The UGC has opposed a petition in the Delhi High Court against Delhi University’s decision to admit students to its five-year law course solely through the CLAT-UG 2023 and not the CUET, stating that the professional nature of the law program may require different admission criteria. The UGC filed a counter affidavit seeking the dismissal of the petition, asserting that DU had the authority to decide on the admission standards for its integrated law course and that these standards were shaped by the specific requirements of the course.
The Central government also supported DU’s decision, emphasizing that professional courses like law, engineering, and medicine have specialized requirements and need to be guided by distinct prerequisites. The government highlighted that universities retain flexibility in shaping admission guidelines for such professional courses through their Academic Councils and Executive Councils.
The UGC and the Central government both cited the National Education Policy (2020), which envisions the governance of higher education institutions by highly qualified independent boards with academic and administrative autonomy.
The petitioner, Prince Singh, a law student at Campus Law Centre in DU, argued that DU’s decision to base admission solely on CLAT-UG 2023 results violated the right to equality under Article 14 and the right to education under Article 21 of the Constitution. He requested admissions to the five-year integrated law courses to be conducted through CUET-UG 2023, which had been introduced by the Union Ministry of Education for all undergraduate programs in central universities for the 2023-24 academic session.
The Delhi High Court had earlier questioned DU’s decision to use CLAT-UG 2023 as the sole basis for admission to its five-year integrated law courses, noting that other central universities were allowing admissions based on CUET-UG 2023.