Representational image
Representational image

Indore An order by University Grants Commission (UGC) regarding suspension of appointments in universities has put Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya (DAVV) in a fix as it was gearing up to recruit contractual teachers against 190 permanent vacancies. The university wanted to appoint contractual teachers ahead of National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) peer team’s visit to its campus for accreditation.

“The UGC has banned appointment of permanent faculty members and not contractual teachers. So, there would no problem if we go ahead with appointment process. But we will seek UGC’s permission before making appointments,” said DAVV vice chancellor Dr Narendra Dhakad. In July, the UGC had directed all the universities to suspend the recuirtment process for academic staff as a special leave petition was filed in Supreme Court over reservation issue.

Though the directives were issued in July, the DAVV claimed to have received the order copy of late. “We had advertised vacancies for contractual teachers in October whereas we got copy of the UGC order recently” a university officer claimed. The UGC had planned to fill the posts in December after the model code of conduct for assembly polls is lifted but before that the UGC letter reached DAVV. •

DAVV avoiding regular appointments

DAVV has been evading appointments of teaching staff for past several years. Process to fill vacancies began in 2009. It was deferred after a complaint regarding irregularities was lodged with Raj Bhawan. In 2013, ahead of National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) peer team’s visit to the varsity, vacant posts were advertised. After NAAC awarded Grade ‘A’ accreditation to DAVV, the appointment process was put into cold storage on the pretext of financial constraints. In 2015, the DAVV again geared up to fill the vacancies. However, eight self-financing departments/ institutes requested varsity authorities not to appoint regular teachers on their campuses citing financial constraints. The request sounded death knell for the appointment process.

Govt pressure on DAVV to fill vacancies

After Department of Higher Education (DHE) built pressure, the university agreed to fill teaching posts lying vacant on UTD campus but sought increase in block grant. The university gets Rs 6.5 crore-block grant annually. It sought 10-fold increase. One order of the higher education regulator’s states that vacancies of teachers should not exceed 10% of sanctioned strength at any point of time. Following these directives, DAVV decided to fill vacancies.

No regular faculty at 3 UTDs

Three university teaching departments have no regular faculty members. These departments are School of Commerce, School of Social Sciences and School of Languages. These departments are being run by teachers on contract and guest lectures. During its visit, the peer team of NAAC had pointed out this shortcoming and was assured by DAVV authorities that regular teaching staff would be appointed in these departments within a year. The assurance is yet to be fulfilled.

Contractual teachers’ salary hiked

Contractual teachers would get salary of RS 35,000 per month instead of Rs 21,600. “Coordination committee in June had approved a proposal to increase salary of contractual teachers by nearly Rs 14,000 per month,” said Prof VB Gupta.

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Free Press Journal