Research Scholars On War Path Against JK PSC
Demand That New Rules For Recruitment Of Assistant Professors In Colleges Must Be Revised
Research scholars in universities are on the war path against JKPSC for putting their careers at stake by bringing out the policy that is an assault on the pursuit of higher education. The youth spend years and years undertaking research. Scholars burn the midnight oil in labs and libraries to add new knowledge to the existing set of knowledge. To end this culture is harmful for any civilized society.
The new policy of JKPSC for recruitment to colleges shall discourage the youth from taking up research. The policy devalues research and its significance for society. It conveys the impression that research work done in universities holds no merit – as if it is simply some ‘pastime’.
Today, ‘She the People’ uploaded a report on their social media handle titled ‘Child Marriage Prevalent in Africa, Education is the Only Way Out’. This is what is generated through research – a solution to the importance of education in ending the evil of early marriages among different cultures.
This is how researches find solutions to problems faced by societies and nation states. Mega corporations employ researchers to find solutions for long-standing problems.
Does the PSC lack trust in the University and its administration? Jammu University is one of the oldest universities, and has been given A+ accreditation by NAAC. Does PSC think that what is done in the university holds no value? Is spending five or six years of one’s precious life in the university is wastage of time? As things stand, the new policy of JK PSC for recruitment to the colleges in Jammu and Kashmir clearly violates the New Education Policy 2020 in its approach towards the higher education.
In defense of the new policy, PSC has stated that it shall bring in more transparency. PSC has also claimed that students who get fake degrees will be ruled out of the screening.
Cover Up By PSC Bereft Of Logic
The cover up by PSC is bereft of logic. One, entrance exams do not always ensure transparency. In the latest scandals of SSB, it was found that question papers had been sold before the exam, or members had taken money for selection processes.
PSC must revise the policy by keeping in mind the screening process which was followed earlier. Candidates were given merit on the basis of their qualification, research publications and NET/SET/JRF/GATE. The selection list was prepared after the interviews. This screening process is acceptable. It does not devalue the precious degrees.
Reports say PSC is concerned about the fake degrees submitted by some students. This concern is valid. Every year, UGC brings out a list of fake universities whose degrees hold no value. The same can be used by PSC to screen out the fake degree holders.
If the objection of PSC is that the research work being done at university level holds no value, then the answer lies in getting to the root of the problem and ensuring that the state universities produce quality research. If gaps are there, they need to be addressed. The state can roll out measures to ensure higher quality of research. But the value of research cannot be decimated.
PSA also needs to note that a bureaucrat and an assistant professor cannot be selected by the same yardstick. A bureaucrat cannot be expected to teach a particular subject in detail because it is not his expertise. The selection for these separate lines of work cannot follow the same criteria.
The Transparency Hoax
UGC has a well-established plan provided for Ph.D degree and the rules for qualifying the entrance exam of the University towards the end of the degree. There are rules regarding the presentation of papers in conferences and seminars, and publication in peer reviewed journals. Researchers work hard to fulfill these criteria and produce something original.
JKPSC has stated that the new norms for the recruitment of the Assistant Professors will bring in transparency. Let us look at the members of the interview board.
- Chairman: Chairman JKPSC or a member nominated by him/ her
- External Member: To be nominated from outside J&K by the Higher Education Department
- Member of HED: Administrative Secretary, HED or a member to be nominated by him/her
- Two Subject experts: Nominated by JKPSC from outside J&K
Does PSC guarantee that this corruption and nepotism in its selection process shall be ruled out? The precedent for exams for JKPSI, Finance Accounts Assistant exam, and many more does not generate confidence. The papers for these exams were sold beforehand.
The policy proposed by PSC for the appointment of assistant professors has no academician on board. The percentage given by a university to a student may be subjective. It is the quality of research that sets intellectuals apart. PhDs must be given due weightage.
Vice President of National Conference Students Union Mr Arun Singh said, “The recent order passed by JKPSC discourages research and innovation.” This policy is disastrous for those who have completed their research and those who are pursuing research.