Shastry V Mallady

UGC says `no' to guest lecturers/teaching assistants

MADURAI: Following the intervention of the University Grants Commission (UGC), the State Government has directed all universities to take quick steps to fill teaching posts and do away with the practice of appointing temporary staff as guest lecturers/ teaching assistants.

Madurai Kamaraj University, which officially received instructions from the Government on Thursday, has decided to expedite the faculty recruitment process after obtaining necessary clearances, including settlement of various court cases.

University officials told The Hindu on Saturday that the order received from the Higher Education Department had also cited the concerns of UGC over the existing vacancies in departments and the apex body's strict `no' to managing with guest lecturers in university education.

Enclosing the UGC directive, the State Government has asked universities to avoid recruiting teaching staff on part-time basis and take urgent steps to fill vacancies in all departments.

When contacted, Vice-Chancellor P. Maruthamuthu said the State Government order had mentioned that faculty should be on permanent basis and handling classes by guest lecturers was not in the interest of higher education.

According to university authorities, more than 80 teaching staff are working as guest lecturers in MKU at present and though steps were taken a few months ago to make recruitments it could not be pursued since the matter went to court.

Meanwhile, the Vice-Chancellor formed a committee last week consisting of Syndicate members to look into the issue of court cases and examine how they could be solved through talks with staff.

"The UGC and State Government in their order mentioned the importance of quality education. In our university we could not proceed with appointments owing to the demand from a few quarters to clear the backlog (of accumulated vacancies)," Dr. Maruthamuthu said and added that the MKU would implement the Government Order.