THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has found that as many as 961 faculty members in engineering colleges affiliated to APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University (KTU) were not qualified. They were promoted as associate professors, professors and principals despite not having PhD, prescribed by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) for these posts.
Of the 961 faculty members, 750 were from private engineering colleges affiliated to KTU. Also included in the list are 93 from government engineering colleges, 49 from aided colleges, 62 from government self-financing colleges and seven from Central government self-financing colleges. The CAG found that these faculty members were promoted in violation of Kerala Technical Education Service rules as well as AICTE regulations.
Besides, their continuance in the posts is a violation of the High Court and Supreme Court orders concerning their appointment. The CAG report pointed out that as per the AICTE regulations 2010, PhD is mandatory for the posts of principals, professors and associate professors. This was further underscored in the AICTE regulations of 2019.
‘Promotions were made before KTU came into being’
LAST year, the Kerala High Court had also ruled that PhD degree was mandatory for appointment to these three posts. “It (High Court order) also stated that the Kerala Public Services Act, 1968 will be subject to regulations framed by the AICTE regarding the qualification and method of appointment,” the CAG report said. The court also underscored that AICTE regulations will have to be followed even in the absence of any enabling rule or regulation by the state.
The Supreme Court too in its judgement in February this year said the notification of AICTE in 2003, that granted seven years to acquire PhD degree for appointment to the associate professor post, had come to an end in 2010. It ruled that persons who acquire PhD after 2010 will be eligible for consideration for the post only from the date when they acquire the degree.
Meanwhile, KTU officials maintained that these promotions were made before the university became functional in 2014-2015. “The promotions were made by the Directorate of Technical Education on the basis of government orders. None of these faculty members was promoted or appointed by KTU,” Pro Vice-Chancellor S Ayoob told TNIE. Meanwhile, KTU has asked affiliated colleges to furnish qualification details of faculty members in the university web portal immediately.
According to a university official, faculty members who had secured promotion without having the AICTE-prescribed qualification at that time would have to be reverted to their previous posts and the additional pay given to them during the period would have to be taken back.
750 of the ‘nonqualified’ faculty members were from private engineering colleges affiliated to KTU
CAG found that the faculty members were promoted in violation of Kerala Technical Education Service Rules
KTU says the promotions were made before the varsity was set up