Bengal govt not to honour UGC guidelines on discontinuing MPhil as degree
Kolkata: West Bengal government on Thursday said the state education department will not honour and follow the fresh guideline from the University Grants Commission (UGC) discontinuing MPhil as a degree.
An announcement on this count has come from the state education Minister Bratya Basu on Thursday afternoon less than 24 hours after the UGC, issued a notification on Wednesday warning that students should not enrol in MPhil Degree courses being offered by universities as they are no longer recognised.
“The state education department will not be accepting this new directive imposed by the UGC. The state will follow its own independent education policy. We first need to have a clear idea on the matter. The central bodies cannot impose anything on the state. We will follow our own guidelines as suggested by our experts,” Basu said..
Observers feel that this MPhil issue has created yet another area of tension in West Bengal education sector, the path for which is already murky over the prolonged tussle between the state education department and the Governor’s house over the appointments and removal of interim vice- chancellors in different state universities.
The fresh notification from UGC on MPhil degree came as the commission had earlier directed all higher educational institutions not to offer MPhil programmes and some universities were continuing with it.
Legal brains, however, feel that despite its war cry the state education department will not have much legal options in the long run except accepting the commission’s recommendations on this count.
According to them, since a subject like education, which is in the concurrent list, the state government cannot take any decision that goes against the Central Act in the matter. “If any State Act or amendment in the Act has a factor of tussle with a Central Act in a matter related to any concurrent list subject, the clause of the Central Act will be supreme in the matter.