LG administration takes note of ‘serious matter’, asks department to ‘fix responsibility’
Srinagar: Faculty members at colleges in Jammu and Kashmir have accused the Higher Education department of “promoting mediocrity” by denying them permission to pursue higher studies.
The accusations have caught the attention of the Lieutenant Governor’s administration, which has called it a “serious matter” that “does not receive proper attention”.
The LG’s administration has now directed the Higher Education department to fix responsibility for such denial of permission.
Several faculty members at colleges across Jammu and Kashmir have said that while the University Grants Commission encourages higher qualifications and research work, the Higher Education department here has been denying them permission for it.
“Even if permissions are granted in some cases, the procedure for (obtaining) the study leave is so cumbersome that a faculty member is discouraged to pursue the higher studies,” reads a letter written recently by aggrieved college faculty members from Jammu division to KK Sharma, Advisor to the LG, who holds the Higher Education portfolio.
The faculty members said in their letter that higher qualifications held great significance both in terms of improving pedagogy at colleges and their own career progression.
They pointed out that the Higher Education department itself had made PhD compulsory for promotion to the post of Associate Professor while a doctoral degree is a prerequisite for appointment of college principals.
A senior faculty member from Jammu told Kashmir Reader that as many as 27 of their colleagues in Jammu division were awaiting permission for the past two years from the department to pursue higher studies.
In Kashmir division, too, several faculty members are being denied permission to pursue research work, a senior college teacher posted in north Kashmir alleged.
The college teacher said that certain people were being allowed to go for higher studies on the basis of favouritism and “pick and choose” policy.
In a letter now sent to Commissioner Secretary, Higher Education, Advisor KK Sharma has said that the issue of permission of study leave in favour of the faculty members “does not receive proper attention, which is a serious matter”.
Sharma has directed the commissioner secretary to “examine the matter and fix the responsibility for the delay”. He has also asked the administrative department to furnish data of the last two years within a period of one month.
Commissioner Secretary, Higher Education, Talat Parvez Rohella was not available for his comments on this matter.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Higher Education department had in April 2001 notified a policy regarding permission to faculty members for pursuing higher qualifications on a part-time basis.