Unacceptable and Undesirable: SC expresses concern regarding the appointment of contractual staff in NLU Jodhpur and says, “It is time to remedy the position”

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While hearing an appeal by National Law University (NLU) Jodhpur against the decision of the Rajasthan High Court which struck down some of its service regulations, the Supreme Court (SC) expressed concern at the NLU Jodhpur operating only contractual teachers. The SC bench observed “...we find it a matter of great concern that a National Law University, which is an institution at the forefront of legal education should operate only with contractual teachers. To say the least, this is unacceptable and undesirable.” Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul heard the matter.

The Rajasthan HC also expressed its concern regarding the appointment of contractual staff in NLU and observed that “There is no National or International University involved in imparting quality Law education, which has not employed regular teaching faculties and simply thriving on contractual teachers or ad-hoc teachers. Some of the foreign Universities imparting the best Law education in the world are not only maintaining teacher and student ratio but employing regular teaching faculty to ensure the best results.”

During the court proceedings, the Supreme Court noted that according to the University Grants Commission’s regulations, only 10% of the staff can be contractual. Further, the bench was told that the NLU’s regulations were amended providing 50% contractual and 50% permanent staff which was also not implemented. After hearing the arguments, the SC bench observed “The point, however, remains that these are supposed to be institutions of excellence and you cannot expect excellence in institutions where there is constant inflow and outflow of teaching staff because they are contractual in character. It is time to remedy the position.” The matter was listed for hearing on October 31, 2023.