The Delhi High Court on Wednesday ordered the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) to open its online portal within two weeks to accept and timely respond to applications from institutions for granting recognition for new teacher training courses for the 2022 academic session. process. 23. Judge Rekha Palli allowed a series of petitions from various institutions that challenged the decision of the NCTE and refused to open her portal for submitting their applications for recognition of new teacher education programs – including integrated programs.
The Supreme Court said the NCTE, which is required to maintain high standards of teacher training, sought to impose a total ban on potential entrants, which would lead to a greater shortage of trained teachers and exacerbate an already existing crisis. The NCTE defended its decision, saying that the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 envisioned that by 2030 all educational institutions would offer a four-year integrated education course, and therefore it was decided to postpone the commencement of private education institutions and only allow the commencement of the integrated course in central and state government institutions.
However, the Supreme Court said that when the majority of teacher education institutions are in the private sector, the restriction on starting new courses was flawed, which would go against the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 and against the public interest. audience. Justice Palli asked the authorities to deal with the applications for recognition of the institutions that could not apply for a new course after 2016 and said that a citizen cannot be deprived of the right to establish and manage an educational institution within the meaning of the law. Article 19(1)(g), unless the legislator decides by law to impose a reasonable limitation in the public interest.
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The Supreme Court also ruled that the NEP in no way suggests that recognition of new courses in teacher education should be completely halted for years. There is a dire shortage of skilled teachers in the country that still grapples with the problem of illiteracy in several regions, and the ban was brutally applied to at least 92 percent of teacher training colleges, it noted.
Such a ban, which has been brutally applied to at least 92 percent of teacher education institutions (private institutions), will in fact lead to an even greater shortage of skilled teachers in the country and exacerbate an already existing crisis. This is not only contrary to the purpose of the NEP, 2020, but also in the interest of the general public, the court notes. The subpoenas are accordingly authorized by directing the respondents to open the online portal within two weeks and thereafter accept and submit in a timely manner the applications submitted as possible for granting recognition for teaching new courses for the academic session. process 2022-23, the Supreme Court said.
In the present case, according to the High Court, it cannot be said that a mere decision of the general body of the Defendant Council to impose a total ban or the simple inaction not to open the portal for years, falls within the scope of the term law that may restrict the fundamental right to trade or do business. In my considered opinion, although this initiative of the respondents, starting as a pilot project, the 4-year ITEP course only in central and state government institutions, and in the meantime refusing to grant recognition to private institutions, may appear at first blush justified, but, in the light of the data presented by the respondents themselves, is clearly incorrect and contrary to the public interest, according to the judge.
I am therefore inclined to agree with the petitioners that a citizen cannot be deprived of this right to establish and manage an educational institution unless the legislator in its wisdom decides to impose a reasonable limitation on the exercising this fundamental is right, the judge said.
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