The charges made by the Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai against the Goa University on the manipulation of the roster so as to deny Goan Other Backward Class and Scheduled Tribe candidates posts at this institute of higher learning have to be responded to by the varsity officials.
According to the charges made by the Dy CM the reservation roster has been cleverly manipulated so that posts that Goan candidates would be eligible for are advertised in the general category. He has also referred to the University dropping the criteria of 15 years’ domicile for filing 60-odd posts at different levels in a letter to the CM claiming that the university was attempting to offer jobs to non-Goans.
Can Goa University reply to these charges and state whether they are true or false? They are both of a serious nature, and are being made by a person no less than the Deputy Chief Minister of the State. The Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has sought a report from the university on its decision to drop the criteria of 15 years domicile for filling nearly 60-odd posts at different levels. He has also maintained that the domicile certificate should be made compulsory for lower category posts. In case of higher posts, the condition can be relaxed if candidates are not available within the State. The university has to respond and come clear on this, or if these charges are true, the governemnt must initiate action against the varsity for denying Goans a chance to be recruited. At a time when the government is trying to create employment for locals, jobs at the university going to persons not residents in the State is a matter of concern.
This is not the first time that there have been questions raised over recruitments at Goa University or that favouritism in the process has been alleged. It has been charged that in the past there have been appointments made favouring candidates who came from the same State as the Vice Chancellor who was in office at that point of time. While this may not have been the case with all Vice Chancellors, there have been instances. This, however, is a new as the current Vice Chancellor is a Goan and the charge is that the rules have been bent to allow non-Goans a better advantage in the recruitments. How then did this happen at the university, and who allowed it to happen? The government must come clear on this.
Goa University is a State university. In 2009 it had been included in the Bill that sought to convert various State Universities into Central Universities. However, after discussions at various levels and forums, the Goa government had concluded that the conversion from a State univeristy to a Central university would not be in the interest of Goa and had withdrawn from this. One of the reasons proffered against the conversion to a Central university was that the recruitment process would be centralised and Goans would not get preference. From what we see today, it does appear as if Goans still do not get any preference in their State University.
There can be no regional control over central universities, so recruitment would be one area where the State would have no say in. But, former professors of the University do state that preference has all too often been given to candidates from other States over locally available talent. They point out that in other State the politicians and the governments ensure that their people are recruited by the universities, but this has not been happening in Goa. It is time for the local Goan politicians to change this and ensure that talent available in the State is not only recruited at the university, but in other institutions as well.