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Varsity overturns teacher demotion

Shashi Sharma

Patna: Patna University, on the direction of Raj Bhavan, late on Monday evening set aside its earlier notification demoting Shashi Sharma from the rank of professor to reader (associate professor).

The Raj Bhavan, apart from reinstating Sharma as professor of political science department, also issued the directives that Sharma will hold the post of in-charge principal of Magadh Mahila College.

On July 11, Sharma had resigned from the post of principal of Magadh Mahila College after she was demoted from the rank of professor to reader. The varsity demoted the teacher based on its syndicate meeting held on June 30, as due rules and regulations were not followed in her promotion. The syndicate gave its approval for demotion, as her qualification doesn't fit under the merit-bound scheme for promotion of teachers.

Sharma joined Patna University in 1980 as lecturer and in 1986, she was promoted as reader. In 2013, she was promoted to the rank of professor with effect from 1994 on merit-bound scheme during the tenure of Arun Kumar Sinha, who was the acting vice-chancellor of Patna University.

Under the scheme a teacher is granted promotion based on his or her merit. A teacher seeking promotion under the scheme in rank of professor must have at least three research works published in research journals and at least a student who has done PhD under the teacher.

Sharma resumed the charge of principal of Magadh Mahila College on Tuesday. An elated Sharma said: " I am happy with the Raj Bhavan's decision, as I have got justice. The chancellor's office after going through my case has reinstated my rank as professor."

Sources said Sharma after her demotion had approached Raj Bhavan to protest against the decision.

According to Raj Bhavan sources, the chancellor's office had sought details on the grounds under which she had been demoted but it was not satisfied with the argument of Patna University.

Sources said during the tenure of Arun Kumar Sinha in 2013, around 50 teachers were granted promotion from the rank of lecturer (assistant professors) to reader or from reader to professors and there promotion was challenged at Patna High Court, but only a few teachers, including Sharma, were demoted by varsity.

The university officials were tight-lipped on the issue. A senior university official, on condition of anonymity, said: "As the Raj Bhavan has reinstated Sharma as professor, it is unlikely that the university will go against the chancellor."

Various students associations and students from Magadh Mahila College had taken out a protest march protesting against Sharma's demotion and removal as college principal.

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