Open Letter - The Kashmir Pulse

Greetings, great regards!
I am writing on behalf of those meritorious candidates who recently had protested in Press Enclave Srinagar regarding extension granted to status quo candidates by Director Colleges in Higher Education Department (HED) in the UT of J&K for teaching in Kashmir division colleges for the session 2020-21.

We introduce ourselves as non-status quo candidates who have earned degrees such as PhD, SET, NET, JRF, Post Docs etc from reputed Institutions and Universities in India like AMU, JMI, DU, IISc Bangalore, GNDU, KU, BGSBU, CSIR Labs, IISER etc to achieve the aim of becoming AP in higher education.

Most of us have good research background. We are confident that we will improve quality of higher education in the UT of J&K based on our credentials. Most of us had been teaching in higher education as academic arrangement teachers previously but we did not choose “status quo” from honourable HC as we knew that it would be ethically wrong practice, create doubts in “higher education society” that we are dead woods and do not want to face competition.

Some of us are freshers who aim to gain teaching experience after completing PhD. About 30 of us worked as FIP substitute AP’s against permanent faculty members who were allowed by HED to pursue PhD. We are now jobless from one year or so.

In 2019, HED extended the tenures of previously engaged academic arrangement teachers due to Model Code of Conduct on account of Parliamentary elections in the Valley. They were given extension up to 31 July, 2019. Afterwards, they too were disengaged.

In current academic session (February 2020 onwards), these status quo candidates were not allowed by respective college principals to take classes. In reaction, they approached honourable HC for violations of court orders by these worthy principals. This finally forced current Director Colleges to extend their tenure this year up to March 2021.

We heard that lawyers and current Director Colleges have taken huge “benefit”. Status quo candidates say that they have bribed both to their favour. Close sources from status quo candidates say that they have paid about 6.50 lakhs money to get extension for 2020-21 from Director Colleges office. They also say that they do not want its final verdict from honorable HC.

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Extension was given without scrutinizing their merit and other research and teaching credentials. Even Commissioner Secretary, Mr Talat Parvaiz in a local Daily article said that he is helpless in this regard.

We know many status quo teachers who are ineligible to teach in higher education colleges of J&K. We have obtained list of about 650 teachers from HC who have maintained status quo on these academic arrangement jobs from honourable HC in Kashmir division colleges. We have checked their merit from Amar Singh College website. Most of them figure low in merit list.

For example, in one Subject, we found a candidate at Serial No. 126 but he is teaching in one of the GDCs. Similarly, there are hundreds, who have maintained status quo illegally but still honourable HC is helping them out by not giving its final verdict.

We request HED and HC to overhaul the academic arrangement hiring system once and for all. Cluster University Srinagar has followed UGC guidelines to prepare merit list of candidates who have applied for academic arrangement jobs. We request HED and honorable HC to follow same UGC guidelines in hiring teachers for academic arrangement in Kashmir division colleges. Problem will be solved once and for all.

Honourable HC is delaying decision on this matter. Kindly improve status of higher education in the UT of J&K. Help us in our struggle to earn a dignified livelihood. We request authorities to examine our case on merit basis. We deserve to teach in higher education colleges on account of our higher degrees and experience.

Our strong argument is this: We all submit affidavit that we will not demand permanent jobs or continuation of our temporary jobs, duly signed by 1st Class Magistrate. Then, how can anyone have legal claim for maintaining status quo on these academic arrangement jobs and that too when they are ineligible for the same as per UGC guidelines, or fall low in merit. This is highest form of corruption by these so-called status quo teachers.

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We respect their experience. They have spend their youth in higher education. We will love if government frames a policy for those “eligible status quo teachers” who have 10 years of teaching experience in HED. Give them relaxation of not applying for each year. Keep their list separate and utilize their services on priority. Give them respect they deserve. But keep others open to competition.

Everybody is making hay while sun of status quo is illegally shining on them. There are about 650 status quo candidates currently teaching in Kashmir division colleges. We request authorities to examine the matter on priority basis. Most are low in merit list which has been prepared last month by the Nodal college (Amar Singh College Srinagar) on their website.

A person not having PhD, SET/NET is teaching in higher education colleges currently whereas, those who have all qualifications as per UGC guidelines will sit at home and sell pokadas. This is injustice at its peak. Judiciary is sleeping as lawyers and HED in particular are making mockery of meritocracy in Kashmir division colleges. They are blind and are destroying future of thousands who enter to learn in HED colleges on daily basis in J&K.

We request authorities to carry out thorough research on this matter. It will not only improve higher education in J&K but will do a lot in raising educational standard of thousands who are studying in our colleges. Kindly become torchlight in this dark age for those aspirants who have burned midnight oil to gain these degrees. We hope justice will prevail and meritocracy comes triumphant and victorious.

In anticipation
Yours faithfully
Left-out candidates falling in top merit list prepared by ASC Srinagar

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  1. Dear respected author, You are burning in the hell fire of hatred and misunderstanding. Your degree is just mere a sheet of paper. Take a chill pill and then call them incompetent and calling yourself a so called elegible scholar, you are a qualified fool! Sorry if my comments hurt you.


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