Nalanda University jobs have scope for manipulation

By a Special Correspondent

After being nearly two years in operation from New Delhi, the Nalanda University has suddenly woken up to ‘urgent’ requirements of secretarial and accounting staff. The University, where all previous appointments including that of the Vice Chancellor, were on basis of ‘acquaintance’ and ‘familiarity’ has for the first time advertised for full-time employees on contract basis. Those recruited will initially be based in New Delhi but later shifted to Rajgir. A small display ad in Ascent, career supplement of Times of India, on October 10 announced the vacancies. The details are available on the University’s official website http://nalandauniv.edu.in/announcements.html.

This transparency appears is the result of campaign by the Bihar Times against the arbitrariness and opaqueness in the functioning of the Nalanda University. But a scrutiny of the advertisement http://nalandauniv.edu.in/positions-available-details.pdf shows a wide scope for arbitrariness available. First, the applicants have only a five-day window to apply (October 10 to 15, 2012). No state-funded institution can provide a window that slender. It should be open at least for three weeks. It would be equivalent to denying applicants equal and fair opportunity. The University may try to justify its decision on the basis of ‘urgency’. But it reflects poorly on the University that it could not anticipate vacancy in these fundamental positions. It seems some other considerations are at work.

Second, the advertisement does not specify the salary structure. It says that salaries for the posts would be commensurate with qualification and experience. A University founded under a Central Act cannot act like a private school. It is mandatory to specify the salary structure like in any government job. The salary cannot depend on the sweet will of the employer as in private concerns. Third, shorthand and typing speeds are pre-requisite certain positions like Private Secretary, Steno Typist and Junior-Account-cum-Typist. But the advertisement does not speak about any shorthand & typing proficiency test. It speaks about a written test across the board without specifying the outline. But the written test is not mandatory.

On balance, it again seems to be an effort to promote some chosen few, though the posts in stake are not high-profile. The Bihar Times will continue its hawk-eyed vigil on the Nalanda University project.





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