The PIL states that many faculty members are enjoying the All-India Council for Technical Education pay scale on the basis of a “weekend Masters degree”.

PIL filed against state of Kerala over falling standards of Polytechnic colleges
news Education Wednesday, July 18, 2018 - 15:47

A Public Interest Litigation was filed against the State of Kerala on July 5, alleging the erosion of academic standards in Polytechnic colleges. The PIL states that many faculty members are enjoying the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) pay scale on the basis of a “weekend Masters degree” from various universities outside Kerala.

The PIL was filed by Dr MK Sreedhar, a retired Associate Professor of Chemistry at the University College of Thiruvananthapuram.

Talking to TNM, advocate Raghul Sudheesh, who is arguing the case on behalf of the petitioner said that “the PIL challenges the grant of higher AICTE pay scale to teachers (Lecturers/Heads of Departments/Principals) in Polytechnic colleges without sufficient qualifications.”

He says that an M.Tech degree is mandatory for obtaining the higher AICTE pay scale as well as promotion to the post of HOD/Principal.

“Many lecturers, Heads of Departments/Principals working in various government and aided Polytechnic colleges in Kerala, who do not hold Masters Degrees in Engineering or Technology, which is essential for  a promotion and a raise as per AICTE norms, join weekend Masters courses at universities outside Kerala and procured Masters degree certificates. Many of them have been drawing such additional amounts without requisite qualifications, for the past 60 months,” reads the petition.

“Following complaints regarding this matter, the Vigilance Department in 2016 decided to investigate the matter and, based on the investigation, a report was sent to the Kerala government, requesting it to recover the amount that has gone into paying the higher salaries to all those professors without a proper M.Tech degree,” said Raghul.

He added that the PIL has been filed against the state as no action was taken by it regarding the irregularities in the implementation of AICTE pay scale in Polytechnic colleges.

“Despite several complaints and findings, no action has been taken till date by the 1st Respondent (State of Kerala) to address the issue of erosion in the standards of Polytechnic education in the state and its impact on excellence and merit of teachers across the Polytechnic colleges in the state,” the petition reads.

The petition also states that “inaction of the 1st Respondent is causing loss of money from the public exchequer and leading to a situation where ineligible persons are taking illegal money.”

On July 13, a High Court bench consisting of Acting Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice AK Nambiar requested the state to take a call on the issue as quickly as possible, preferably within three months.

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