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Give parity in the recruitment of faculty positions to the scholars with allied degrees

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Shri Prakash Javadekar ji
The Union Minister for Human Resource Development
Government of India

Sub: Regarding eligibility criteria and recruitment system for the posts of lecturer/assistant professor in Life Sciences

Respected Sir,
I would like to draw your kind attention to several issues regarding eligibility criteria for appointment of faculty in Universities (central and state) in the stream of life sciences. There are discrepancies in subject wise appointment of faculties in different state and central universities (recently, it has been happening in Madhya Pradesh, UP, Rajasthan, etc., where students of allied subjects of life sciences are not eligible for the post of Assistant Professor in Life Sciences.
The UGC/education system offers many allied (interdisciplinary) subjects of natural sciences (Life Science, Physics and Chemistry) and humanities to promote applied aspects of higher education and research. Life Sciences cover various subjects such as- Life Science, Biotechnology, Medical Biotechnology, Industrial Biotechnology, Bioinformatics, Environmental Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Neuroscience, Genetics, etc. It becomes primary choice for most of the meritorious students to opt for these allied subjects. This resulted in a very large number of qualified students having under graduation (UG) and post-graduation (PG) in allied subjects. The remarkable point is, minimum eligibility qualification for the post of Assistant Professor in basic sciences (i.e., Zoology and Botany) in Universities (State and Central) and Colleges is a Master’s Degree in relevant subjects (i.e., Zoology and Botany respectively) with NET qualification. This limits the opportunities for students trained in allied disciplines to seek a placement in various relevant departments. None of the NET/SET/PhD qualified, allied subject aspirants can even apply for these posts even they are specialized over and above the essential requirement. However, the candidates from the basic science background are eligible for the Assistant Professor’s post in allied subject’s department. Therefore, this discrepancy shall not exist??
An important question that arises is where the students with degrees in allied subjects should apply for the post of Assistant Professor, if UGC guideline is restricting allied subject student for the posts of Assistant Professor in the basic subjects of life sciences. This discrepancy is also happening with allied subject students of other stream like Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Humanities as well. Thus, on one hand UGC is offering these subjects to students for completing their UG/PG and on the other hand, they (UGC, state and central universities) are making these students ineligible for the Assistant Professor’s post. The important point is that the syllabus and their associated knowledge of basic and other allied subjects of life sciences are more or less similar. Therefore, an important issue is, UGC is offering degrees for UG/PG in such allied subjects and allowing them to apply for UGC-NET lectureship exam under life sciences, but not allow them to apply for the post of Assistant Professor in subjects under Life Sciences. In such
condition students who have completed their UG/PG in allied subjects and also qualified NET/SET/PhD exam for lectureship are feeling handicapped in the academic field and in their bright future prospects promised by the education system of our country. UGC should either allow these students to apply for the aforesaid post of Assistant Professor in the basic subjects of Life Sciences or create new job opportunities for the candidates from allied science background.
Also, different state and central universities set significantly different eligibility criteria and charge a high amount of application fees. Therefore, for only filling an application form, a student invests a lot of money, time and energy. Several of such forms are filled by students, so the amount of money, time and energy that students are investing is massive and that too in a system which is objectively not transparent. Chances of selection of the most competent and meritorious scholars as faculty in most of the universities (central and state) and colleges in the country are very low and a key reason for that is an unfair selection process which is so obsolete, bureaucratic and often biased. There is a pressing need to move for the highest transparent and accountable recruitment procedure in all the universities and colleges.
Important demands which need immediate implementation:

1. Eligibility for lectureship in zoology and botany streams for students having UG and PG degree in allied subjects of life sciences or create new positions for lectureship in all allied subjects of life sciences in which only allied science candidates should be eligible. The same should be done with allied subject candidates of other streams like physics, chemistry, mathematics, humanities etc.

2. There should be a common recruitment board at central as well as state level (state universities and colleges) with minimum weightage of the interview to make the system more transparent and convenient. This would benefit aspiring candidates as they can apply to all central and state universities at a time each year. It will save time, money and will provide a greater chance of fair selection to the aspirants.

3. There should be a common recruitment board for recruitment of scientific positions (under DST, DBT, CSIR etc.) in the country to ensure a quality research output.

4. The allied subject departments should be made independent and permanent recruitment should be encouraged in universities (central and state) as well as colleges.

5. No ad-hoc basis and temporary recruitment should be made that too on very low salary for people with the so-called highest degree of Ph.D. Rather, permanent appointments should be encouraged.

Further suggestions for improvisation of the education system:

1. Ph.D. degree holders are the highest degree holders and experienced persons who have crossed several hurdles, have reached a position to make others understand the struggles of education and how to successfully cross the barriers. So they should be given an opportunity to work in every aspect of the country, especially the education system from lower to higher levels. So, the government should create more vacancies apart from already existing ones, Such as:

A) Vacancies like advisor, research analyst, and others should be created so that the education system will have more options to improve and on other hand Ph.D.’s will get more employments.

B) There should be vacancies of higher status for Ph.D.’s in the school system (and no requirement of B. Ed. for them). So that, both the school education and our extremely young minds will be benefitted and research ambiance will be created at the young level in student’s life and that will lead to the success of make in India concept in later stages.

2. Stringent filtering of the students should be done before giving them an opportunity of doing the so-called highest degree, Ph.D. But once given, they should be promised a secure future with good jobs.

Mayank Gautam
(Representative of “Research Scholars of India”)
PhD Student
Room no. 1028
Department of Anatomy
Teaching block
AIIMS, Ansari Nagar
New Delhi-29

Mobile: +91 9968961567


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