in accordance with the Guidelines framed by the NCTE for the purpose."
(2.) We are presently concerned only with the teachers' qualification relating to classes from I to V. Clause 3 of the said notification, creates an interesting classification, which reads as follows:- "3. Training to be undergone:- A person (a) with B.A/B.Sc. with at least 50% marks and B.Ed. qualification shall also be eligible for appointment for class I to V upto 1st January, 2012, provided he undergoes, after appointment an NCTE recognized 6 months special programme in Elementary Education. With D.Ed. (Special Education) or B.Ed. (Special Education) qualification shall undergo, after appointment, an NCTE recognized 6 month special programme in Elementary Education."
(3.) Therefore, the qualification which is prescribed by the N.C.T.E. are that a candidate, inter-alia, must have Teachers Training Certificate for elementary education (whatever name is called in different States) though in the State of Uttarakhand it is called "B.T.C." This is the essential qualification. Apart from it, a candidate who is B.T.C. must also qualify an examination known as T.E.T. However, as a one time measure, the N.C.T.E. even made the B.Ed. qualified candidates as eligible, provided they qualify the T.E.T. examination, but they must have 50% of marks in the graduation. Subsequently, the N.C.T.E. reduced the minimum percentage of marks from 50% to 45%. In the earlier round of litigation, many of the B.Ed. qualified candidates challenged the minimum percentage of marks i.e. 45% or 50%, as the case may be, and prayed that it was totally arbitrary for the reason that such a condition did not exist when they did their B.Ed. course. Moreover, their B.Ed. degree was recognized from the N.C.T.E., which itself had set eligibility for the B.Ed. course. Consequently, the N.C.T.E. could not say that a candidate must also have a minimum percentage of marks in graduation, as that would be arbitrary and more importantly it was not a condition when they did their B.Ed. Since the B.Ed. qualified candidates were only made eligible till 01.01.2012 vide notification dated 23.08.2010 by the N.C.T.E. and moreover such candidates had in any case to qualify the examination known as T.E.T. and, for various other reasons, such as, the B.Ed. degree obtained by them at that time did not require a minimum percentage of marks in graduation, this Court in Baldev Singh & others Vs. State of Uttarakhand, 2011 2 UD 575 allowed the writ petition of such petitioners to that extent and while considering the Full Bench decision of Allahabad High Court i.e. Bhupendra Nath Tripathi & others Vs. State of U.P. & others, 2009 1 UPLBEC 1 came to the conclusion that :- "46. There is another aspect to the present issue which is that the condition of having a minimum percentage of marks in graduation for the B.Ed. qualified candidates has no reasonable nexus with the objects sought to be achieved! The object here is to provide qualified candidates as teachers in elementary school. The qualifications have already been set up i.e. B.T.C. or B.Ed., as the case might be. Thus creating two kinds of graduates with B.Ed. qualifications i.e. one have less than 50 per cent of marks and the other having more than 50 per cent marks is an unreasonable classification, which has no nexus with the objects sought to be achieved." ;


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