‘M.Phil candidates asked to appear in screening test, PGs with NET/SLET exempted’

Aspirants Accuse Higher Education Department Of Violating UGC Norms



Srinagar, Jan 22: With the J&K Government starting the process to engage contractual lecturers and teaching assistants for the next academic year in Kashmir colleges, the move has triggered a controversy with candidates having done their M.Phil being asked to appear in the screening test while postgraduates with NET/SLET exempted from it.
 This, according to the aggrieved candidates, is in gross violation of University Grants Commission (UGC) norms which say ‘the candidates having M Phil degrees shall remain exempted from the requirement of National Eligibility Test (NET) for the purpose of appointment as lecturer/assistant professor.’
 The J&K Higher Education Department last week sought applications from the eligible candidates for engagement of lecturers/teaching assistants for the academic session 2013-14 in 42 disciplines in colleges across the Valley. “For lecturer posts the candidates must possess qualification as prescribed by the University Grants Commission viz. NET/SLET/Ph.D/M.Phil and with minimum 55 percent (50 in case of scheduled caste, scheduled tribe and physically handicapped candidates) having secured in concerned subject at postgraduate level,” the notification reads.
 The eligibility for the post of teaching assistant has been fixed as “candidates must possess postgraduate degree in the concerned subject having secured minimum 55 percent marks (50 in case of scheduled caste, scheduled tribe and physically handicapped candidates).”
 “Candidates with NET/SLET/Ph.D and those who have served on academic arrangement for continuously in the Government Degree Colleges for the last seven years or above are exempted from written/screening test,” the notification reads.
 The Higher Education Department has allegedly ‘superseded’ the UGC norms on drafting the statutes for the engagement of contractual lectures, according to the aggrieved candidates.
 The 472nd meeting of the University Grants Commission on September 27, 2010 under the chairmanship of Prof Sukhadeo Thorat had recommended that M Phil candidates also be exempted from the screening test for the engagement of lecturers/teaching assistants. “The Commission resolves that all candidates having M Phil degree on or before July 10, 2009 shall remain exempted from the requirement of NET for the purpose of appointment as lecturer/assistant professor,” the documents read.
 Greater Kashmir has learnt that some of the M Phil candidates have served continuously as contractual lecturers in the Government Degree Colleges for the last seven years or above. They said holding a screening test for M Phil candidates and exempting postgraduates with NET/SLET is a “violation” of UGC norms. “If we have worked continuously for seven years in colleges and possess M Phil degree, why have we only been asked to appear in the screening test?” the candidates asked. “Moreover the UGC guidelines make it clear that M Phil candidates are also exempted from screening.”
 Nodal Principal for Academic Arrangement (Kashmir Division) Zahoor Ahmad Chatt said the recruitment guidelines were modified by the State Cabinet in May 2012. “The Cabinet decision in May 2012 made it mandatory to conduct screening test for the recruitment of lecturers. However, Ph.D/NET/SLET candidates are exempted,” he said.
 Chatt said the logic of holding a screening for recruitment was to ensure quality and efficiency in the department. “The logic in putting under screening M Phil candidates is that most of them have fetched their degrees from outside-state universities. So to ensure quality and efficiency, screening is a must,” he said.

Lastupdate on : Tue, 22 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 22 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 23 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST

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