BU move on two asst professors' promotion flayed

BU move on two asst professors' promotion flayed

Ahead of the Bangalore University Syndicate meeting on Monday, the university’s move to grant promotions to two of its faculty members has come under scathing criticism for alleged violation of UGC norms.

A section of the teaching faculty has opposed the Syndicate’s move to grant promotion to C B Honnu Siddhartha, associate professor, Kannada Adhyayana Kendra in Bangalore, and Samatha B Deshamane, associate professor, Kolar PG Centre. In the Syndicate meeting on June 25, 2014, of the Bangalore University, it was decided to grant promotion to the post of professor for the two. In the Syndicate meeting scheduled for September 15, the same is expected to be finalised.

Those opposing this have alleged that the promotion is premature (at least by one year) and this move would bring the faculty in question on a par with several others senior to them. This would imply that on account of premature promotion, the two associate professors in question will stand on a par with their seniors for further promotions.

Promotion framework
The basic framework is thus: As per the UGC guidelines, a lecturer holding PhD has to put in four years of service to become senior scale lecturer, lecturer with M Phil has to put in 5 years to get promoted and those with neither of these qualifications have to serve 6 years. On becoming a senior lecturer, a person has to put in five years for the post of a reader. After three years, is the post of associate professor and three years thereon is the professor’s post. However, for those who were recruited prior to 1996, the UGC rules were a bit different. They had to put in two years extra service for promotion. To bring these employees on a par with those appointed after 1996, the UGC gave directions that the 5-year specification for reader’s post may be relaxed for these candidates.

The conflict
According to some faculty members of the university, the conflict began with the university’s interpretation of these regulations. While the UGC sought to bring on a par pre and post-1996 recruits, the university’s interpretation was to bring non-PhD holders on equal terms with PhD holders (thereby reducing the tenure required for non-PhDs to become reader).

One faculty member told Deccan Herald: “But this was soon rectified. The university sought clarification from UGC and it was established that the advantage had to be given only for pre-1996 recruits.” Some of them who were promoted on account of the misrepresentation in 2009 returned their promotions to the university on moral grounds.
“Honnu Siddhartha’s case too was the same. Five years later, he has claimed that he deserves a promotion. How is this valid?”

Another associate professor said that the issue became complicated as the Syndicate members who favoured the promotions were not aware of the regulations. Meanwhile, the Vice-Chancellor has claimed that there is nothing illegal in the promotion. “If anyone has a problem with this, they can approach the court,” he said.

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