27 October, 2020

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Recruitments Done In Accordance To UGC Circular, Says Higher Education Ministry

Responding to the news story, “Ministry of Higher Education like a job bank: Jaffna University Union”, the Secretary to the Ministry of Higher Education & Highways has today said that the recruitment to the university staff is done in accordance with the circular number 876 issued by University Grants Commission.

Lakshman Kiriella - Minister

Lakshman Kiriella – Minister

Sending a clarification to the Colombo Telegraph, the ministry said; “Almost all recruitments are done through examinations or interviews conducted by respective universities. Usually for one position several number of applicants appears for such examination or interviews and after following proper process a suitable candidate for a position is selected on competitive basis.”

University of Jaffna Employees’ Union last week said; “Even though the University of Jaffna administration gives the excuse that its actions are according to UGC Circular 876 dated 6 June 2006, this is an excellent example showing that this Government of Good Governance is administering institutions exactly as the previous government did,”

The union also expressed their deep distress and dissatisfaction over the recent attempts made by the ministry to fill the non-academic staff vacancies without falling proper procedure.

Prof. Rajiva Wijesingha

Prof. Rajiva Wijesingha

Meanwhile former State Minister for Higher Education, Rajiva Wijesinha has posted the following text on his Facebook on 11th of March; “Reading the Jaffna University critique of the Ministry of Higher Education, I was reminded of my horror over a year ago when I found that there was actually a circular declaring that non-academic positions had to be filled from a list prepared by the Ministry. This had been issued in Chandrika Kumaratunga’s time, but it is quite possible that, given her carelessness, she did not even know that such a perverse system was institutionalized in her time.

“I sent a directive to the effect that that circular should no longer apply in the university system, but doubtless after I resigned, the old evil came back with a vengeance. I remember being asked whether I had the right to violate a circular, which struck me as a silly quesiton since obviously one had the right to abrogate any privileges that had been heaped on one.But I don’t suppose other politicians, who need to curry favour to win votes on our preposterous electoral system, could dream of following the ideals I was able to espouse.

Lakshman Kiriella is obviously a bad example of the breed, but it would be wrong to criticize him excessively for this (as opposed to his outrageous attempt to impose his choice for an academic post, and then try to justify it in terms of his general powers). It is the system that needs to be changed, and its entrenchment by Chandrika’s appalling circular.”

We publish below the clarification sent by the Ministry of Higher Education & Highways:

Editor

Colombo Telegraph.

Dear Sir,

This refers to the article on “Ministry of Higher Education like a job bank: Jaffna University Union” which was published on 10th March 2016, on your news site.
I wish to forward the following clarification on your article. Please be good enough to publish the clarification, with the same prominence that you have given to the above said article.

Thanking you,
Yours faithfully,
D C Dissanayake
Secretary
Ministry of Higher Education & Highways

Recruitment to the University Staff is done in accordance with the circular number 876 issued by University Grants Commission. Almost all recruitments are done through examinations or interviews conducted by respective universities. Usually for one position several number of applicants appears for such examination or interviews and after following proper process a suitable candidate for a position is selected on competitive basis.

Nobody in the university system or in the Ministry of Higher Education & Highways is involved in getting bribes for offering these employments to the prospective applicants. If the Jaffna university union has evidence on taking bribes for offering employments at university of Jaffna or any other university, they should have made a complaint to this ministry first of all. Also they could make a complaint to the Commission for Bribery and Corruption which is the legal body entrusted with inquiring in to this mature complaints.

Further we wish to inform you that almost all employment opportunities of University of Jaffna, have been offered to the people living in the Jaffna District or people living in other districts of the Nothern Province.

This was specially done considering the local language requirement and on the request of the people living in the districts where Jaffna campus, Kilinochchi Campus and Vavuniya campus are located.

