Bhopal: Guest faculty members staging a dharna at Neelam Park for the last four days, demanding regularization of services, have questioned decision to remove interview from recruitment process for professors. The process is being conducted by Madhya Pradesh Public Service Commission. Two members Jyoti Shikha Agarwal and Anamika Singh are on indefinite hunger strike.

Dr Amitabh Mishra, who has been working as a guest faculty since 1999, said that the state government was not responding to their demands. Moreover, the Higher Education Department has tweaked the rules and removed the interview part from the recruitment process in contravention of the UGC norms, said Mishra.

“The rules say that interview will be held for candidates who clear the written test. But the state government has changed the rule through a cabinet decision. Now no interviews will be held. It will allow manipulation in recruitment process,” said Mishra.

The guest faculty members, protesting under the banner of ‘Atithi Vidvan Mahasangh’, claim affiliation with RSS’ Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh. One of the protesting members Ajay Kumar Tripathi said government representatives had assured them of making special provisions for them but they didn’t honour their words. State government did injustice to state domiciles by raising age bar to 44 years for candidates coming from outside the state as well. The age limit for candidates from Madhya Pradesh remains 28-32 years, said Tripathi.

“We have been teaching in colleges for more than a decade. Moreover, the last recruitment drive was held in 1992. Since then no permanent staff was appointed. We are the one who provided quality education in colleges across the state during these years. We dedicated prime years of our lives to teaching, where will we go now,” asked Tripathi.

State president of Mahasangh, Devraj Singh said that it was surprising that about 18 changes have been made in the recruitment rules since the advertisement appeared for the recruitment of 3,400 vacancies on December 12, 2017. ‘Sometimes the numbers of posts are changed from general to reserve categories while at another age eligibility was changed. Most surprising part was removing of interview from the recruitment process. This indicates about something fishy going on in the entire process,’ said Singh.

Government officials say that the recruitment process cannot be stopped. ‘Interview part has been removed as it will take about an year to complete the recruitment process. There are about 29,000 applicants and around 11,000 would be shortlisted for the interview while the PSC board has only three members to conduct the process,’ said an official pleading not to be quoted.

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