Due to intense lobbying at the political and bureaucratic levels (both in the Executive and Legislative Organs of the State) by the vested interests that are thoroughly ‘corrupt’, there is further deterioration in the standards of education in India. Some of these corrupt politicians or business magnates throw out the window all the rules in respect of educational Institutes that are run by them because they themselves are Chairpersons or influential Members of the ‘Governing’ bodies of the Approving & Controlling Authorities (like AICTE etc).

As per International Surveys, about 23% of our Engineering Graduates are ‘unemployable’ due to their extremely poor standard of education the same is true for more than 60% of our PGDBMs (these courses do not need ‘affiliation’ with any University) and about 40% of our MBAs. Moreso, almost 80% of our so-called ‘Ph.Ds.’ have earned their degrees by hook or by crook (including flagrant plagiarism, and unreliable ‘field-research’ data, etc).

For example, let us look at the chronology of their attempts to dilute educational standards:-

1986.   Upon noticing several malpractices in the award of Fellowships (Scholarships) by individual Universities to those admitted to Ph.D. (as also in the Admissions to Ph.D. itself) out of the Grants made/ Funds allocated by the University Grants Commission (Respondent No.13 herein), the UGC introduced a standardised & centralised National-level Test called ‘National Education Test’ (JRF/SRF). And UGC also made the passing of this Test a pre-condition for appointment to the post of Lecturer in Colleges, Universities and Institutes of higher learning. It was so tough an Examination (like the CA/ CS/ A-o-Rs Exams) that only a few Candidates could pass this prestigious Test every year. For example, in the year 1986 only two Candidates passed it (including the Petitioner herein who has also been an Advocate-on-Record, and Examiner for the Institute of Company Secretaries of India as also a Peer-Reviewer for two prestigious International Journals published by Cambridge University and University of Malaysia, and is also a product of such prestigious Institutes as the Delhi School of Economics, Hindu College Delhi etc).

Therefore, certain vested interests lobbied with UGC to introduce just ‘NET’ (‘e’ for “eligibility to be appointed as Lecturer”, and not the previous “National Education Testing” that was meant solely for the award of JRF/ SRF) NET is much easier to qualify than NET (JRF/SRF) but still quite tough. And it was decided that the Toppers in NET (in terms of Quota set in each subject, e.g. ‘Management’) were granted JRF/SRF, and the rest were made merely ‘eligible’ to be appointed as Lecturers. Moreso, NET [which is of reduced/ relaxed quality as compared to the NET (JRF/SRF)] was made a substitute or alternative pre-condition for Admission to Ph.D. however, between the Candidates who had passed NET (JRF/SRF) and NET, the one who passed NET (JRF/SRF) ought to be given higher preference or weightage.

Upon finding that the number of Candidates who could pass the NET was still very small, the UGC was further pressurised by the vested interests to further relax the Conditions; so, UGC allowed the States also to conduct State-level Tests called ‘SLET’. And this SLET [which is of further reduced/ relaxed quality as compared to NET (JRF/SRF) and NET] was also added to the aforesaid alternative pre-condition for Admission to Ph.D.

Later on, the UGC further bowed down to the improper demand of the vested interests in Universities so much so, it made a complete U-Turn by absolutely lowering the Quality of Tests to mere ‘local’ Tests to be conducted by each University [this Test comprises of written Paper(s) and a Viva Voce/ Interview that can be easily manipulated at the local level, especially the Interview which has neither any objective criteria nor uniformity of questions asked nor any verifiable record of candidates’ actual performance and, hence, back to the status/ situation as prevailed in the pre-reforms era (pre-1986 era) when corruption/ nepotism was rampant in the Universities].