GUWAHATI: All opposition members of the Assam Legislative Assembly staged a walkout of the House today in protest against the decision to set up a recruitment board for the selection of teaching and non-teaching staff members of colleges in the state. The State Government did introduce ‘The Assam College Employees (Provincialization) (Amendment) Bill, 2023’ earlier for the setting up of a separate recruitment board for the selection of teaching and non-teaching staff in colleges.
Earlier, college governing bodies were authorized to select teaching and non-teaching staff members in colleges. Based on the recommendations from the governing bodies, the Directorate of Higher Education issued appointment letters.
The House discussed ‘The Assam College Employees (Provincialization) (Amendment) Bill, 2023’ today. All members of Congress, the AIUDF, the CPI (M), and independent MLA Akhil Gogoi opposed the Bill. The opposition members were of the opinion that, at a time when the Government speaks of decentralization of power, this Bill will curtail the power of college governing bodies and centralize the selection of college teachers and other staff members. They demanded the restoration of the earlier system for the selection of teaching and non-teaching staff members in colleges.
“Will the candidates, who have cleared NET, SLET, and Ph.D., face examinations before the selection board?” Congress MLA Rakibul Hussain said
Responding to the issues, Education Minister Ranoj Pegu said, “The Directorate of Higher Education will issue the appointment letters. However, the recruitment board will conduct the selection process instead of college governing bodies. When the colleges advertise separately for the selection of candidates, the candidates have to pay separate fees for separate colleges, besides attending separate interviews in all the colleges. Sometimes, the same candidate gets selected for four or five colleges. When the candidate prefers to join the college of his choice, the other colleges have to issue fresh advertisements. This has led the government to centralize the selection process. The recruitment board will collect the number of vacancies from all the colleges and advertise. Candidates will apply online. When only one recruitment board conducts the selection process, the government’s monitoring will be stricter. The minimum qualifications of the candidates will be as per UGC norms.”
Pegu further said, “The grading systems of different universities in Assam are different. This may require an equalizing examination for the selection of candidates. We will discuss the matter. The selection procedure will be transparent. We have not received any objections from any quarters after the introduction of the Bill in the Assembly.”
Not satisfied with the reply from the minister, the opposition members continued to demand the restoration of the selection power to the college governing bodies. They finally staged a walkout in protest against Bill.
The House passed the Bill later.