Graduates 'preferred' over PGs for librarian posts

The Department of Libraries and Research has come under severe criticism for not considering candidates with postgraduate degrees in Library Information Science (MLIS) for the post of librarian, junior librarian and the library assistants.

The posts were earlier referred to the J&K Service Selection Board (JKSSB) and advertised on Tuesday by the JKSSB – the exam conducting body. The JKSSB has advertised around 30 posts of librarian, junior librarian and library assistants for J&K. However, the eligibility criteria set by the government has come under question.

“The link for advertisement No 04 of 2020 advertised by JKSSB was activated on Tuesday. On applying for various library-related posts, we found ourselves ineligible for the posts of librarian, junior librarian and library assistant despite possessing Master’s degree in Library and Information Science (MLIS) from the University of Kashmir,” said a dejected candidate who could not apply for the posts.

Greater Kashmir received scores of distress calls from the dejected candidates who complained about the “flawed recruitment rules” framed by the Department of Libraries and Research to fill these posts.

The candidates have been termed ineligible despite the clearance given by the University of Kashmir administration over equivalence of MLIS course four years ago.

In a letter addressed to Secretary JKSSB, the Assistant Registrar of Academic division stated that the MLIS degree obtained after graduation is an integrated two year Master’s degree in Library and Information Science approved by the University Grants Commission (UGC). “The integrated MLIS course at the University of Kashmir comprises one year B.LIS and one year M.LIS while the same degree is offered by the Jammu University in a non-integrated form with one year B.LIS and one year M.LIS. Both the degrees are equivalent for all purposes,” the letter reads.

The candidates possessing the MLIS course offered by KU said that their future was at stake as the Department of Libraries and Research did not consider their degree for filling up the posts.

“Junior librarian and library assistant posts are level II and level IV posts. Ironically, the candidates with bachelors and certificate course are considered for the posts over those who have done master’s degree in the same subject,” the candidates said.

Around 40 students graduate from the KU’s MLIS department every year after completing the two-year MLIS course. “Hundreds of candidates have passed out from KU with MLIS degrees during the past many years but majority are not considered eligible for the librarian’s post,” the candidates said.

Director, Department of Libraries and Research, Muhammad Rafi said the posts were referred to JKSSB a year ago as per the already existing recruitment rules of the department.

“I have recently joined the department. I will go through the grievance of the candidates and a decision about their eligibility will be taken accordingly,” he said.