Aspiring college teachers who have got their doctoral degrees before 2009 can appear in interviews for the post of assistant professor, the high court ruled on Thursday.
However, the West Bengal College Service Commission, which will conduct the interview, has been barred from preparing the panel of selected candidates till further order.
“The commission is being directed to keep the process of preparing the panel on hold till further order,” Justice Aniruddha Bose stated in his interim order.
The commission has been holding interviews for 1,500 posts of assistant professor in over 450 state-aided colleges. A higher education department official said Tuesday’s order could delay the process of filling up the vacancies.
“We were expecting to complete the process of selecting teachers in some popular subjects in a day or two so the candidates could join work immediately after the Puja vacation. But now that the preparation of the panel has been put on hold, no one knows when the vacancies will be filled,” said a source in the commission.
The worst-hit subjects are physics, chemistry, English, Bengali, geography and mathematics.
Tuesday’s order followed a petition by Sudipta Kumar Maity and others who had not been called for interview on the grounds that they had got PhD degrees before 2009.
The petitioners had challenged the UGC notification of July 2009, stating that candidates who had earned their PhD after the “new” rules on doctoral degrees came into force would be exempted from appearing in the National Eligibility Test (NET) or State Eligibility Test (SET) for an assistant professor’s job.
But it would be mandatory for those who had obtained their doctoral degrees before the rules came into force to crack NET or SET for the job.
The petitioners also challenged the state government’s decision in 2012 that the candidates who had obtained their PhD before 2009 would not be called for the interview.
Appearing for the petitioners, advocate Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharyya pleaded with the bench that his clients be allowed to appear in the interview.
The bench passed the interim order and fixed the matter for detailed hearing a week after November 6, when the court reopens after the Puja vacation.