Read: How serious is the Uttar Pradesh government about higher education?

The Uttar Pradesh government’s seriousness about higher education can be gauged from its indifference towards filling over 5000 vacancies of assistant professors lying vacant in its aided degree colleges.

These vacancies in the 330 aided colleges have been there for the last eight years.

Also lying vacant is about 200 college principals’ posts.

Last competitive examination for 1600 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 September 22, 2015. The court also declared illegal the appointment of three members of the board as they did not meet the eligibility criteria.

Although the government appointed former secretary, secretariat administration Prabhat Mittal as the board’s new chairman, the search for members was still on.

Mittal, it is learnt, was keen to clear the backlog and an advertisement for next round of selections was on the anvil, even as the previous exercise awaits completion with written exam results yet to be announced. More than 1000 posts of assistant professors are likely to be announced in this round.

The completion of the entire process is expected to take at least five to six months.

According to a source in the higher education department, the board would start the selection process for those who cleared the written exams in 2015 as soon as the quorum was complete.

It is ironical that the higher education department headed by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav himself, allowed the quality of education to suffer for so long.

“No recruitment of assistant professor has been done since 2008,” said the source in the know of the state of affairs. Filling the over 5000 vacancies will take about four to five years.

Last time around 10 lakh candidates had applied for the posts. The number is expected to be much more because of the government’s callousness in not taking up the issue on priority. Also, the number of unemployed post-graduates must have swelled drastically with a few thousands of them passing out each year.

The reason why recruitment of faculty positions in aided degree colleges stopped from 2008, explained the education department source, was that “before 2008 all the appointments for assistant professors in aided colleges were only interview based. From 2008 written examinations were introduced to make the selections qualitatively better,” he said.

As the appointment rules were changed without putting a proper recruitment system in place, the entire process came to a standstill.

The government’s indifference towards recruitments in higher education sector was baffling. According to a National Statistical 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 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.

A 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 on their functioning.

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.”

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