KL NEWS NETWORK
The candidates who applied for Assistant Professor posts have castigated the Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Commission for delaying the result and interview process of Assistant Professors (AP) which were advertised first in 2013 and then again re-advertised in 2014.
The cause of re-advertisement was writ petitions filed by MPhil candidates who demanded to be entertained as eligible candidates.
However, JKPSC is bound by its recruitment policy regarding higher education by UGC guidelines as well as court rulings. Both UGC and Supreme Court of India have set the criteria as to who is eligible for the posts of Assistant professors in Higher education as well as in universities.
The eligibility is that the candidate should have either qualified a National Eligibility Test (NET) conducted by UGC or should have qualified State Eligibility Test (SET) conducted by state universities. However, an exemption to these basic qualifications is given to those PhD candidates who have done their PhD as per the guidelines given by UGC in 2009. These guidelines include many formalities that need to have been followed by the university in which the candidate has done his PhD.
“When PSC started the recruitment process in November 2015, they first demanded a certificate (Minimum Standard Procedure, MSP) from all PhD applicants which would state whether they have followed 2009 UGC guidelines in their PhD. Both Jammu University and Kashmir University as well as other universities from outside state gave such certificates to many PhD applicants.”
However, the candidates were informed by JKPSC in its notification dated 05/01/2016 that many universities cancelled these certificates soon afterwards conveying that they would issue certificates afresh after proper verification and understanding.
“They had committed mistakes in understanding as to whom they could give such certificates. Therefore JKPSC re-notified and extended the date of acceptance of these certificates,” said a candidate.
However, Jammu University and Kashmir University, despite assuring that they would reissue all these certificates started negotiations with JKPSC and when nothing came out of these negotiations, contacted UGC regarding the matter of MSP. Both the universities had applied 2009 regulations much later in 2010 and 2011 simultaneously. University Grants Commission authorized both the universities to issue MSPs to PhD candidates.
However, both the universities denied to comply and instead sought a postponement in the recruitment process which had begun in January with interviews of applicants in five subjects. Even PhD applicants were interviewed on the condition that they would provide the commission with MSPs later on.
Due to this demand, JKPSC has not notified any of the selection lists even though more than one and a half month has elapsed since the time of interviews. The universities suggest that JKPSC should wait until a new committee appointed by Ministry of Human resource Development for reviewing the Minimum Standard Procedure requirement as well as other academic matters submits its report. The committee was set under the chairmanship of Dr Arun Nigvigakar.
The candidates say that it is unreasonable for both Jammu University as well as Kashmir University to ask for postponement of interviews on the ground that they can’t issue MSP certificates to PhD applicants because both the universities have themselves not been postponing their own recruitments and have demanded the same MSPs from PhD applicants as recently as December 2015.
Moreover, the candidates say that it is clear that the objective of Human resource development in setting up the review committee is not to suggest that PhD is in any ways being made equivalent to NET/ SET, but its objective as stated is that since institutions of higher education in India have been lacking faculty due to scarcity of NET/SET and PhD candidates who have followed 2009 guidelines, UGC might again feel itself compelled to relax other applicants i.e. PhD applicants who don’t have it according to 2009 guidelines.
“However as far as the current recruitment by JKPSC is concerned, as per one of the newspaper report, JKPSC has itself acknowledged that they have applicants in access of the requirement who are eligible even without considering those that don’t have the MSPs,” said a candidate.
Besides, the candidates say that the recruitment process has been delayed for three years now and many NET/SET eligible candidates are about to pass the age limit and would lose it if JKPSC finds itself forced to re-advertise in wake of changes suggested by the review committee report (legally they can’t change the criteria after the advertisement).
Besides this delay is obviously against the very spirit of the HRD review committee whose objective was to provide faculty for institutions of higher education as our colleges had to work for three more years in the past without the faculty of more than 1600 Assistant Professors that could have been provided by JKPSC, the candidates said.
“We want to bring to your notice that most of us have qualified NET and SET are also PhDs and M-Phil qualified candidates. Many of us have been working as contractual lecturers in colleges for more than five years now. It is not a question of us against them but only a limited number of candidates have only PhD and that too without MSP. It is injustice to stop all of us for more years when these exceptional cases might find themselves available in the next notifications.”
They said that PSC has compromised its autonomous character by letting the two universities to dictate terms to the commission. There are multiple other universities within the state as well as outside the state who don’t have a say in PSC.
All attempts to reach PSC officials for comments fail due to their inaccessibility.