SRINAGAR: Back in 2014, the Union Ministry of Human Resources Development directed all NITs (National Institutes of Technology) to adopt a four-tier flexible faculty cadre – a set of rules for recruitment and promotion of faculty, one among them being that PhD would be the minimum qualification for candidates applying for the post of Assistant Professor.
Accordingly, nearly two years later, the National Institute of Technology Srinagar advertised a notification for several posts of Assistant Professors in December, 2015, vide advertisement number RF-01 OF 2015, for which PhD was minimum qualification. However, even after 18 months, no candidates had been short-listed – courtesy- a good number of the existing faculty members themselves did not possess a PhD degree, and they were blocking the selection process.
Candidates who applied for the advertised posts told Kashmir Reader that the NIT Srinagar administration initially carried out the selection procedure but midway the process was stopped, after a few faculty members influenced the administration and halted the entire process.
They said they learnt that a list of shortlisted candidates for the advertised posts had been prepared by the administration and they were about to release it, but it was withheld for unknown reasons.
Sources within the institute said that the delay in recruitment of faculty was deliberate, due to a few faculty members who wish to have themselves or their own favourites appointed to the posts.
“They (faculty members without PhDs) want the previous advertisement cancelled and a new one advertised. Till the new notification is issued, they want to derail and delay any selection process so that in the meantime they or their favourites could complete their PhDs,” they said.
As most leading universities of the world, including the best institutes in India, have an explicit or implicit policy of not inducting their own students into the faculty, the MHRD has also framed policies to avoid in-breeding in its NITs.
“Candidates who have obtained or are expected to obtain their most recent degree (PhD) from the institute will normally not be considered for recruitment, except where there is a 3 years’ gap (approximately) between leaving the institute and the expected date of joining,” says the recruitment rule of NITs, allowing for a few exceptions.
Former Registrar Fayaz Ahmad Mir told Kashmir Reader that some faculty members had objections regarding the new recruitment rules and were not happy with it.
“They approached the High Court and that forced us to stop the process. They claimed they were without promotions since the last more than 10 to 15 years, and the new rules demeaned their service. We couldn’t proceed further as the matter was sub-judice,” he said.