Thousands of professor posts lie vacant in UP as education suffers
- Last competitive exam for professors was held in 2015 but recruitment process is stuck
- None of the 1,600 posts for assistant professor were filled in 2015
- UP government is likely to announce 1,000 new professor posts in 330 colleges this year
- No recruitment for assistant professors has been done since 2008
- Why were the recruitments stalled?
- How is the Allahabad High Court involved?
For all his claims about development, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has not been able to address the problem of unemployment in Uttar Pradesh.
Leave aside creating new jobs, the government has not managed to fill up a few thousand posts of assistant professor lying vacant in government-aided degree colleges for seven years.
Last competitive examination for 1,600 posts was held in 2015 but the recruitment process was stuck midway as the Allahabad High Court quashed the appointment of the chairman of the UP Higher Education Services Board, Lal Bihari Pandey, on 22 September, 2015.
The court also declared illegal the appointment of three members of the board as they did not meet the eligibility criteria.
The state has 330 government-aided degree and post-graduate colleges where the crunch of teachers is badly affecting the quality of education.
Although the government appointed former secretary, secretariat administration, Prabhat Mittal as the board's new chairman, the search for members is still on.
It is learnt that the board was planning to release an advertisement for the next round of selections to clear the backlog, even as the previous exercise awaits completion with written exam results yet to be announced.
More than 1,000 posts of assistant professor are likely to be announced in this new round.
The board would begin the selection process for those who cleared the written tests in 2015 as soon as the quorum is complete, said a source in the higher education department, which is headed by Akhilesh Yadav himself.
The completion of the entire process is expected to take at least five to six months.
Waiting for professors
"No recruitment of assistant professor has been done since 2008," said the source in the know of the state of affairs. Filling all the vacancies, he said, will take a minimum five years.
Last time the vacancies were advertised, there were close to 10 lakh applicants. With no recruitment taking place all these years, the number of unemployed post-graduates must have swelled significantly.
It is not only assistant professor posts that are lying vacant. There are about 200 posts for college principal also waiting to be filled.
The reason why the recruitment process has stalled since 2008 was explained by the education department source. "Before 2008 all the appointments for assistant professors in aided colleges were interview based. From 2008 this was changed and written examinations were introduced for the aspirants," he said.
The appointment rules were changed without putting a proper recruitment system in place.
The government's indifference towards recruitments in higher education sector is baffling. According to a National Statiscal Survey Organisation report, Uttar Pradesh would be adding one crore jobless to its existing 32 lakh unemployed by 2017.
It is not the higher education selection board alone which was headed by an undeserving candidate. The secondary education board is also in the line of high court's fire as the government has filled it up with "incompetent" members.
So obsessed is the government with some of the "incompetent" members of the selection board that it allowed two of them - Lalit Srivastava and Anita Yadav - to resume work, although in July 2015, the high court had ordered them not to undertake any work.
An angry bench of Justice Arun Tandon and Justice Sunita Agarwal questioned the government's motive in allowing the two members to work even after the court's stay.
The high court had earlier quashed the appointment of Salil Kumar as chairman of the UP Secondary Education Services Selection Board after describing it as "illegal."
How these two boards function gives an idea of what the education scene and the job market for teachers in UP is like. If one also takes into account the quality of basic education, the overall picture that emerges is disappointing.
Edited by Jhinuk Sen