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Court scanner on varsity jobs

Cuttack, Aug. 13: Orissa High Court has decided to monitor filling up of the large-scale vacancies in faculty posts at government-run universities across the state.

It has directed the registrars of Utkal University, Sambalpur University, Berhampur University, Fakir Mohan University, North Odisha University and Ravenshaw University to file status reports after three months, indicating the number of vacant posts filled up.

Nearly 58 per cent of 906 sanctioned teaching posts, including those of professors, readers and lecturers, are to be filled up. The direction was issued after the registrars of the six universities had made personal appearance this week.

The court was hearing a PIL after taking cognisance of a letter petition filed by Dhirendranath Bhoi of Sambalpur seeking intervention against disorder in academic activities in the state-run varsities due to acute shortage of teachers.

The state government had conceded persisting vacancies in faculty posts in the six universities, but claimed that it had given permission to the varsities to fill up the posts. The registrars, on the other hand, stated that the recruitment process had started.

“Taking note of it, the division bench of Justice Pradip Mohanty and Justice Biswajit Mohanty directed the registrars to fill up the vacant posts, preferably within three months,” additional government advocate Bishnu Prasad Pradhan told The Telegraph.

The court expected a compliance report on the direction, along with the progress in recruitment process, from the registrars when the matter is taken up for hearing after three months.

On May 8, The Telegraph published a report: “Large-scale teaching vacancies paralyse varsities”. The report stated that academic activities had been badly hit in Utkal University, as 11 of the 257 sanctioned posts of professors, readers and lecturers, stood vacant.

In Sambalpur University, as many as 17 professor posts, 20 reader posts and 18 lecturer posts of the 152 sanctioned ones remain vacant. Similarly, in Berhampur, 39 of 146 posts are vacant. In Fakir Mohan University, 10 of the 42 sanctioned posts and in North Odisha University, 15 of 42 posts stand vacant, the report said.

Ravenshaw University’s registrar Padan Kumar Jena today told The Telegraph: “Recruitment process for filling up 140 posts had started since June 23. We expect to complete the process within three months. Initially, 153 teaching posts were sanctioned. Of it, 26 posts were lying vacant when the state government sanctioned 114 more posts on June 22.”


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