Indore: Cancelled twice before, the much and long-awaited exams for the post of assistant professor in government colleges across the state is likely to be held in January. “We have received a go ahead from state government to hold the exams for appointing assistant professors in more than 3,000 seats lying vacant in government colleges. However, the eligibility criteria are yet to be fixed. After the government decides on the eligibility criteria, the exams will be held either in January or February,” said a top official of Madhya Pradesh Public Service Commission wishing anonymity.

He further informed that department of higher education (DHE) is soon going to hold a meeting for deciding the eligibility criteria. After a gap of 16 years, the MPPSC had invited applications for filling about 1,650 posts of assistant professors in 2015, but the recruitment process was cancelled in September (same year) following some eligibility related issues.

However, later the DHE added more teaching posts, shooting the vacancies up to 2,371 posts in government colleges. These vacancies were again advertised last year by the MPPSC and exam was fixed on August 22. But, after the eligibility criteria decided for the post left thousands of PhD holders, who obtained their degrees before July 2009, ineligible for the post protests erupted, forcing the state government to cancel the MPPSC exams again. The state government had even announced to conduct State Eligibility Test (SET) for the PhD holders, who were rendered ineligible for the assistant professor’s posts by the University Grants Commission.

SET used to be held regularly in the state, but it was discontinued about 20 years ago, for the reasons best known to powers that be. However, this never became an issue until MPPSC invited applications for assistant professor’s posts last year. For assistant professor’s post, a candidate is required to either have NET qualification or should have taken PhD as per regulations-2009. SET qualified candidates are also eligible for the post of assistant professor only in the universities or colleges situated in the state from where they have cleared their SET.

Thousands of PhD holders in the state, who had obtained PhD prior to 2009, staged protests against the government stating that if SET would have been conducted regularly in the state, many of them could have become eligible for the posts. As pressure mounted on the government, it suspended assistant professor’s exam scheduled on August 22 last year stating that the same would be held after SET is conducted in the state. SET was conducted in February and results were awaited announced on May 30.

While, four months had passed for the SET results to be declared but the new date of assistant professor’s exam has not been declared as yet even as aspirants have been making a beeline to the MPPSC office for the exam. The MPPSC officials signalled at releasing advertisement for assistant professor’s exam in October and hold exams either in January or February.

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