College teachers’ contract renewed for another year, many aggrieved

Srinagar: Highly qualified youth looking for an academic job have alleged “discrimination” in the Higher Education Department’s decision to continue the services of dozens of previously hired teachers at Kashmir colleges under Academic Arrangement basis.
The department said that it was only acting on court orders while assuring the aggrieved candidates that their employment avenues will not be affected as new colleges were being made operational in the valley.
The aggrieved candidates, possessing doctorate and additional degrees, had applied for this year’s academic arrangement under which the department hires contractual teachers for colleges.
The eligibility and guidelines for hiring the contractual teachers were issued by the department in February.
However, in a letter shot to Nodal Principal Government College for Women, MA Road, on Thursday, Director Colleges at the Higher Education Department asked the college principals to continue utilising the services of the “status quo” teachers, who are said to have obtained court directions in this regard.
The aggrieved youths alleged that continuing the services of the dozens of previously hired contractual teachers will virtually occupy the associated posts and thus diminish the employment opportunities for them.
The aggrieved candidates alleged that rather than competing on merit, the “status quo” candidates had been exploiting the court of law for quite some time, even though at the time of their hiring, they had given an undertaking not to claim the job on permanent basis.
“Otherwise, what is the objection in applying for the posts afresh and compete with rest of us,” an aggrieved candidate asked.
The aggrieved candidates equally blamed the Higher Education Department for not “vigorously” arguing the case in the court of law.
They feared that the department’s inaction might cost them their job, now that the academic arrangement posts were being virtually filled on court directions.
Secretary Higher Education Department, Talat Parvez Rohella, expressed helplessness over the matter saying that the status quo candidates were “not to be displaced by another academic year” as per the court orders.
Rohella, however, assured the aggrieved candidates that they will soon make it to the merit list in view of the operationalisation of new degree colleges in Kashmir from this year.
Pertinently, last year also, hundreds of contractual teachers hired by the department the preceding year had obtained court directions for continuation of their services.
Earlier, the department had extended their term till August 31 last year in view of the election Model Code of Conduct then.

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