Nepotism in college appointments

Editor,

A few months ago a prominent College (that has been in the news lately) advertised for a UGC sanctioned post in Political Science. As a hopeful candidate I applied and waited for the interview call. However, when months passed by and no call was issued I tried to find out what was going on. I came to know from internal sources that the interview had already taken place and the result was also declared. I was shocked and surprised. Of the 24 or so people who applied around 12 candidates attended the interview. The person who got the job had the same qualifications I did- a Master’s Degree with NET. So how come I was not called for the interview? What was the deciding factor? Later I found out that his father is part of the elite  circle of bureaucrats and his mother teaches in NEHU. While some candidates with better credentials who had a PhD from renowned Universities and years of teaching experience were overlooked, a fresher with no teaching experience and a Masters Degree from an Open University was given preference. While others wait for years and attend many interviews to get even a College Post, only a very exceptional candidate will get a sanctioned post in the first shot and in the very first interview.

My question is how come the colleges in Shillong have a different yardstick for measuring internal marks from other colleges outside. When UGC rules are that points should be given to candidates with work experience, MPhil degree, PhD degree, papers presented at conferences and publications, why do some colleges in Shillong not give marks for work experience or MPhil degrees? Some don’t count conferences presented or articles published. Some colleges even conduct their own entrance test before the interview. Are they trying to discredit the UGC and question the National Eligibility Test conducted by UGC?  The manner of allocating internal marks differs from college to college.

Why is there no standard system of marking in such interviews according to UGC norms? Should the present system be allowed? How is this fair to people who do not have connections or well-placed, influential parents but try to earn it based on merit and spend years building their CV? How have the years of sweat, blood and tears spent on trying to complete a research dissertation become unworthy? How has having a good pedigree and being bred in the right family with political connections become a criteria for getting a job in Academics? I am deeply saddened by the state of affairs in Meghalaya where someone with a passion for teaching and has worked for many years trying to rise in this Academic world will be sidelined for someone who looks to teaching as a last resort. It seems to me that the appointments to most of the ‘esteemed’ colleges are all rigged.

Yours etc.,

A concerned and dejected candidate

Name withheld on request

When commonsense is dead!

Editor,

Apropos Shivaji Sarkar’s “New MV Act, Draconian: Needs rethink”, I would stress, “Rethink seriously with common sense”. No one will deny that the new MV Act is made because of serious financial constraints. The utter desperation as stated by Mr Sarkar of NGT dumping ten year old running vehicles is sheer lack of common sense. By USA standards the catalytic converter, the main backbone of emission norms could serve the vehicle for 1.8 lakh kilometers and it is clearly stated that after this, payment had to be made if a new silencer with new catalytic converter has to be replaced. It clearly shows the protection and service that companies in other parts of the world give to their customers. We often see on television how BMW, Nissan etc., recall their vehicles for some emission failures. Alas! In India, we purchase cars blindly enticed by Airbags, and touch switches which prevent our fingers from exercise. Thus when common sense goes out of the window then everything goes awry. The authorities are simply not able to differentiate between careful speed driving and reckless driving. If car owners use common sense, junking of vehicles as said above may not stand judicial scrutiny. If not checked, I am afraid that junking 5 year old working vehicles would make motor car companies smile and the poor become cyclists or pedestrians and the Indian economy now at the 7th rank would move to No 1, and banks would prosper.

In Meghalaya too, I fully agree with Wansuklang Nongsiej’s letter “Recruitment of EI’s in Transport Dept, (ST July 29, 2019). IIT professors may kindly set questions, conduct interviews and do the corrections too. Had this been done thirty years ago, High Security Registration Plates (HSRP)would not have taken roots and Meghalaya would not have been the first and last state to adopt this model.  The HSRP has not been able to deal with theft cases, hence it’s a futile misadventure. No one ever uses common sense to discover that the bumper and HSRP could be dislodged in minutes and that new conventional lights can be turned into musical disco lights and drivers following from the rear have to dance to their tunes. JCB’s which have sliced three clusters at Umroi Airport, race along with cars in the evening. In case of brake failure, the ten ton steel could mow and kill thousands. After the condolences, a meager box is paid to the families. This is not only laughable but insultingly disgraceful. JCB’s as a rule should stay put at their work place and have no reason whatsoever for the operators to become homesick. And JCBs should move at midnight when none but the jackals and owls are awake. Beautiful number plates are hidden as if they are shy of the onlooker who may report absconding cases. At times they are smeared with grease so that they do not become rusted.

Unless common sense prevails, there is, I am afraid not much to be done in this world which has turned awry and utterly misdirected.

Yours etc.,

  1. Khyriem,

Shillong-14

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