Weekend Technical Courses For Working Professionals would result in paper degree, meaningless education: Punjab and Haryana High Court

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A fatigued body and stale mind would hardly be left with any time or energy for self-study required for in-depth understanding and appreciation of the course subject, court said.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court recently observed that a weekend course in highly technical education such as engineering for a full-time working professional would at best only lead to a paper degree without there being any real addition to the subject knowledge.

The bench of Justice Arun Monga said that "it would be too much to expect and say that a person, who has already been through the rigors of whole time and exhausting work continuously for first 5 days of the week, would on 6th and 7th days of the week, still have the full and normal energy and ability to undergo 2 days of intensive classroom studies in the highly specialized and technical subject of engineering".

Stressing that in a course like B.Tech which involves intensive studies in highly technical subjects, such a weekend course for full-time job-going individuals is completely against the concept of ‘imparting meaningful education to evolve a healthy mind’.

"...a fatigued body and stale mind having worked whole time continuously for 5 days and then for the remaining days of the week sandwiched with back to back classes for B.Tech....would hardly be left with any time or energy for self-study required for in-depth understanding and appreciation of the course subject," the judge opined. 

Court made the observations while dealing with a batch of petitions moved by in-service Junior Engineers pertaining to their consideration for promotion to the position of a Sub Divisional Officer under the quota meant for degree holders.

The petitioners had challenged an office order whereby JEs who had attained B.Tech. degree by a weekend/part-time course had been included in the list of eligible JEs under the Degree Holder category.

The petitioners' contention was that the decision of the Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) holding the JEs with degrees by a weekend/part-time course eligible for promotion was erred. 

They argued that those JEs were not eligible being mere Diploma Holders as the weekend/part-time course of those JEs leading to their B.Tech degrees had not been approved by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). 

During the course of the hearing in the matter, Deen Bandu Chhotu Ram University of Science and Technology, Murthal, from where those JEs had obtained the B.Tech degree by a weekend/part-time course informed the court that it had terminated the same in 2013 itself.

Court observed that when the weekend course was being run, it did not follow the guidelines and regulations set by AICTE. In light of the facts available on record, court held that "a part-time B.Tech Program lacking the approval of AICTE cannot be treated on par with the regular degree".

Accordingly, the court directed the Haryana Government to exclude the JEs with weekend/part-time degree courses from the zone of consideration against the quota meant for degree holders and proceed with the promotion process. 

Case Title: Arun Kumar v. State of Haryana & Ors. and Connected Matters