The Students Federation of India or SFI challenged the UGC gazette notification on eligibility and manner of admission to Ph.D. and M.Phil courses in High Court of Delhi. The petition filed by SFI will be heard before a bench comprising of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Deepa Sharma and is listed for consideration on April 18, 2017.
The Students Federation of India challenged the constitutional validity of UGC Regulations 2016 that deals with M.Phil and Ph.D. admissions. The petition claimed that the UGC gazette notification is irrational, arbitrary and unreasonable. SFI indicated that the UGC gazette notification is contrary to the Directive Principles of State Policy and Fundamental Rights.
Two students from Delhi University and one student from Jawaharlal Nehru University who aspire to pursue Ph.D. and M.Phil courses have also challenged the UGC Regulations 2016 along with Students Federation of India. The petitioners claimed that UGC gazette notification resulted in the massive cut of seats in Ph.D. and M.Phil courses for the coming academic session.
The petitioners expressed their concern that due to the UGC gazette notification, the number of seats in both M.Phil and Ph.D. courses has been reduced to 102 from 970 seats. UGC neither consulted nor informed the students before implementing the cap on the number of seats.
Apart from seat cut, the petitioners have also challenged the regulations relating to minimum percentage requirement of 50 percent for Reserved category and 55 percent for General category as well as 100% weightage given to viva-voce exam.
On March 17, 2017, the High Court of Delhi dismissed the petition filed by students and clarified that all the universities must follow UGC gazette notification.