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Common test for college staff

The state government is considering a proposal to recruit non-teaching staff for state-aided colleges through a common test in an attempt to prevent the selection from being manipulated by politicians.

According to the proposal, the West Bengal College Service Commission, which conducts the recruitment test for teachers in such colleges, will also conduct a test to appoint non-teaching personnel.

“We are flooded with complaints from college principals that local political leaders are pressuring them to appoint candidates of their choice to non-teaching posts,” said an official in the higher education department. “The colleges have no say in the selection. We need to stop the practice for the benefit of the institutions.”

Under the prevailing system, the governing body of each state-aided college conducts the recruitment test to appoint non-teaching staff.

The proposal has been floated following a recommendation by the 14-member committee on higher education to bring in transparency to the selection process.

The expert committee, higher education department and the West Bengal College Service Commission have held a number of meetings on the issue.

Commission chairman Siddhartha Majumdar, however, said the panel could not conduct a test for recruiting non-teaching staff unless the West Bengal College Service Commission Act was amended.

“The act only empowers the commission to conduct recruitment tests for teachers and principals of state-aided colleges. The act will have to be amended in order to bring the recruitment test for non-teaching staff under the purview of the commission,” Majumdar added.

Anjan Sengupta, of the All Bengal Principals’ Council, said: “The move will not only ensure transparency in the selection process but also reduce our workload.”