'Only Vidwan from Now': Kamal Nath Govt Says No Guest Faculty Will Lose Jobs in MP
File photo of former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath.
Bhopal: State Higher Education Minister Jitu Patwari announced on Thursday that guest faculties, from now onwards, would be called ‘vidwan’, while issuing an assurance that not a teacher among them would lose their job in the state.
The statement came as a major relief to thousands of guest faculties who have protesting in the state capital for over a week. Patwari also announced that these teachers would be offered a choice to be accommodated in local colleges of their native towns if there are vacancies. They would be given 20 bonus marks in public service exams in the years to come, he added.
Popularly known in the Hindi belt as ‘atithi vidwan’, the guest faculties were up in arms against the Kamal Nath government after the Public Service Commission handed appointment letters to some of them for the post of assistant professors. Soon after, the Guest Faculties’ Association launched their agitation in Bhopal on December 10 and have been protesting since then.
“The (previous) Shivraj Singh Chouhan government is responsible for the plight of thousands of guest faculties as nothing was done to regularise their jobs in the last 15 years,” Patwari told reporters in the Assembly on Thursday.
The former BJP government should have conducted PSC exams every year, but it wasn’t the case and these faculty members continued to teach in colleges with the ‘guest’ status, the minister said.
“It was due to this apathy of the Chouhan government that members of the family were reduced to guests (atithi),” he said.
“In accordance with the wishes of Chief Minister Kamal Nath, we have decided to delete the prefix ‘atithi’ or guest from the designation of these faculties,” Patwari said, adding his department had filled up some of the posts of faculties through PSC-cleared candidates following court directives.
“To ensure that guest faculties don’t lose jobs due to appointment of full-time teachers, we have created 1,359 fresh posts and we had 1,000 vacant posts. The state government has also ensured that candidates who have obtained higher degrees in the last 15 years are offered suitable posts in accordance with their academic record,” he said.
After the process of fact finding is completed in the next 15 days, the choice filling shall start from January 1 next year to ensure that guest faculties are offered posts in local colleges wherever the vacancies are available, Patwari said.
The minister also announced that the state government is working on a policy for regularisation of contractual employees, including guest faculties, and a committee, comprising senior officials of the five departments, has been formed under the chairmanship of the principal secretary general of the Administration Department.