Uncertainty over filling up of teachers vacancies

Uncertainty over filling up of teachers vacancies

Uncertainty looms large over filling up of the vacant teaching posts in universities with the Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry deciding to approach the Supreme Court once again against the 2017 Allahabad High Court's judgement.

The high court's verdict favoured implementation of department wise-roster system for the recruitment of faculty members.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has put in abeyance filling up of vacant posts since July last year following a row over the implementation of the new roster system for recruitment of teachers even as both the central and state universities are facing acute shortage of qualified and regular teachers, ranging from 30% to 50%.

The ministry's decision to file a review petition in the Supreme Court, ignoring the demands for an “immediate” promulgation of an Ordinance or a bill during the ongoing Session of Parliament to reverse the Allahabad High Court's verdict, is expected to further delay the resumption of the recruitment process.

The apex court recently declined to intervene into Allahabad High Court verdict, dismissing a special leave petition (SLP) of the ministry nearly six months after it was filed.

The Supreme Court, while hearing on an appeal filed by a petitioner in the matter, had upheld the Allahabad High Court judgement in 2017.

“Filling up of vacant posts is not a priority for the government. In Delhi University alone, we have over 4,000 teachers who are working on ad-hoc basis for years awaiting to be absorbed into the system,” the Federation of Central University Teachers Association (FEDCUTA) president Rajib Ray said when asked for his comment.

The entire process will remain in “suspended animation” if the a bill or Ordinance (to set aside the Allahabad High Court verdict) is scheduled to be brought only after “the yet-to-be-filed review petition” gets dismissed by the Supreme Court, he added.

Amid raging demands for “immediately” bringing an Ordinance or a bill to nullify the Allahabad High Court verdict and reinstate University-wise roster system, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar on Friday told the Rajya Sabha that these options would be “open” for the government only after the Supreme Court rejects the ministry's review petition to be filed “soon.”

He also assured that the recruitment process will remain in abeyance “till then,” hoping to get “justice” from the apex court

“Either the government believes that the college/university-wise roster is just or it doesn't. Committing support to it and postponing action to an indefinite future, at least a future beyond the term of the present government, is dilly-dallying,” the FEDCUTA president said, reacting to the Ministry's plan.

The ministry filed an SLP to challenge the Allahabad High Court verdict in July last year only after a massive political row erupted on a UGC directive to all universities for implementation of the department-wise roster system as per the court's judgement.

Various university teachers' associations are up in arms against the department-wise roster system, claiming that it's implementation would deny the teaching job opportunities to the candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes.