Several candidates who attended the interview for the posts of associate professor and assistant professor were later told that they were ineligible because of their community.

The process of teacher appointments at the newly set up Thunchathu Ezhuthachan Malayalam University, Tirur, has caused heartburning and insult to several candidates. Many were fuming at the “insulting treatment” they got from the university authorities.

Several candidates who attended the interview for the posts of associate professor and assistant professor in different academic streams were later told that they were ineligible because of their community.

P.P. Shaju, Associate Professor of Journalism at Mary Matha Arts and Science College, Mananthavady, was called for interview along with two others for associate professor’s post in media studies at the university. After the interview, he was told that the post was reserved for the Scheduled Castes.

“There is no worse way for a university to humiliate a teacher,” said Dr. Shaju, who is preparing ground for legal proceedings against the university. Former head of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kannur University, Dr. Shaju said it was the biggest insult he suffered in his academic career.

Explanation sought

Dr. Shaju has written to the joint registrar of the university asking for explanation on why he was called for interview. Citing the university’s notification for the teacher posts, he pointed out that only eligible candidates were to be called for interview. “Then why were we called for interview, only to be told later that we were ineligible?”

Another woman candidate who was chosen as Associate Professor in Literature was told by the university not to join because of legal hurdles. Several other candidates too shared the same feeling of ‘humiliation’ after attending the interview.

Allegations denied

Malayalam University officials have denied the allegations of insult levelled by the candidates. There was no anomaly in teacher appointments, they said. A senior official said that all reservation rules and State service rules were adhered to.

P.M. Gireesh, member of the board of studies for linguistics, resigned from his post last week in protest against the anomalies in the process of professor appointment. The university had conducted interview for the post of Professor in Literature without specifying that it was reserved for the Ezhava community.

“I quit to politely register my protest against the anomaly of not specifying whether the post was reserved for a community or not,” said Dr. Gireesh, who is Assistant Professor at the Malayalam Department of Madras University, Chennai.

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