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MU In The News Again For The Wrong Reason: Appointment Discrepancies, UGC Heat On MU Authority, Seeks Explanation

IMPHAL, Nov 26: Taking serious note of the reported discrepancies and manipulations of UGC rules and norms in the appointment to various posts in Manipur University, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked the MU authority to explain the matter.

In a written intimation, UGC Deputy Secretary BK Singh has asked the MU Registrar to examine the matter personally and send his comments to the UGC at the earliest.

A reliable source informed that MU authorities have been following their own set of rules which are both flexible and inflexible in accordance to their convenience, particularly at times of appointment while overriding the UGC regulations.

Many Part-time teachers who were appointed, re-appointed and their service period extended from time to time with many breaks in between have been appointed to the post of Readers/Deputy Directors in Manipur University by counting their past service periods just like a regular teacher.

These appointments were made in accordance to MU’s own conventions, norms and the 10th Plan Guidelines violating the UGC norms of ‘previous regular services for direct recruitment and promotion’.

Part-time teachers were allowed to appear for interviews for direct appointment as Readers/Deputy Directors and many of them got selected on the basis of five years full time teaching experience, conveniently overlooking the breaks the part-time teachers had during their previous service period.

MU authorities have made such anomalous appointments in different departments and centers, not once but thrice. The first batch was appointed in 2007-08 and second and third in September and October this year.

Even if UGC regulations were followed, the same regulations were not applied uniformly.

Whereas UGC Regulation 2009 was applied for the appointment of Guest Lecturers in Departments of Manipuri Dance and Mass Communication as conducted in September this year, the same rules were not applied in the case of regular appointments.

Although MU authorities contended that the advertisement was issued in the month of February, 2000 whereas the UGC Regulation 2000 came into effect from April, the same regulation was not applied in the interview held in the month of September 2000 allowing all PhD holders without NET qualification for Lecturer post on the basis that the advertisement was issued before the regulation came into effect.

In another similar case, the advertisement issued on January 23, 2008 was also not modified as per the new regulation of 2009 even though the interview was held after a long gap of more than two years, in April/May this year.

Again, the requisite specific qualifications detailed in Adv No 1/2010, dated February 19, 2010 was not in compliance with the UGC Regulation 2009 excepting the case of Dance Department for Reader post.

Since interviews were held only on September 25 and September 27 this year, UGC regulations of 2009 and 2010 should have been followed.

But MU authorities maintained that previous advertisements cannot be overruled by new regulations and that there was no need to re-examine applications received earlier.

Interestingly, one of the recently appointed Readers was included in a three-man committee for scrutinizing the posts of Readers and Lecturers for which interview was held on September 25 and 26 this year. This has evoked a serious questioned on the authenticity and legality of the screening process.

All these malpractices and discrepancies were summed up in the unanimous observation of the Manipur University Teachers Association as made during their general body/executive meeting held on July 22 and August 10 this year.

The MUTA observation read, ‘All the members felt that since Manipur University becomes a Central University, the quality of administration has deteriorated considerably and the degree of corruption has increased manifold’, conveyed the source.

Notably, all these points were enclosed in the letter sent by the UGC Deputy Secretary to the MU Registrar and also remarked that these points were self-explanatory.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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