IUST Drops Norms To Select Faculty, VC Says Good For Varsity

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SRINAGAR: In brazen violation of norms set by the University Grants Commission, the authorities at the Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) have made appointments of assistant professors (contractual) by ignoring guidelines – an act its vice-chancellor says was “absolutely right for the varsity.”

However, aspirants who were dropped despite being qualified said that the selection process was an “absolute mockery”.      

“If they had to retain the existing staff than why were the posts advertised. Some of the existing candidates who were retained by the varsity have very low percentage and didn’t fulfil the UGC criteria but they still were preferred over the eligible ones,” an angry aspirant, wishing not to be named, said.

“The interview panel (all insiders) were so callous and unprofessional that we could guess that this is going to be a mock-drill for all the new candidates,” he added.

The University had called for applications for assistant professors (contractual).  Out of nearly 45 candidates, 28 were called for interview.

“There were candidates with PhD, MPhil, NET and years of experience in field, But University preferred two candidates who were neither NET qualified and had low percentage compared to others,” another disappointed aspirant said.

Pertinently, as per the UGC regulations notified on 11th July, 2009 and 18th September, 2010, NET/SLET/SET is the minimum eligibility condition for recruitment and appointment of Lecturer/Assistant Professor in Universities, Colleges, Institutions and only those Ph.D. degree holders are exempted from the requirement of the minimum eligibility condition of NET/SLET/SET for the post of Lecturer/Assistant Professor whose Ph.D. Degree has been awarded in accordance with the UGC. In addition NET/SLET/SET is not required for such Master’s Degree Programme in disciplines for which NET/SLET /SET accredited test is not conducted.

 “During the interview, the panel told me that they will prefer their own candidates. This is a mockery of the education system and gross violation of the UGC norms,” a female aspirant said, adding “They (IUST) are playing with our carrier. Besides that when you have such a plague in the higher education system, how could you expect the any reforms elsewhere.”  

Notably, the recent directive issued by the UGC also says that “some time back, when it came to the notice of UGC that some of the universities and institutions have advertised the post of Lecturers/Assistant Professor without any stipulation regarding mandatory requirement of NET/SLET/SET as required by UGC Regulations, notified on 11.7.2009 and 18.9.2010, a letter was sent to the vice-chancellors, of the state, central universities and education Secretaries of union territories.

The vice-chancellor, IUST, Prof Abdur Rasheed Trag dismissed the claims of dropped aspirants, saying “We preferred our own candidates, because they have been productive during their tenure. Besides that the decision lies in our hands.”

When asked what about the violation of UGC norms, the VC said, “UGC guidelines don’t apply to contractual appointees besides that we have own rules too. We want a best teacher and we have got them, you write whatever you want to, it will not bother us” he added.

Talking to this newspaper, Advisor, Higher Education Prof. Nisar Ali said “This is a matter of concern. Ever since I joined I have been receiving complaints and violations of norms contractual appointees and this is sad because the university authorities don’t follow the set norms which than lead to manipulations and fraud.”

He said it was “very unfortunate” that the university authorities don’t consider all the angles in any appointment.

“We too have issued guidelines to the institutions and universities not to violate any set norms while going for any appointment but unfortunately still happen then they call trouble for themselves,” he said, adding “Let these candidates come up with a proper representation, we will settle down this issue.”

Minister for Higher Education, Muhammad Akbar Lone said he would look into the matter.

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