KATHMANDU, Sept 15: Prime Minister and Chancellor of Tribhuvan University (TU) Sher Bahadur Deuba and Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Gopal Man Shrestha, who is also the Pro-Chancellor of TU, have ignored the issue of appointing the member-secretary of the TU Service Commission, the university's staff recruiting body, though the position went vacant nearly three months ago.
The post of member-secretary of TU Service Commission is lying vacant since June 18. According to the provisions, the prime minister and chancellor of TU makes the appointment on the recommendation of the education minister and pro-chancellor.
The work of TU Service Commission, which recruits the teaching and non-teaching staff at TU, look after their promotion and calling for vacancies, has been halted since June 18. Nearly 1,000 teaching staff selected through vacancy announcements in fiscal years 2015/16 and 2016/17 are yet to be interviewed and posted at their respective places.
As soon as the post of member secretary went vacant, Chaitanya Sharma, chairman of the TU Service Commission visited DPM Shrestha, regarding the appointment. “Just after a week, I visited PM Deuba,” he said. “Immediately, a three-member recommendation committee headed by DPM Shrestha was formed to select an appropriate candidate and recommend him/her to PM Deuba for the appointment,” he added.
The committee included Prof Krishna Raj Tiwari, dean of the Department of Forestry, and Shanta Bahadur Shrestha, secretary at the Ministry of Education. But the committee, has not held a single meeting so far.
“DPM Shrestha has been unable to select the candidate for the member secretary owing to a dispute over power-sharing,” said a high level source at TU. “Until DPM Shrestha submits the name of the candidate to PM Deuba, the latter cannot make the appointment. And until the PM asks the DPM to select the candidate, DPM cannot pick one. This is the situation of political interference in the university,” the source said.
“We have been doing nothing since June 18 as there is no member-secretary,” said TU Service Commission's chairman Sharma, “The Chancellor and Pro-Chancellor don't seem serious about such a crucial appointment.”
Jeevan Kafle, who passed the written exams taken for the post of lecturers of Mathematics a year ago, said that they were tired of waiting for the notice to get interviewed. “The interview hasn't been conducted for a year. The university is in a pathetic state,” he said, “Some TU staffers are going to retire without being promoted, which is a deprivation of their rights.”
Like Kafle, 98 candidates of Mathematics, over 90 candidates of English, several candidates of engineering, medicine and other various subjects, who passed the written tests, have been victimized by the delay in appointing the member-secretary of the TU Service Commission.
TU has approximately 8,000 teaching and 6,000 non-teaching staffers. TU has 60 constituent campuses while 1,048 colleges including community colleges across the country are affiliated to it. More than 350,000 students are now studying at TU-affiliated campuses.
DPM Shrestha clarified that the selection of the candidate for the post of TU Service Commission member-secretary has been delayed due to the demand of the coalition partner. “We will recommend the name of the selected candidate to PM Deuba for the appointment in the near future,” he claimed.
The CPN-Maoist Center, a key partner in the current coalition government, has been putting pressure on the government to appoint their candidate to the post of member-secretary of the TU Service Commission, according to the sources.