‘Blue-eyed’ helming arbitrary positions override merit in KU

Varsity going to advertise all posts like Director EMMRC soon, says recently appointed VC Prof Nilofer Khan
Kashmir University
Kashmir University

Srinagar, Dec 9: Over the years, the Kashmir University (KU) authorities have been pursuing the illegal practice of creating arbitrary positions for few blue-eyed persons while failing to advertise the vacant administrative positions through proper means.

The illegal practice was initiated by former Vice-Chancellor Dr Talat Ahmad, who created two such arbitrary positions of Media Coordinator for one former employee Muslim Jan and after that the arbitrary position of Media Advisor for Dr Shahid Rasool. When Dr Shahid was appointed in the Central University, this arbitrary position was given by the former VC to Dr Saleema Jan, the wife of Dr Shahid.

Incidentally, Dr Saleema, a Research Associate, is also holding the charge of Director of Education Multimedia Research Centre (EMMRC) of the KU.

This move of former Vice-Chancellor to give charge of Director EMMRC to Dr Saleema has led to a flurry of RTI applications against the University by some EMMRC employees, who have accused the administration of favouring an ineligible candidate for the coveted post of Director EMMRC.

The RTI applications have been allegedly stonewalled by the KU administration given the alleged proximity of the person to high offices of the University, even though VC Prof Nilofer Khan assured that she would look into the matter.

The issue of alleged ineligibility of Dr Saleema Jan has even reached the LG office which has reportedly sought a report from the KU VC about the issue.

Earlier this year, the former Vice Chancellor created another arbitrary position of “Chief Consultant Research”, which was given to Prof Irshad Ahmad Navcho after his appointment as Dean, Research landed in court. After the University won the court case, the position of Dean, Research was restored to the Professor.

“Universities don’t work like this. It is unprecedented that arbitrary positions have been allowed to continue. First, the KU should answer whether these positions are on its Schedule of Establishment or not. If they are not, then it is an illegality committed by the authorities,” the sources said.

The post of Director EMMRC has not been advertised since 2005 and has allegedly shuffled between husband and wife without any plausible justification for not advertising it.

It may be noted here that the University has many more administrative positions vacant. These include posts of Director IT and SS, which are being held by one individual for more than six years, against the University’s own three-year rotation policy for HoDs.

The positions of Director North Campus, Baramulla, Director Internal Quality Assurance and Director Convocation Complex are also vacant. These charges have presently been given to officers or Professors as an additional charge which is hampering their teaching and research in their parent departments.

The LG administration recently cancelled the recruitment process of Assistant Registrars and Junior Assistants in the University.

Faculty members said that vacant faculty positions, which were advertised, should be filled without delay because temporary arrangement was not good for the students.

When contacted for comments, Prof Nilofer Khan told Greater Kashmir that all positions including Director EMMRC would be advertised “very soon.”

“I will look into the issue of RTI applications about Director EMMRC,” she said, adding that she was conscious of matters like arbitrary positions.

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