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J&K Universities Bill envisages appointments through PSC & SSB, nomination of Registrar

J&K Universities Bill envisages appointments through PSC & SSB, nomination of Registrar

Transfer of employees, termination without inquiry proposed

JAMMU, Oct 25: Even as the Jammu and Kashmir Public Universities Bill 2022 has proposed that the appointment to any post in all universities in the Union Territory would be filled by Public Service Commission and Service Selection Recruitment Board, promotions under the Career Advancement Scheme (CAS) of teachers, officer cadre and equivalent positions shall continue to be dealt with by the University.
This has been made clear in the Bill, according to which: “Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, the promotions under the Career Advancement Scheme (CAS) of teachers, officer cadre, and equivalent positions shall be dealt with by the University.”
Pertinent to mention that J&K Public Universities Bill 2022, which proposes that the appointment to any post in all universities would be filled by JKPSC and SSRB, has raised many eyebrows and some student organizations have even lodged their resentment against the same.

Before the formulation of the Bill, which was recently approved by the J&K Administrative Council, all the appointments were being done at the university level with no interference from the Government bodies.

According to the Bill, a draft copy of which lies with the Excelsior, no university which receives any financial support from the Government shall without the prior approval and written consent of the Government create any post in any category, including temporary, revise the pay, grant any special pay, allowance, divert any earmarked funds or take any decision regarding affiliated colleges that has the potential to result in increased financial liability.

However, such approval shall not be refused in case of the universities, which generate at least one half of their budget without any Government or quasi-Governmental support provided the proposed additional expenditure is met out of the university’s own resources without any liability to Government.

Other key points proposed in the Bill, include dismissal of any employee of the university without an enquiry in the interest of the security of the State, nomination of university Registrar by the Government on deputation basis, appointment of a Finance Officer by the Government, transfer of any employee from one university to another university and constitution of J&K Higher Education Council, which shall act as advisory body for higher education in Jammu and Kashmir.

Lt Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, who shall be the Chancellor of the University, has the supreme powers in respect of all decisions and his decision shall be final and must be complied with by the university forthwith. He may suspend or modify any resolution, order or proceeding of any authority, body, committee or officer which, in his opinion, is not in conformity with this Act or is not in the interest of the university.

Further, where the Chancellor is satisfied that any officer, teacher or any employee (part time, casual or temporary) of the university, including pensioners, has/had acted in a manner prejudicial to the security of the State or the unity and integrity of the country, he may dismiss or remove or reduce in rank any such employee or take such other action as appropriate without an inquiry.

The Act says that the Chancellor may, where he feels that in the interest of academic excellence or administrative exigency necessary to do so and after such consultation with the Vice-Chancellors of the Public Universities concerned as he may deem necessary, transfer any employee from one university to another university constituted under this Act.

As per the new Act, the Vice-Chancellor shall be the Principal Executive and academic officer of the University, the Chairperson of the Academic Council and co-chairperson of the Finance and Audit Committee and shall be entitled to be present and speak at any meeting of any authority or other body of the University and shall in the absence of the Chancellor preside over the meetings of the Governing Council. He shall hold office for a term of three years from the date on which he enters upon his office and shall, on the expiration of his term of office, be eligible for reappointment to that office for a second term: Provided that no person who has exceeded the age of sixty-five years can continue to hold an appointment as Vice-Chancellor.

The Registrar shall be the Chief Administrative Officer of the University. The Government shall nominate any serving officer of the administrative services or any eligible serving civil servant of appropriate seniority, to act as the Registrar.

Further, there shall be a Finance Officer for the University, who shall be appointed by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir on a deputation basis and his remuneration and allowances shall be paid by the University. He shall exercise general supervision over the funds of the University and advise the Vice-Chancellor as regards the finances of the University; hold and manage the funds, property, and investments, including trust and endowed property, for furthering the objects of the University, with the approval of the Vice-Chancellor; monitor the state of the cash and bank balances and investments; ensure effective revenue management by regulating the process and progress of the collection of revenue, and advise the Vice-
Vice-Chancellor on the methods to be employed in this regard; get the accounts of the University audited, regularly; ensure that the registers of buildings, land, equipment, machinery, and other assets are maintained up-to-date and that the physical verification and reconciliation of these assets and other consumable materials in all offices, colleges, and other institutions and stores of the University are conducted regularly.

However, the Controller of Examinations shall be a whole-time officer of the University. He shall be responsible for the due custody of all records pertaining to the conduct of examinations.
The Act says that the Governing Council, Finance and Audit Committee, Management Council, Academic Council and such other bodies shall be authorities of the university in taking decisions.
Governing Council, the top decision making body of the Universities, shall consist of the Chancellor; Chief Secretary, Vice-Chancellor; Administrative Secretary of Higher Education Department; Administrative Secretary Finance Department; two Deans of the University, to be nominated by the Vice-Chancellor on rotation for three years from the date of nomination; three teachers to be nominated by the Vice-Chancellor from amongst the teaching faculty of the University, one each representing the Professor, Associate Professor, and Assistant Professor, based on seniority and rotation in the respective cadres; two persons nominated by the Chancellor, out of a panel submitted by the Higher Education Department.

In the case of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, the panel shall be submitted by the Shrine Board, and in the case of Islamic University of Science and Technology and Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University, the Higher Education Department shall consult the Department of the Government entrusted with the subject of Auqaf before furnishing the panel to the Chancellor.
The Academic Council of a University, consisting of the Vice-Chancellor as Chairperson; the Deans of the Faculties of the University concerned; the Head of the Department of the University concerned, shall control and regulate the standards of teaching and examinations in the university.

All universities established and regulated under the Act shall refer all Open and Direct posts of officer cadre and all teachers and equivalent positions in their universities to the Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Commission (JKPSC) for an all India advertisement and screening. Every post referred to the JKPSC by the public universities shall be processed on a fast-track basis and the entire process from advertisement to screening shall be completed within three months.

The screening process shall comprise a written test and an evaluation of the Academic Record and Research Performance or Academic Record, Qualifications, background and experience of the candidate. The written test shall comprise a compulsory general studies paper common to all subjects and faculties and a subject-specific paper depending on the position applied for. The syllabus of the papers shall be as prescribed by the JKPSC.
Based on the results of the written screening test and the academic record and research performance or academic record, qualifications, background, and experience score sheet of the candidate, the JKPSC shall recommend candidates in the ratio of 1:4 for Personal Interview/lecture demonstration and final selection by the concerned University.

For all positions in the officer cadre as well as for teaching, except Professor and equivalent positions in the universities, weightage for the written test shall be 75 percent, academic record and research performance: 10 percent and Personal Interview : 15 percent.

The eligibility condition and qualification for the post of Professor in the universities shall be the same as prescribed by the UGC or other regulatory bodies. The final selection shall be based on the cumulative score of Academic background (25 percent weightage), Assessment of Research performance (30 percent), Assessment of Domain Knowledge and Teaching Skills (15 percent) and Performance in the Interview (15 percent).

For the appointment of non-gazetted employees, the universities shall refer all direct posts, not fewer than twice a year, to the Jammu and Kashmir Services Selection Board to select the suitable candidates. The university shall be empowered to suggest technical and other skills and qualification for the posts referred by them to the SSB while the posts referred to in this section shall be open only to the domiciles of Jammu and Kashmir.

Every post referred to JKSSB by the public universities shall be processed on a fast-track basis and the entire process from advertisement, screening and appointment shall be completed within three months while as per the Act, selection to all posts upto and including posts carrying a pay scale equivalent to pay level 6 in the Government shall be made solely on the basis of a written test and no oral test/interview shall be conducted.

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