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Cell to recruit tech teachers

Calcutta, Dec. 26: The government is planning to set up a 'special body' to recruit teachers in emerging subjects like IT, business management and biotechnology.

Earlier, the government wanted undergraduate colleges offering such new-age courses to be self-financed. But ac-cording to the new plan, the government will fund all state-aided colleges looking beyond conventional streams.

Teachers' salaries should no longer be a problem.

'Students' demands for modern subjects are increasing rapidly, but most colleges are not showing much interest in introducing them. Non-availability of funds from the government is a reason why the colleges are not interested in opening the new courses,' a senior official in the higher education department said.

An official said the government would initially offer consolidated salaries to the teachers recruited by the special body, formed on the lines of the College Service Commission, which recruits teachers for the 340-odd state-aided colleges now.

Under the existing rules, the commission is only empowered to recruit full-time teachers who are paid according to scales recommended by the University Grants Commission (UGC). It does not have the power to recruit teachers on consolidated pay scales and that was one of the prime reasons why the government decided to form the new body.

Once the number of colleges offering the new courses increases, the commission will take over the charge of appointing teachers.

Only then the colleges will get full-timers to be recruited through the state-level eligibility test (Slet).

College Service Commission chairman Ajit Kumar Banik said: 'We can bring the new subjects in the emerging areas under our jurisdiction only after at least a dozen posts in each subject are created. Slet is a competitive examination and we cannot hold a recruitment test only for one or two posts. Moreover, the colleges should first be able to prove that they really need the teachers.'

To start recruiting teachers for a new subject, the College Service Commission needs a UGC clearance.

Normally, the UGC gives its clearance only if the commission is able to fulfil certain conditions. For instance, several colleges must offer a particular course. The students' enrolment in the courses should be satisfactory and there has to be a good number of vacancies in teacher posts.

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