Kolkata: A notification issued by the West Bengal Education Department for the appointment of permanent Vice Chancellors for six state universities might face legal hurdles as certain appointment parameters clearly contradict the guidelines set by the University Grants Commission (UGC) regarding such appointments.
As per the notification which had circulated by the registrars of the state universities concerned, the candidates to be recommended for the post of permanent Vice Chancellors are required to have "ten years of teaching experience" with any university out of which "five years in the rank of professors".
Candidates who have experience with any education or research institute again with "ten years of teaching experience out of which five years as a professor" will also be eligible for consideration.
However, legal experts point out that this second clause of "five years of experience in the rank of professor," contradicts UGC guidelines, which clearly says that anyone with "ten years of experience with any university in the rank of professor" can be considered for the post of a Vice-Chancellor.
According to Calcutta High Court counsel, Jyoti Prakash Khan, the Supreme Court had also observed that the UGC guidelines on this count should be followed strictly. "Remember that education is in the concurrent list of subjects. So, if any state act in this sphere is contrary to the Central act on this count, the provision of the Central act will prevail," he said.
State Education Department sources said that till 2010, the department used to follow the UGC guidelines which fixes "ten years of experience with any university in the rank of professor" as the criteria to be set for consideration for a recommendation for the post of Vice Chancellor in any state university.
However, in 2012, that is a year after Trinamool Congress regime came to power in West Bengal ousting the 34- year Left Front rule, the same criterion was reduced to five years.
Already a case regarding the appointment of Vice Chancellors in state universities in West Bengal is going on at Calcutta High Court. The next hearing in the matter is scheduled on January 12.
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