Jammu & Kashmir People’s Movement has called for revocation of the “cooling period” for PhD holders who want to apply for teaching posts in the National Institute of Technology, Srinagar. As per this provision, candidates who have completed their Ph.D. Degrees from the Institute are barred from applying for teaching posts there for a period of three years.
In a statement here the JKPM president Dr Shah Faesal called it a discriminatory rule that serves no purpose other than creating unnecessary problems for the residents of J&K. “It makes absolutely no sense to deprive a candidate of his or her choice of institute for such a long time. Leave aside setting a quota for the local aspirants, they are not even given the option to be automatically get selected for the NIT of their home state. Upon a closer look, this provision appears more as a tool to deprive the inclusion of local faculty in their local NIT than anything else.”
The JKPM general secretary Shehla Rashid referring to a news story carried by Greater Kashmir on 14 June said that this rule is not set in stone, as can be inferred from how various states are handling this issue. “Faculty positions are advertised without any cooling period in places like Manipur, Mizoram, Megahalya, Agartala and Rourkela. If the institutions in those states can function without any problems while not implementing the cooling period rider, why not NIT Srinagar? Many of these states have 50% reservation for their candidates however our administration doesn’t seem bothered by the genuine concerns of the local Ph.D. holders.”
Shehla Rashid added that many of the faculty members who oppose this provision are being systematically pressured to withdraw their objections. “The recent removal of Prof Shagufta Rasool Shah as the Head of the Department of Civil Engineering without any due procedure is a case in point. Such unjust harassment must be stopped. As an alumnus of the institute, I am deeply disappointed with the manner in which she has been removed without as much as an inquiry. This is against principles of natural justice. JKPM demands that Prof. Shah should be reinstated as HOD at the earliest.”
Adding his voice to this demand, Dr. Shah Faesal said that, “the manner in which Prof. Shagufta Shah has been removed is arbitrary, unethical and illegal. We demand the immediate reversal of this move, as it will have a chilling effect upon the NIT community who will hesitate in voicing genuine concerns regarding administrative affairs.”
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