In what is being considered a watershed in the history of Rajasthan University, 241 new teachers were appointed recently. The university last saw a recruitment drive in 1982 and was since relying on ad hoc appointments until Dr Dev Swarup took over as vice-chancellor last year. He has emerged as the new idol on campus, credited with bringing about change by fighting corruption and nepotism. When Swarup took over, the varsity was facing acute shortage of teachers. Around 17 departments were on the brink of closure, while Bar Council had directed that the law college cannot admit students.
Despite a sanctioned faculty strength of 900, the institution had not made a single appointment in 32 years. Instead, it had appointed 272 teachers on ad hoc basis, without any selection process.
An advertisement in 2012 sought applications for 494 vacancies, but no appointments were made. “After I took over in July, my first priority was to get classes running, for which appointments were crucial. By this time, we had already received 18,500 applications. We found discrepancies in many of them,” recalled Swarup.
He added that there were calls from politicians, bureaucrats, media and the judiciary, recommending candidates. “The state government and the Governor nominees chose to walk out of the selection process when informed that interviews will be held with transparency. We overcame these stumbling blocks, thanks to then Governor Margaret Alva and Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who not only supported me but made not one recommendation themselves,” he said.
The code of conduct imposed during Assembly polls in December delayed recruitments. Also, as many as 87 court cases were filed during the recruitment process, alleging irregularities. “Lawyers made matters worse. Many of their relatives failed to secure a spot and (they) were extremely upset,” said Swarup.
On August 7, the court upheld the appointments and ordered that ‘the procedure followed by the university was error-free’.
Out of the 241 assistant professors appointed, 106 are from SC/ST, 81 from OBC, 6 physically challenged and 48 from unreserved categories.