PhD scholars protest against UGC norms for faculty recruitment

Around a hundred PhD holders in Haldwani on Monday protested against the UGC’s regulations of 2009 which barred them from applying to teaching posts in degree colleges of the state without qualifying the national eligibility test (NET) or Uttarakhand State Eligibility Test (U-SET).

Several of the protesters alleged that they were beaten up and taken into custody by the police.

The protesters were released by the police later in the evening to avoid disturbance to the ongoing exams for the selection of guest teachers in state degree colleges.

Scholars alleged that the University Grants Commission (UGC) 2009 regulations have affected more than 8,000 PhD holders.

Sunil Pant, a PhD scholar who was awarded his degree on Sunday at the 12th convocation of Kumaon University in Nainital said, “What is the use of this degree if we are not eligible to apply for the teaching posts in degree colleges in the state of Uttarakhand? All this is just farce. Many states have amended laws to protect the interests of their scholars.”

According to UGC regulations 2009, only those who qualified the entrance exams for PhD are eligible to apply to faculty jobs in higher education institutions across the country.

Later the guidelines were amended to say that those PhD candidates who have been registered before 2008 can apply to the teaching posts.

Following the amendment many states including Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Maharashtra amended laws to suit the need of the PhD scholars of their states.

“Higher education is the matter of the ‘Concurrent List’ in the Indian constitution. So, the states can frame their own rules. But Uttarakhand has not done so leaving our future hanging in limbo,” added Pant.

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