Pune: A week after thousands of candidates from the DEd, BEd students Association of Maharashtra held a protest, 70 candidates who are PhD holders and have qualified for the State Eligibility Test (SET)/National Eligibility Test (NET) staged an unprecedented hunger strike demanding a start to the professors’ recruitment process in the State. The strike continued on the second day in front of the Directorate of Higher Education (DHE) in Central Building on Tuesday.
The eligible candidates demanded lifting of the ban on appointment of assistant professors in the State. Their demands include filling up vacant posts in colleges and to make temporary professors permanent. Many colleges have been refusing recruitment stating that the posts are not sanctioned yet. Therefore, those ministers and associates who have blocked the recruitment procedures should be punished, said Sandeep Parthikar, who has cleared his NET-SET.
“Secretaries of the Education and Finance Ministries held a meeting on Tuesday and we cannot contemplate the outcome of the meeting. But I would request an end to the hunger strike,” said Dhanraj Mane, Director of Higher Education. Mane immediately took note of the situation and informed the State Education Department in Mumbai.
Parthikar and his associate Kishor Khilore, who have been leading the protest, said the hunger strike will continue unless a positive decision is made. They said the State Education Department and Finance Ministry have been passing the ball giving reasons like institutes have not provided details.
Meanwhile, NCP MP Supriya Sule visited the protesters to hear out their issues. She assured her support to the group. She said she will take up the issue with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis immediately.
168 vacancies at SPPU alone
Sakal Times had reported on May 3 that at present there are 9,000 vacancies for professors in Maharashtra as per the Director of Higher Education (DHE). According to sources, in Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) alone, only 218 of 386 teaching positions are filled, while 168 are vacant.