Related posts;

Lakshman Kiriella In A University Soup

Kiriella Fiasco: FUTA Expresses Concern Over Maithri’s Good Governance Policy

Audio: Kiriella Goes Berserk On Journalist

Kiriella Justifies Political Interference; Nirmal Says Justification More Dangerous Than Letter

Kiriella Fiasco: FUTA Expresses Concern Over Maithri’s Good Governance Policy

Kiriella Continues To Contravene University Recruitment Policy

Higher Education Ministry Is Like A Job Bank: Jaffna University Union

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Latest comments

  • 4
    0

    I wish only to address Rajiva’s statement on the origin of UGC Circular 876 dated 6 June 2006:”This had been issued in Chandrika Kumaratunga’s time, but it is quite possible that, given her carelessness, she did not even know that such a perverse system was institutionalized in her time.”

    Wrong, Rajiva! I was on the UGC until March 18, 2006 or so and there was no circular like that. By then Chandrika had retired. I would not have stood for it.

    I do not have all my records before me as I write this in a hurry. There was a lot that was fishy about Circular 876. Someone in the Rajapakse regime was apparently in a hurry to appoint some people. When the circular came out early in the term of the succeeding UGC, it claimed to have been approved by the UGC at a time when there had been no meeting of the UGC from after we relinquished office and the date the new circular was put out.

    I am pretty sure I pointed it out in one of my articles and subsequently a new circular was reissued thereafter with same number 876 but with a date after the new UGC had met.

    Such is the willingness of our UGC to comply with requests from their masters. And such is the legal sophistication of the crooks under that system we voted out last year.

    • 0
      0

      Dear Profs. Rajiva and Hoole

      Googled this: Is this what is referred to in Hoole’s comment?

      May 23, 2011
      On 6 June 2006 (as soon as Prof. Gamini Samaranayake became Chairman, the UGC rather shamelessly issued Circular 876 instructing that for certain posts such as Computer Applications Assistant, Clerk, Driver, Stenographer, etc. there shall be no advertisement and selections would be from a list supplied by the Minister for Higher Education. For Jaffna this list comes from Douglas. The procedure involves hangers on going to Sridhar Theatre where Douglas places his minute of approval. Then they go to the Minister S.B. Dissanayake who routinely puts their names on the list with a few names of his own. In addition people like the Registrar and Council members and VC sneak in a few more names and pretend that they are also from the Minister. Thus you and I as citizens do not have a right to these jobs. They are reserved for Douglas’ stooges and hangers on. In the present climate of fear no one is willing to file a Fundamental Rights plea on this. The University sinks further down as such appointees cannot be disciplined by their supervisors. With a noncompetitive process, one wonders if the Minister is serious about the quality of university education he so routinely speaks of raising up. He blames state universities and talks up private universities – but is he not the cause of the downfall of the state system by imposing these incompetent political appointees on our excellent universities? (The stooges are put through a test but taken anyhow).

  • 1
    0

    Was not the UGC always a politically fuelled machine?
    The universities have enjoyed control over much of academic appointments. For the rest it was the UGC from minor staff to senior administrators.
    There are UGCs in other countries too, but not with such large power-to-responsibility ratio.

    Even VC appointments have been political from well before the Mahinda regime.
    Despite UGC meddling, the country had good VCs like Prof Savithri Gunasekera in Colombo, among others.

    It is time that the universities had more autonomy and the UGC only ensured that they functioned properly.

  • 6
    1

    Do not lie this is the truth in University recruitment for academic positions and promotions:First they find a person and then advertise according to his/her requirement and send aboard for their friends’ places for PhDs.More than 40% University Lecturers are relatives to each others and they give PG degrees to each other (Husband gives PhD to wife and girlfriend/mistress getting PG degree, sons, daughter and son-in law and daughter- in-law). Some Dept are family trees and even after retirement still they are in Universities and leave approval mainly based on sex other other outdoor ways in Sri Lankan Universities. Check minister inside please.

