A fortnight ago, the office of the Commissioner of Higher Education (CHE) advertised in newspapers across the state for 703 lectureship in colleges across the state. However, only 345 candidates applied for the job. This means more than 50 per cent posts will remain vacant even if all candidates are absorbed. According to AJ Shah, commissioner of higher education, the reason for poor response is lack of qualified candidates in the state.
“A few candidates have PhD along with qualifying score in National Eligibility Test (NET) and Gujarat State Level Eligibility Test (SLET) required for lectureship. There may be other reasons for 50 per cent fewer applications. We are forming a committee to look into the matter.” To meet the staff crunch in colleges, CHE has also decided to conduct SLET every six months, same as NET frequency, instead of every two years.
“I have informed all the universities to conduct SLET every six months from this year. I have also asked them to conduct NET and SLET training programmes for students for free so that we can get more quality candidates,” Shah added. Dr BK Jain, principal of MG Science Institute, believes conducting SLET every six months will increase the opportunities for students and colleges will not face any staff crunch. “The commission has decided Academic Performance Index (API) for candidates applying for lectureship. Often, very few candidates fit in the criteria of API.
If SLET is conducted every six months then it will increase opportunities for students and we can be on a par with NET.” Lecturers are recruited through a centralised process carried out by the CHE. The office collects the information regarding work-load and vacancies in each college. It then issues “No Objection Certificate” to colleges and the recruitment process begins. Manisha Shah, who has been preparing for SLET and NET for a year now, said, “The department has set very high API score for lectureship: PhD degree and four published papers in national as well as international journals and work experience. So, if more than 50 per cent of job positions remain vacant then the commission should analyse the reasons for it.”
News Courtesy: Ahmedabad Mirror