Srinagar, Dec 02 (KNO): Applicants for the post of Registrar, University of Kashmir, and other stakeholders have demanded complete fairness in the upcoming interview process, urging the selection committee headed by the Vice-Chancellor to “give due weightage to integrity, past professional record and preferably seniority” in choosing the final candidate.
The interview for the post of Registrar, KU, is being held on December 5 at main campus Hazratbal for the shortlisted applicants, including those from the parent University as well as from other institutions within and outside J&K.
According to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), several applicants, as well as other internal stakeholders of the University, have urged the Vice-Chancellor to uphold merit and give due consideration to the past academic credentials, past track record and professional integrity of the candidates.
The demand comes amid apprehensions that some officials, who are among the applicants, were allegedly trying to influence the selection committee, overtly and covertly, ahead of the interview to claim an edge over other candidates.
“All applicants will appear in the interview with this hope that there shall be no bias in the selection, especially in a situation where some officials who are among applicants are working as close as the VC Secretariat, thus claiming to have a so-called edge over other candidates,” said the sources, adding that this apprehension has to be warded off by “giving a level playing field for all”.
The stakeholders demanded that there should be no room for any kind of favouritism based on the proximity of any applicant with the Vice-Chancellor or her office. “Ideally applicants who are currently holding positions in the University should have been told to step down at the time of filing their applications. But since this did not happen, such a proximity should not influence the final selection,” the sources said.
Sources said the track record of some non-teaching applicants from the parent University has been questionable, thus furthering their apprehensions amid their claims of enjoying an edge over candidates from the teaching community.
Citing some examples, sources said one of the non-teaching applicants has formerly earned notoriety for being an accused in the FIR filed by Anti-Corruption Bureau against KU officials in 2018 over selection of an allegedly ineligible officer in the University.
Based on the said FIR, the official in question was denied ACB clearance for the post of Director DIQA for which he was recommended previously, forcing the University to re-advertise the post. The said applicant has also earned criticism for resigning midway from the previous assignment of Registrar of one of the universities in J&K.
“The official couldn’t gel well with the then VC of that University owing to allegations of attitude and misconduct and thus resigned from the assignment midway. Resigning midway from such assignments is a bad thing in professional practices,” the sources added.
The candidature of another non-academic applicant has also come under cloud after the University declared him provisionally eligible to appear in the December 5 interview owing to concerns over the equivalence of his master’s degree. The duration of the applicant’s degree is said to be 18 months as against 24 months as mandated by UGC for a regular master’s degree.
The stakeholders have demanded that the selection committee should take all this into consideration so that all apprehensions of favoritism are warded off. “It is always in the fitness of things to give due consideration to seniority of applicants so that rich experience proves beneficial to the University. Considering junior officials at the expense of senior teachers always sends a bad message. It also hits the functioning of the University because senior teachers don’t like to work under junior officials,” the sources added.
Allegations have previously been rife that the University administration is heavily biased against the teaching community in view of “officials capturing positions previously headed by teachers in view of their large experience about the University system”.
The applicants and stakeholders hoped that the Vice-Chancellor would send a strong message by upholding merit and not considering candidates based on proximity with the VC’s chair or VC’s office—(KNO)