    As a tax payer to run this business, I like to propose following measures to clean Universities and get back to old golden days.
    1) Identify and transfer all family members work in same University/Dept/Faculty as Lecturers. Recheck how these all family members came to system and penalize the responsible. Sometime wife is writing articles putting husband’s name for articles and husband getting professorship without shame (what ethics) presenting these to promotions.
    2) Recheck all Lecturers and Professors qualifications and publications based on that re-grade them.
    3) Never sent job applications received for academic positions to the respective academic depts. If you sent these applications they remove qualified PhD people and only interview henchmen.
    4) Remove good business subjects from Arts faculty and hand over to Science and Technology faculties. See how Arts faculty destroyed good names of many good disciplines. Today Arts faculty products (graduates) are a symbol of unemployment.
    5) Famous family dept must be closed and appoint President Commission to check inside and FCID must be called to checked inside for last 20 year period.
    6) Never give professorships for jokers.
    7) Reduce retirement age for academics 65 years to 60 or 58.
    8) Follow strict rule while appointing Professors: In order to be a real international professor your PhD from world top 100 University, minimum 20 articles in ISI/SCOPUS indexed journals, 10 text books with international publishers and three countries have to appoint you as a Visiting professor.
    9) Never allow any dept to issue first degree if you do not have sufficient number of PhDs in that dept. Take some Universities many Deans do not have PhDs. This is a recipe for disaster.
    10) UGC can directly take task of recruitments of lecturers and give to respective Universities. This must be done quickly.
    11) Select the best Lecturers with help of private sector independent body and sent to world top 100 universities with strict bond requirements.
    12) Many of these so called academic jokers are now entering into professional bodies or they themselves create own fake professional bodies and they destroyed that profession also.
    13) Develop comprehensive web sites for each University and say to show Publications with indexing place to public by each academics (not joke conference papers) and degrees where (Country and the University and international ranking of that University) they got their PHD. Today the most important thing is your PhD must come from accredited, ranking (at least 100) best University of the world to recognized your University basic products.

    • 3
      1

      Devasiri
      Nepotism was not invented yesterday.
      Irregularities existed even in the “good old days”. That is not to justify their continuation.
      You may know that the retirement age was raised from 62 to 65 in 1974 merely to secure the support of senior dons who were overwhelmingly hostile to the University Act of 1974.
      Do not glorify academics: however learned, they reflect the society that they live in.

      “More than 40% University Lecturers are relatives to each others”
      Can Devasiri justify this with statistically valid data? (People of the same caste are likely to be related in some way, and I hope that is not what is meant.)

      I know of spouses who sacrificed lucrative careers elsewhere and took university jobs to be close the the family. I agree that there have been spouses who have been located in positions for which they were not adequately qualified.

      Devasiri’s shopping list is probably based on his experience, but does not seem to contain universal answers.
      Some of the cures are impractical in the present context while some others are worse than the ailment, like for example:
      “UGC can directly take task of recruitments of lecturers and give to respective Universities.”
      This will only serve to further bureaucratize the UGC.

      Educational planning in this country is conspicuous by its absence.
      The Arts could have been made attractive to bright students in many ways including restrictive admission. The programmes could have been designed to match development needs.
      But the way new faculties have been set up and admissions decided have little to do with benefit to student or community.

      As for publications, academics with long lists of publications need not be great assets.
      Given the large student:staff ratio, priority is good teaching, rather neglected by several ‘great’ researchers– not for search of new knowledge but more points for promotion.
      A conscientious teacher is worth more than a dozen research paper machines.

      Let us get our priorities right.

      • 1
        0

        Devasiri 500% correct. Go in side and check. Some depts are family trees. Grand father to grand daughter and son in same dept. Even after retirement family members appoint him/her as Emeritus. Role of University is not teaching, R&D and Entrepreneurship. The countries they (University teachers) go to do higher studies, no person is going to studies: China, Malaysia, Thailand and India now many are doing PhDs locally in their own work places under friends and lovers.

        • 1
          1

          Dear Fredrick
          When someone gets more than 100% correct there is a good chance that the person is drifting into fantasy. Devasiri is not that bad.
          He made a claim and I asked for evidence.
          Why do you get emotional and challenge me to go inside to check? As a good researcher he will not have trouble and needs nobody’s protection.

          “Even after retirement family members appoint him/her as Emeritus.”
          Emeritus simply refers to one who has retired honourably after serving a specified minimum number of years as Professor. It is a University Senate decision based on rules.
          There are plenty of people who call themselves professors and what can you or I or any university do about it?

