Aspirants accuse VC IUST of breaching UGC guidelines

Srinagar, May 3: Islamic University of Science and Technology is violating all norms laid down by University Grants Commission (UGC) to pave way for the selection of blue-eyed candidates.
The University issued a notification for the posts of Associate Professors, Assistant Professors and Professors. Ironically, only those candidates who have applied for the post of Assistant Professor have been asked to appear in the examination while rest have been exempted. “Aspirants who have come off with flying colours in national level examinations like NET, JRF, SET and have done PhD courses from reputed Universities are being asked to appear in the examination while those with simple degrees are exempted. This is grave injustice towards us,” said an aspirant to news agency CNS claiming that in a bid to adjust his blue-eyed candidates Vice Chancellor IUST is trying to do recruitments on fast track basis.
“During the tenure of the incumbent VC, a recruitment process was done in one and a half years but this time he is in a hurry just because he will attain superannuation after two months. The VC is eager to adjust his favourites before abdicating the office,” the aspirants said.
The aspirants in a communiqué to Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik has alleged that IUST is breeching UGC norms, implementing Screening Test for assessment of the domain knowledge of eligible candidates for the post of Assistant Professors.
“In defiance of the UGC guidelines, Vice Chancellor, IUST, Awantipora, has issued a notice to implement Screening Test for assessment of the domain knowledge of eligible candidates for the post of Assistant Professors, issued through notification No.:IUST/REg/Adm/19/E/216, dated: 02-05-2019, and has decided to undertake the recruitment process of Assistant Professors and shortlist the candidates on the criteria of obtaining 45% of marks in the Screening Test.”
“We are, therefore, writing to bring it to your cognizance that such dictatorial imposition should be revoked as it is an assault to MHRD and UGC rules. Hence we, the applicants, herewith express our dissent on the grounds,that, as per UGC guidelines having qualified SET/NET in the relevant subject or having a PhD degree as per UGC in accordance with the University Grants Commission (Minimum Standards and Procedure for Award of M.Phil./Ph.D. Degree) Regulations, 2009 or 2016, is the eligibility for the post of Assistant Professor. Hence there is no such need for conducting Screening Test for the said positions, hence an unprecedented act.”
The communiqué reads that IUST had advertised various posts (Professors, Associate Professors, and Assistant Professors) through notice No. 02 of 2019, dated 20-02-2019, from the eligible candidates as per the UGC guidelines; which is now subject to challenge by the University authorities. “The Vice Chancellor of the University has cited that in order to assess the domain knowledge of the eligible candidates and to verify the genuineness of the candidate’s degrees, the Screening Test shall be conducted; which is a supercilious attitude to nullify UGC regulations, Junior Research Fellow (JRF), National Eligibility Test (NET), State Level Eligibility Test(SET) and PhD degrees.”
“Under the current Vice-chancellorship of Prof. Mushtaq Ahmad Siddiqui, the University had in year 2018 inducted around 60 Assistant Professors in different disciplines and no such Screening Test did the University feel to implement last year. The present eligible candidates are almost same, who had applied for the said positions in the previous year, with substantial teaching experiences and PhD degrees from the leading Universities including, University of Kashmir, Delhi University, Aligarh Muslim University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, etc.”
The applicants state that they consider such approach mere an eyewash, a gimmick to drop PhD candidates and select basic/essential degree holders under the so called “deep layer of messianic consciousness”.
The applicants stated that VC has made it a rule to induct the new faculties on substantive positions with mere basic qualification who later find it easy to get admission to PhD programmes by availing 3 years educational leave, that’s why 1/4th of the permanent faculties of the University are on educational leave to pursue PhD.
“The department heads have hurried up fulfilling the injunctions of the Vice Chancellor of the University to prepare the syllabus and questions for the Screening Test (within 3 hours of the day). In last year’s selection process for the posts of Assistant Professors, the same heads of the Departments were excluded not to be part of selection committee against their will with a charge of nepotism. The same heads this year are trusted to be active participants of Screening Test. And the whole process needs to be executed within the tenure of the present Vice Chancellor, which will likely end around the month of August 2019.
The applicants have also accused VC of playing with the rules governing Academic Arrangement Process. “The Academic Arrangement period is from March to December but the VC issued the notification reading that the tenure of those recruiting under Academic Arrangement will end on July 31. How can he play with the rules and end the tenure in mid-session? They questioned.
The applicants have sought Governor’s intervention in the matter.
Vice Chancellor IUST Prof. Mushtaq Ahmad Siddiqui couldn’t be contacted, however, Dean Academics Prof. AM Shah said screen test have become inevitable for the Assistant Professor because of high number of applications. “We have already received over 120 applications for the posts of Assistant Professors while only 20 to 25 will get selected. The case is different with the posts of Associate Professors and Professors where the number of applicants is very low. Aspirants for the post of Assistant Professors have to undergo screen test because the number of applications we received are very high,” Dean Academics said.