Kochi: The Kerala High court declared as illegal the new norms fixed by UGC for the National Eligiblity Test (NET) for college and university lectureship.
"The power of UGC ought to have been excercised in a proper, fair and reasonable manner," Justice T R Ramachandran Nair held while allowing a batch of petitions challenging the new norms.
The court held that fixing of higher aggregate marks for three categories, that too just before the announcements of results, cannot be justified as the same was "not supportable by law".
It also declared that all those who have obtained minimum marks prescribed in the notification have cleared NET and appropriate follow up action be taken to issue certificates to them within one month.
By changing the standards at the final stage and just before declaration of results, "it can be definitely be seen that it affected adversely the expectations of a large number of candidates", the court said.
As per the new norms, candidates in general category have to score aggregate of 65 per cent in all three NET papers to be eligible for college and university lectureship while OBC candidates need to score 60 per cent and SC/ST candidates 55 per cent.
Previous norms had stipulated that the general category had to get 40 per cent in Paper I and Paper II and 50 per cent in Paper III. In case of OBC, SC/ST students, the qualifying percentage was 35, 35, 45 and 35, 35, 40 in all three papers.
The declaration of new norms had been opposed by students who appeared in the examination in June this year.