A writ plea has been made in the Madras High Court to fill up over 3,000 lecturer posts lying vacant in various aided colleges in the State.
Justice D Hariparanthaman, before whom the writ petition from Madurai Kamaraj University Teachers Association, by its general secretary S Subburaj, came up for hearing on last Thursday, he ordered notice to the State government and the Higher Education department.
Subburaj contended that the higher education minister had announced on the floor of the Assembly that as on May 31, 2011 there were 3,120 vacancies in aided colleges and steps would be taken to fill them as expeditiously as possible. Almost a year later, on May 28, 2012, the higher education department issued an order notifying vacancies, giving hope among academics that the vacancies would indeed be filled soon.
Instead of complying with the education department’s proposal to start the selection process, the Directorate of Collegiate Education (DCE) had constituted “some committee for negotiation, which would lead to unethical practices.” It had also not permitted the members of the Association of Management of Private Colleges to fill up the vacancies on their own, petitioner contended.
The number of vacancies had been escalating due to fresh retirements. Even though the 2013-14 academic year had already started, there was no indication of the selection process. Teaching staff crunch would adversely affect the students. “It would endanger and vitiate the entire higher education system and cause chaos on campuses,” petitioner cautioned. It wanted the court to permit the colleges to fill the assistant professor vacancies.
The DCE was the competent authority to decide the vacancies, determined on the basis of the norms of work load prescribed by the UGC and adopted by the university concerned. Once the vacancies were determined, the aided colleges were free to advertise and make appointments without obtaining any prior approval, petitioner said adding that there was no need to get prior approval.
After the appointments were made as per the Act, government rules and UGC specification, the proposals were to be sent to the universities for qualification approvals and to the joint director for approval of the appointment for grant purposes, petitioner added.