The Haryana and Punjab High Court has overturned a decision by the Haryana Police Housing Corporation (HPHC) that promoted a worker to the position of executive engineer after learning that they had earned their civil engineering degree via distance education, stating that “A person who has not physically attended the classes/course and has not undergone practical training cannot be said to be an engineer.”
It is difficult to accept that an engineering degree earned through distant learning would be on par with coursework completed in person, the justice Anupinder Singh Grewal bench stated. Engineering education begins with the teaching of theoretical principles and ends with practical training. A person cannot be referred to as an engineer if they have not physically participated in the classes or course and have not undergone practical training. The day will soon come when MBBS courses will be conducted through distance learning, which will have devastating repercussions, if we accept such degrees gained through distance learning.
“I cringe to consider if a patient would choose to receive care from a doctor who earned an MBBS degree through distance learning. Since engineers are responsible for creating the nation’s infrastructure, any laxity or ineptitude resulting from a lack of expertise would not only put residents’ lives in danger but would also be very expensive for the public exchequer.
Vinod Rawal was promoted to the position of executive engineer in accordance with an order dated November 18, 2019, as the court was hearing a case filed by Naresh Kumar and another (civil).
The petitioners claimed that Rawal was promoted to executive engineer in violation of Section 6(a) (proviso) of the Haryana Service of Engineers, Group-A, Public Works (Building and Roads Department Act, 2010, which states that a person who has earned a civil engineering degree through distance education mode will not be eligible for promotion. The petitioners’ attorney, Anurag Goyal, made this claim on their behalf.
According to the petitioner’s attorney, Rawal received his engineering degree via distance learning from JRN Rajasthan Vidyapeeth University, which is neither accredited by the UGC or AICTE.
But in response, Rawal’s attorney argued that the degree was legitimate because Rawal had passed the AICTE exam, which had been held in accordance with the Supreme Court’s instructions in the case Orissa Lift Irrigation Corporation v. Rabi Sankar Patro and Others (2018). Additionally, Rawal has retired as a result of these actions, thus the advantages that had already been bestowed upon him by way of promotion to the position of executive engineer (civil) should not be revoked at this time.
After reading Sections 6 and 9 of the 2010 Act and citing Supreme Court rulings, Justice Grewal from Haryana declared that Respondent No. 3 (Rawal) was ineligible for promotion to the position of executive engineer or entry into the Group A service because Section 6 of the 2010 Act stated that no degree obtained through distance learning would be acceptable for appointment to the Group A service. Despite claims to the contrary, the 2010 Act has not yet been declared invalid. There is no temporary injunction stopping the Act from going into effect. The Act is currently in effect, and Respondent No. 3 is ineligible for promotion to the position of executive engineer.