Chennai: With Anna University set to start its recruitment after a gap of nearly four years, over 270 teaching fellows in the university are demanding absorption citing their service to the university ranging from two to 12 years.
Through the heads of the departments, the university recently intimated them that they would go for open recruitment process for filling all the vacancies in the three university department colleges - College of Engineering, Guindy, Madras Institute of Technology, Chromepet and Alagappa College of Technology on Guindy campus.
Due to the difficulties in filling the vacancies in the university departments, the university has decided to appoint temporary faculty members as teaching fellows who can also do their research work simultaneously.
But they would be given only Rs 20,000 as monthly salary and their contract also would be revived after every six months. “We are the force behind the Anna University’s rise in the NIRF rankings and smooth functioning despite huge vacancies in the three university departments,” one of the teaching fellow and a member of newly formed Anna University Faculty Association said.
The teaching fellows involved in all the works including setting question papers, evaluation of answer scripts and result processing. “In almost every department in the three colleges the teaching fellows from anywhere between 35% and 60% of the teaching workforce. We are taking one or two theory classes and two lab sessions like assistant professors and normally take classes for 12 hours in a week,” another teaching fellow added that they are in danger of losing their jobs. He further argued that there is no difference between the assistant professor and teaching fellow in academic workload.
Why there is an apprehension for open recruitment process?
“We also came through an open selection process. Our years of experience will not be counted during the selection. We fear the influential people only can get through the selection process,” they alleged.
Further, they alleged the university had shown teaching fellows as the assistant professor on contract to get AICTE’s approval and NBA accreditation.
The recruitment process of teaching fellows involved a selection committee sans external experts.
A senior faculty member who spoke on condition of anonymity said, “For a teaching fellow the university would receive very few applications from qualified candidates. If we advertise regular posts, then the university will receive applications from all over the country.”
“So, the recruitment process for a teaching fellow and for an assistant professor is not the same. There many teaching fellows who are qualified. But, they had to compete and come through an open selection process,” he observed.
Another faculty member noted that the standard of the university was harmed when the previous administration decided to absorb 93 teaching research fellows.
“In my opinion, any selection process has to follow certain rules and procedures. The faculty members have to be assessed and recruited by the committee consisting of high-level academicians. We cannot make any compromise in the recruitment as our future generation depends upon the quality of faculty members,” said M.K. Surappa, Vice-Chancellor, Anna University.
He further said the university will consider them like anyone else in the open selection process. “In all appointment of teaching fellows, we have clearly mentioned that the appointment is only on the temporary basis. Nowhere had we mentioned that it's a permanent job or will be given preference. We have not committed on anything on our side,” he said. The university is expected to start the recruitment process very soon....