Solan, December 22
In a clear violation of the UGC norms, the case of an information officer working at the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, has not only been approved by the academic council, but also would be placed before the Board of Management (BoM) for placement as an assistant professor (AP).
The said officer, Anju Sharma, who was appointed in the Department of Biotechnology in 2000, lacks the mandatory National Eligibility Test (NET) condition to be placed as an AP. Despite this, the academic council of the university duly approved her case on December 21 and now it would be placed before the BoM, the highest governing body of the university, on December 26 for placement as AP.
The procedure has put a question mark over the role of the academic council, which is chaired by the vice-chancellor.
Vice-chancellor Dr KR Dhiman agreed that the information officer lacked the mandatory NET qualification. He, however, added that even if the case was approved by the academic council it could be declined by the BoM, as the candidate lacked NET qualification. He, however, explained that since the candidate had made several representations about her case it had come up before the academic council. He also added that her case had been rejected earlier in 2004 also.
Sources pointed out that even approval of such a case was a clear violation as she was placed in the state scale as an information officer and her placement in the UGC scale could not be made without fulfilling the mandatory criteria.
The said officer had also applied for a similar post in 1999 and her case was rejected by the screening committee itself as she failed to fulfill the mandatory NET norm. She was not even interviewed during that time and now the university had chosen not just to approve her case, but had duly sent it to the BoM for final placement.
Interestingly, the BoM is convening its meeting outside the main campus at the Mashobra Research Station and this is perhaps a rare occasion. The VC said this would help the members to visit a research station other than the main campus.
There was sizeable opposition in the campus over this issue and that too at a time when the chancellor had directed the BoM to look into complaints of several irregularities made in the appointments made during the tenure of the former VC.