The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Varsity picks unsuitable man
- High court strikes down JU selection panel, faculty appointment

This recruitment drive was supposed to fill up a post in the bio-medical engineering department. Everything was in place, except the selection committee — that did not have a single expert in the relevant field — and the selected candidate —who happened to hold a master’s degree in polymer technology.

Now, Jadavpur University (JU) has been told to renew its search for a suitable man for its School of Bio-engineering, following a Calcutta High Court verdict that finds the recruitment process in the premier university “vitiated”, “seriously flawed” and a “glaring infraction… of law”.

The court was responding to a petition filed by Sukumar Roy, one of the contenders for the post. Roy, who had moved court before the selection committee announced its decision in late 2001, objected to the composition of the panel that interviewed the candidates. He later protested the selection of Dipankar Chakraborty to the post.

After hearing out the university’s representative and Chakraborty’s legal counsel, Justice Kalyanjyoti Sengupta upheld both of Roy’s contentions. This left JU with two options: re-start the recruitment drive or appeal against the verdict in a division bench.

The contentious selection process began in mid-2001, when JU advertised for School of Bio-engineering faculty. The selection committee, comprising several key university officials, met on October 3 that year. But, according to Roy’s allegation, it did not have a single expert from the relevant field. Justice Sengupta later observed that the “mere constitution of a committee naming experts” would not do; the law required the presence of at least two experts on the panel.

The judge also detailed the requirements of the department and ruled that a thorough knowledge of the human anatomy was a must. Chakraborty, armed with a degree in polymers, did not have the “requisite” qualification needed by the School of Bio-engineering, the court observed.

“It is not understood how a candidate for the post of a lecturer in bio-medical engineering can be tested by experts not having any knowledge in this field,” was the verdict. “The candidature (of Chakraborty) should not have been entertained by the university or the selection committee.”

Neither the JU authorities nor Roy was willing to comment.

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