Faculty recruitment in Calicut University facing twin challenges

File photo of Calicut University, Kozhikode.   | Photo Credit: S. Ramesh Kurup

The ongoing process to recruit faculty members for various departments of the Calicut University is facing political and legal challenges.

The university authorities had begun steps to recruit 24 professors, 29 associate professors, and 63 assistant professors for various departments earlier this year. A section of teachers and activists had opposed issuing of the notification without specifying reservation categories of the posts then itself. The process, however, had to be stopped in the wake of the pandemic-induced lockdown and other restrictions. It was resumed some time ago after the restrictions were lifted.

Now, both the Congress and the Indian Union Muslim League and their affiliate organisations are on the agitation path against it. Last week, activists of the Kerala Students Union and the Muslim Students Federation tried to disrupt the interview process being held at the administrative block. United Democratic Front-supported teachers’ and non-teachers’ unions too staged protests on the university campus. It is learnt that they have also approached the Governor, who is the Chancellor of the university, against the recruitment process.

Meanwhile, some applicants approached the High Court against the university. One of the petitions found fault with the university authorities for not specifying community-wise reservation categories while issuing the notifications for the recruitment. It was pointed out that the notifications for appointment of faculty posts in other universities had details of the reservation categories.

However, the university authorities are claiming that they were complying with an order of the High Court. While cancelling an earlier notification for the appointment of assistant professors, the court had in 2016 pointed out that publishing reservation details at the time of notification was illegal. The authorities are claiming that the details will be published at the time of appointment. The candidates shall be recruited as the per the roster following the Kerala State and Subordinate Services Rules, 1958. The petitioners have now sought lifting of the 2016 verdict.

Another petition filed in the High Court accused the university of not clearing the backlog posts before starting the recruitment process. According to sources, of the 63 posts of assistant professors, there were 29 backlog posts in various reservation categories while four other posts belong to the differently abled quota. It is learnt that the university is contending that a Syndicate sub-committee had decided against filling the backlog posts. The second petition challenges this decision. The university has also been accused of violating an assurance given to the court that interviews would not be held for the time being. Hearing on both the cases was held last week and it is again expected to come up on December 8.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 2:52:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/faculty-recruitment-in-calicut-university-facing-twin-challenges/article33260663.ece

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