Srinagar: The higher education department in Kashmir has found that many candidates who have applied for the posts of contractual lecturers in colleges have submitted fake National Eligibility Test (NET) and State Level Eligibility Test (SLET) certificates.
Applicants with NET and SLET qualifications and candidates with PhD and MPhil are preferred over post-graduates with no such credentials for contractual teaching jobs. For permanent teaching jobs, these qualifications are a pre-requisite.
The worrying aspect is that PGs already teaching in colleges for the past several years too might have submitted fake certificates.
Fake NET/SLET documents were detected during screening of applications at the Amar Singh College, the nodal college for appointment of contractual staff in government degree colleges in the Valley.
Nodal principal Prof Mohammad Aslam Baba, who is heading the three-member selection committee, told Kashmir Reader that fake NET and SLET certificates have been detected. He did not, however, reveal the exact number of such fakes.
However, it was learnt that dozens of candidates have submitted fake testimonials.
“We will investigate the issue thoroughly,” Baba said.
Sources said counterfeit certificates have been submitted mainly by the first-time applicants but the issue has raised doubts about the genuineness of the contractual lecturers’ selection in the past.
“I don’t want to comment on past but there is a possibility that such cases would have been there,” Baba said.
The contractual lecturers are appointed for an academic arrangement as most of colleges in the state do not have sufficient teaching faculty. Many colleges in rural areas are completely run by contractual lecturers. These lecturers are paid a monthly salary of Rs 18,000 and their contract expires with the end of academic session in colleges.
In January, the Department of Higher Education invited applications from candidates for several contractual posts including lecturers, and assistant lecturers. The lecturer post requires post-graduate degree along-with NET, SLET or PhD degree while candidates with 55 percent marks in post-graduation are eligible for the posts of assistant lecturers.
About 6,000 candidates have applied for the 1,200 vacancies in 50 colleges in the region.
Baba said action would be initiated against the applicants who have submitted fake certificates without explaining about the nature of the action.
Sources said the issue was discussed in a top-level meeting of higher education officials in Jammu on Monday.