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.
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.
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:
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.
D C Dissanayake
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.