Bihar govt in overdrive to implement statute change for appointment of asst professors
With the Election Commission likely to announce the Bihar assembly election early September, the state government has moved fast to carry out changes in the statute for appointment of assistant professors in universities through the Bihar state university service commission (BSUSC) before the model code of conduct for polls come into force.
The action comes after chief minister Nitish Kumar’s Independence Day address in which he specifically mentioned that the statute would be modified to bolster prospects of candidates from Bihar.
Kumar had referred to the government’s move to amend the statute, which was notified by the Raj Bhawan on August 10, following concerns expressed by academicians that certain clauses in it would work against the interest of candidates from Bihar.
The very next day after the CM’s statement, the statute was referred to the BSUSC to work out the changes and after that it was sent to the department of education. It has now reached the Raj Bhawan for its final approval and fresh notification.
A vice chancellor, who did not want to be quoted, said the Raj Bhawan has sent the revised draft statute to all the VCs for their opinion. “Once that is received within a few days, a fresh notification will be issued. With the commission and the state government having already incorporated the required changes, then the same line will be adopted,” he added.
According to highly places sources in the BSUSC, the doctorates from the Bihar universities would no more be rendered ineligible for not conforming to the 2009 Ph.D regulations of the University Grants Commission (UGC), as it would now be made effective from the date of notification in the concerned universities. Earlier, it was from the date of UGC notification.
The commission took into cognisance the fact that while the 2009 UGC regulations was notified in Bihar in 2012, it could only be effectively implemented in the Bihar universities 2014 onwards. “Now, the doctorates from Bihar universities will get exemption from the National Eligibility Test (NET) or state-level eligibility test (SLET) up to 2016 depending on the date of implementation of UGC regulation. Some other states also did the same to ensure that the candidates did not have to suffer due to delay in implementation,” said BSUSC chairman Rajvardhan Azad.
Even for those having done Ph.D from Bihar universities prior to the 2009 UGC notification, the commission has adopted flexibility to give them some exemption if they conformed to six of the 11 points laid down by the UGC for institutions awarding Ph.D.
Another change incorporated in the statute is that seven point weightage to M.Phil has been done away with, as none of the Bihar universities award M.Phil. Some more changes have been introduced on the requirement of certain levels of research papers published in international journals.
In the statute, the marking scheme in career had omitted Matric and Intermediate marks which were included in the criteria till last appointment in 2017 in line with the UGC requirement of “good Academic Record”. Some experts also suggested that the bracketing of marks obtained by candidates be done on a smaller scale for awarding additional marks. At present, 60-80 % has been kept in one bracket.
Some groups of students have also written to the CM and the Raj Bhawan for more weightage to NET scholars as just 5 marks to them will deny young NET qualified genuine candidates.
Over 5,000 vacancies for assistant professors are likely to be advertised In the state, which has its universities functioning at less than 40% of the sanctioned strength. The universities will furnish the vacancy details to the commission in accordance with the reservation roster.
Before this, it was on March 19, 2013 that the state cabinet had cleared the proposal for recruitment of 3,364 assistant professors through the Bihar Public Service Commission (BPSC) in the seriously understaffed state universities. The target was to complete the process before the start of the 2014-15 academic session but it stretched till 2020. Before that the appointments were made in 2003 on the basis of a 1997 advertisement in Bihar.