Srinagar: The authorities at the University of Kashmir (KU) have failed to do away with arbitrary administrative positions including that of the Media Advisor even as the university has skipped advertising the post of Director EMMRC among other posts in its latest advertisement notice.
An official source said that the Media Advisor's post, as earlier reported by Greater Kashmir, does not exist on the Schedule of Establishment of the university and was arbitrarily assigned as designation by former VC Dr Talat Ahmad to Shahid Rasool, then Director EMMRC in 2019 and then to his wife Saleema Jan, Research Associate EMMRC, in 2021.
"We do not have any such position on the university's recruitment roll," an official in the Recruitment Section told Greater Kashmir.
He said that no such position, which is not available in the Schedule of Establishment, could be advertised or exists in the university system.
Even though the post of Media Advisor is being held by Saleema Jan as an additional charge, the post of Director EMMRC that she holds has also not been advertised by the university despite demands for the same.
"The culture of additional charge is flourishing in the university. Rather than properly filling up the vacant positions, the university authorities are resorting to a pick and choose policy to advertise the posts," said a university teacher.
Notably, KU on Tuesday floated the advertisement to fill the vacant administrative positions, including that of Registrar and Director IT, through proper channels, even as the academicians welcomed the move to end the “temporary arrangement”.
The Deputy Registrar of KU’s Recruitment Section issued the advertisement for tenure posts of Registrar (Main Campus), Librarian Allama Iqbal Library, Director Directorate of Physical Education and Sports, Director Information Technology and Support System, Director North Campus Baramulla and Director Institute of Technology, Zakura.
However, there was no mention of the post of Director EMMRC in the notification.
The advertisement notice reads that the appointment to the post of Registrar would be on tenure basis for a period of three years and to other posts for a period of five years.
“The age of the applicants should preferably be not more than 57 years for the post of Registrar and Librarian, and 55 years for the rest of the posts,” the advertisement notice reads.
The submission of online forms and hard copy starts January 16 and ends on February 17, 2023.
“The detailed advertisement notice containing essential qualifications and other terms and conditions will be available on the university website on January 16, 2023,” the notice reads.
Notably, the post of Registrar had fallen vacant after the three-year tenure of Registrar Nisar Ahmad Mir ended in January last year.
Even though the Chancellor’s Office had directed that the Registrar would continue till the new VC joins the university, the post continues to be held by the incumbent.
The post of Director IT has been manned by a “scientist” for the last more than six years, drawing criticism from academicians who had many times urged the VC to rotate the official as per the university’s three-year rotation policy for all heads of departments and directors.
The non-rotation of the official had led to allegations of promoting favouritism against the university authorities.
A professor of political science, as a temporary arrangement, is holding the post of Librarian while the post of Director Sports is being held by an associate professor of the Linguistics Department, who is also holding the post of Coordinator NSS as an additional charge.
The university had some time ago floated the policy of “One Person One Post Policy” which however has been put on the backburner for reasons unknown.
The post of Director North Campus Baramulla was advertised in 2021 and the recruitment process was finalised in 2022, but the position could not be filled after the LG’s office declined to give its nod to the shortlisted candidates over issues related to their character antecedents, an official said.
A professor of the Physics Department, as an additional charge, is holding the post of Director IOT Zakura for the last two years.
A KU official said that the vacant administrative positions would be filled at the earliest to end the “temporary arrangement” culture hampering the smooth functioning of the university.
Welcoming the advertisement notice, KU academicians appealed to the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor to ensure a fair recruitment process so that it does not meet the fate of the recruitment process of Assistant Registrars and Junior Assistants, which was quashed by LG last year owing to allegations of irregularities.
“Officials holding these vacant administrative positions at present should be removed if they intend to apply for these positions so that a level-playing field is provided to all applicants,” said a KU teacher.
He said it would raise questions of impropriety if the same officials apply for the positions and get an edge over other candidates.
"Allowing them to be in the same positions during the course of recruitment would be illegal and unethical," he said.
Greater Kashmir had recently reported that the university authorities were delaying advertising many posts including Director EMMRC.
The present advertisement notice is silent on advertising the posts of Director EMMRC, Director Convocation Complex, and Director DIQA.
The former VC Dr Talat had also assigned an arbitrary designation of Chief Consultant Research to a professor, drawing flak from the teachers.