          I have nothing against serious research or R&D, but object to ‘research’ done for promotion at the expense of teaching.
          Our teaching has to be put right using the 6%.
          Reading habits are bad all round. Quite a few lecturers do not know how to use the library (but they do ‘research’).
          Ask students about teaching standards.

          If you ask me, the least suitable place to learn ‘entrepreneurship’ is a university. The street is a far better place.

  • 2
    0

    “Almost all recruitments are done…………………………….”

    Why “almost all” ?

    This shows the loophole through which political favourites creep in.
    D.C.Dissanayake has inadvertently ‘let the cat out of the bag’.
    Is he careless, or does he state the truth?

  • 0
    0

    “Recruitment to the University Staff is done in accordance with the circular number 876 issued by University Grants Commission. Almost all recruitments are done through examinations or interviews conducted by respective universities. Usually for one position several number of applicants appears for such examination or interviews and after following proper process a suitable candidate for a position is selected on competitive basis.”

    There in neither cat nor bag here.
    What the statement implies is that appointments may have been made based on qualifications alone without examination or interview where there is no contest.

    I am not saying that there are no irregularities, as I cannot guarantee anything.
    But this statement does not constitute evidence of such.

  • 2
    0

    Jaffna University statement dealt mainly with those appointed to non-academic grades and not academic posts. Please read it before you comment. It is well known that the minister sends a list to fill vacancies such as clerks, technicians, security guards, labourers etc. This has nothing to do with circular 876.Ministry secretary too has not read fully what Jaffna University union said. Can he deny that all non-academic posts are filled by the minister’s list? This happened during the last 20 years under many ministers. So much for University autonomy!

    • 0
      0

      Very true.

  • 1
    0

    “Almost all recruitments are done through examinations or interviews conducted by respective universities.”

    Irrelevant time of before, during and after Chandrika, there was always the eventual aforesaid circular have been complied with. In Lankawe, as the minister is the “all and respective universities” when a minister issue a letter to create a temporary position and seat his person, then “all recruitments are done through examinations or interviews.” All the hoolies are thoroughly examined and interviewed by minister before the hoolies leave his house with his letter.

    The Sri Lankan systems are elastic enough to buffer off any unwanted legal wranglings. Such is the master design of our legal experts’ of the country. For example what the phrase ” almost all” would mean? If you have been reading anything about the September,2015 UNHRC’s resolution about Lankawe,…… you got it. Yap, Yap yap…. It is another “foreign and Commonwealth” terminology. It can vary “from 5% to 95%” anything in between. Or it could mean other than a couple of hoolies to defend their political master, the New Royal Minister.

    Further if the reader couldn’t define who is his/her “political master” – It is not past Stephen Don, it is not Solomon West Ridgeway Dias, It is not Sirimavo, It is no Junius Richard, It is not Richard.P, It is the Percy’s disciple, the Albert’s boy- New King. Some or how, UNHRC is short of one warm electric or he is sitting on the Parakramabahu’s old-Cold chair, the throne of Lankawe. Further, as I do not know much English, I can not get down deep into interprets it a lot, But voted out is not certainly meaning deported to Seychelles or Timbuktu or Syberia. Even if any donkeys were sent to Afghanistan, they are back on the master’s feet and dragging the same old card. Yes,… only the Bottle is New Royals, but the wine is the same Old Royals.

    As last, to point out Rajiva Wijesinha’s mistake, His abrogation is void. He noticed a circular privileging the ministry to provide a list persons for non academic staff to be recruited from. He failed to check if there was another directive, to the ministry to provide such a list to the satisfy the purpose, issued separately. If there was such a directive, he must have carefully read if it was prescribing the format for construction of such list, with a provision to issue all minister a “Last Call” notice to ensure all their house’s hoolies, their spouses, children nephews, neice … were properly accounted in the final list.

  • 0
    0

    Even thefts by ministers are carried out according to the book. So no one is prosecuted and jailed.

    Only voters are stupid.

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