The Protectionist Regime
Kashmir University is a case in point
ACADEMICS BY DR SM SHAFI
The process of globalization characterized by free entry and exit has had with it sweeping and transformational effects on the working behaviors/cultures of people all across the globe. To compete, to enter, and to leave is the norm of the day and free enterprise is the mantra everywhere. In today’s borderless world, the protectionist regime is almost non-existent and, of course, with regard to certain domains, globalization has created or is destined to create a level playing field with equal opportunities and challenges to insiders as well as outsiders. International regulators are replacing the national regulators or those at the national level are re-structured to fall in line with global level ones to ensure a common platform and rid the world of discriminations.
Ironically, when the world is moving away from a protectionist regime to the free one, there are institutions which are still nurturing protectionism. If one would still like to have a feel of such a regime, it is available here in the state of Jammu & Kashmir and that too in an institution which is regarded as unparalleled in terms of governance and management practices. The institution is none other than the University of Kashmir. In Kashmir University, discrimination is meted out to employees who have come from other institutions of equivalent stature against those who are inbred within the framework of the institution. There is an inherent prejudice for those who enter the University system as in-service candidates from other institutions.
There is a regulation of the sort which has sprouted into grave discriminations. Before this issue is further elaborated, let it be known that the University of Kashmir has triple set of regulations governing the services of the employees viz., the UGC Regulations, the Civil Services Rules (CSRs) of the State and the University’s Own Rules. While the UGC Rules form the major part of academic regulations, the Civil Service Rules are applied for determining pension, leaves, medical reimbursement etc., and the University Rules are mostly for maintaining the autonomous character of the University. Of all the triangular set of rules, the University Rules have turned out to be unjust in nature especially vis-à-vis teachers who have shifted from state run degree colleges. For instance, college teachers who join the University are denied the counting of services they have previously rendered under UGC Rules in the colleges. This is quite ironical as no other University in the whole of India has such outrageous rules. It may be mentioned that in India, Universities and Colleges are run by the same Regulator called the UGC (University Grants Commission) and as such services rendered either in colleges or in universities are countable both for seniority as well as for pensionery benefits as these services fulfill the criteria of being ‘qualified services’ as per UGC Rules. While the envisaged UGC Rules clearly mention that the services rendered by an incumbent in a college/ Research laboratory / Institute should be taken into account for recruitment and promotion of teachers in the universities, the relevant rules of Kashmir University have been grossly responsible for stalling the career progression of many faculty members working in various University Departments. The pertinent UGC Rule is reproduced hereunder:
Previous regular service, whether national or international, as Assistant Professor, Associate Professor or Professor or equivalent in a University, College, National Laboratories or other scientific/professional organizations such as the CSIR, ICAR, DRDO, UGC, ICSSR, ICHR, ICMR, DBT, etc., should be counted for direct recruitment and promotion under CAS of a teacher as Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor or any other nomenclature.
The above rule which clearly protects the service rendered by a college incumbent before joining the University has been arbitrarily modified by the University authorities wherein they have restricted the counting of past service to two years only irrespective of the number of years of service actually put in. This is a gross violation of the above quoted UGC norm and such an unfair modification has been done purposely to stop the competent college teachers willing to serve the Kashmir University. The modified rule has been harsh and de-moralizing for all those college teachers who have joined the institution years before. Besides stagnant service career, these faculty members are suffering unimaginable salary losses. There are instances of faculty members who are suffering from stagnated career progression by 15 to 20 years. How far is it justified that a college teacher who has been promoted under Career Advancement Scheme (CAS) by State Public Service Commission while being in service there would have again to undergo the same placement process in the University that too putting up additional years of service yet again? The rule has been seeping out and sagging the morale levels of an otherwise equally dedicated lot. The university authorities need to forthwith review such biased regulation so that the devotion and resolve of affected teachers is reinstated and governing credibility of this veritable institution of learning is maintained.
(The writer is Associate Professor & Head, Department of Finance & Banking, Jazan University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and a former Faculty at the Department of B&FS, KU. Feedback at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lastupdate on : Mon, 28 Nov 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 28 Nov 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 29 Nov 2011 00:00:00 IST
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