Monday, 30th October 2017

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College count lays bare job truth

The college service commission has received more than 16,500 applications for 2,500-odd vacant posts of assistant professor at government-aided colleges, the huge gap in the figures highlighting the lack of enough sought-after jobs in the state.

By Mita Mukherjee
  • Published 1.09.18
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Salt Lake: The college service commission has received more than 16,500 applications for 2,500-odd vacant posts of assistant professor at government-aided colleges, the huge gap in the figures highlighting the lack of enough sought-after jobs in the state.

"Teaching at a college seems the only option for those who have a good academic record. It is not that all the applicants have been nurturing the ambition to teach at a college. They want this job because few other jobs in the state guarantees security and a decent salary," the principal of a college said.

Several other academics and academic administrators echoed the principal's view.

Those recruited will be paid approximately Rs 46,000 a month at the beginning.

According to the eligibility criteria set by the University Grants Commission, a person aspiring to become assistant professor at a college must score at least 55 per cent at the postgraduate exams and clear the National Eligibility Test or the State Eligibility Test.

The deadline for submitting applications for the 2,500-odd posts was Friday.

Unlike previous years, not all the applicants may be called for an interview.

The UGC in its new guidelines for recruitment of assistant professors has empowered the state authorities to shortlist candidates for the interview, an official in the college service commission said.

"To prepare the shortlist, the marks scored by each candidate from the Class X board exams have to be taken into account. So, a candidate with high marks in the postgraduate exams may not be called for the interview if his or her scores in the Class X or XII board exams are very low," the official said.

In addition to the marks, the commission will look into the quality of each candidate's research and papers published in journals and read out in seminars.

The Mamata Banerjee government, however, is yet to decide whether the UGC guidelines will be followed or all candidates called for the interview, another official of the commission said.

"The interviews will start as soon as we get the government's clearance," the official said.

The new guidelines allow the states to reject up to 40 per cent of the candidates while preparing the shortlist.

Among the applicants there are many who have passed out of Jadavpur University, St Xavier's College, Presidency University and other reputable institutions. Some had cracked the NET or SET years ago.

An applicant who had studied at St Xavier's College and cracked the NET in 2012 said this was the first time she had applied for the post of assistant professor.

"I have applied for the job not because I am very keen to teach at a college but because there are no better options in Bengal. Even if I am selected, I am not sure whether it will be possible for me to take the job. In previous years some of my friends with brilliant academic records cracked the test and were posted in faraway places," said the applicant, who did not want to be named.

A retired college principal said one reason for the increase in number of applications for teaching jobs is lack of industry and enough decent jobs in the private sector in the state.

The stark picture of the job scene in Bengal had come into sharp focus three years ago, when 21 lakh applications had been received for 37,000 posts of assistant teacher at primary schools.