UGC to create common platform for central varsities’ faculty appointments

The proposed website will function as an ‘announcement board’ where vacancies in 45 central universities will be posted

Updated - April 12, 2023 08:33 am IST

Published - April 12, 2023 03:02 am IST - New Delhi

A view of the University Grants Commission, in New Delhi. File

A view of the University Grants Commission, in New Delhi. File

As several thousands of posts of faculty members – from professors to assistant professors – remain vacant in 45 central universities, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has decided to create a common website to coordinate the appointment process in these varsities.

The proposed website, which is expected to be launched soon, will function as an “announcement board” where vacancies will be posted.

A senior UGC official told The Hindu that aspirants can create their profiles in the website and applications can be sent directly from the website. At present, each university invites applications separately.

“With this website, aspirants will not have to visit the websites of the 45 universities to know about openings. They can apply using their profile in just one click. It will make the process transparent and easy,” the official said, adding that interviews will be handled by respective departments. A similar system for appointments has been in use in 23 IITs in the country.

The official said the window will not be limited to central universities. “As of now, it will be for central universities. Over the time, we will encourage IITs, IIMs, state universities and private universities to make their vacancy announcements here so that this will work as a platform for academic jobs,” the official added.

Large number of vacancies

Recently, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had said in Lok Sabha that 6,180 posts of professors, associate professors and assistant professors, out of the 18,956 sanctioned posts, were lying vacant in central universities.

In IITs, 4,502 out of the 11,170 sanctioned posts were lying vacant as of December, 2022 and in IIMs, 493 out of the 1,566 faculty posts were vacant. “Occurrence of vacancies and filling thereof is a continuous process. Central universities are autonomous bodies, established under respective Central Acts. Their recruitment procedure is formulated by their statutory bodies in accordance with their acts, statues, rules and UGC regulations or guidelines,” Mr. Pradhan had said.

He added that his Ministry had directed all Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to fill up the vacancies in a mission mode and that the Ministry had set up a monthly monitoring mechanism for this.

Academics sceptical

Academics, however, are watching this move to introduce a common website, with suspicion. “There are two issues in this. Central universities are established under Acts of Parliament. Step by step, this government is ending the the autonomous nature of these varsities. This is yet another step in that direction. For a centralised appointment system, the Centre will have to amend the Acts of these central universities. So this proposed system should not be and will not implemented without Parliament’s approval. It will be illegal as it is a method to centralise appointments. Secondly, we fear there is a ploy to rig the appointments of faculty members by the ruling party,” said Rajeev Kunwar of Democratic Teachers Front in Delhi University.

As of December, among the vacant posts, 961 positions are reserved for SC category; 578 are for ST category; and 1,657 vacancies are for OBC applicants. Similarly, the positions reserved for economically weaker sections and physically challenged category are 643 and 301 respectively.

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