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The Delhi High Court today put on hold two notifications of Jawaharlal Nehru University that laid down the eligibility criteria for admission to the varsity's PhD courses. The decision by Justice Indermeet Kaur came on a plea by 10 JNU students who have challenged the notifications as per which only those who have attained a MPhil degree are eligible for being admitted to a PhD course. The court also issued notice to the varsity and the University Grants Commission (UGC) and sought their stand on the students' plea contending that the varsity's decisions were "in utter disregard and in gross violation of the terms of the admission bulletin of 2016-2017" issued by JNU. It listed the matter for further hearing on February 26. JNU, represented by central government standing counsel Monika Arora and advocate Harsh Ahuja, did not oppose the stay of the notifications. The students, represented by advocates Prashant Bhushan and Govind Jee, have claimed in their plea that the notifications were based on the UGC regulations of 2016 which came into effect in May last year after the admission process started in February 2016. They have contended that they were eligible for enrolment in a PhD course according to the UGC regulations of 2009 which was in force during the time of their admission. They have, however, also claimed that they are eligible for a PhD course even under the 2016 regulations of UGC which stipulates possession of a Masters degree as a minimum eligibility. The students have said that many of them have already submitted their synopsis for a PhD course and urged the court to direct JNU to permit them to continue with the course. The petitioners have also sought quashing of the notifications of September 21 and 25, 2017 of the varsity on the ground that they were "issued arbitrarily and malafidely".
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