Kerala HC: Priya Varghese does not have actual teaching experience for Associate Professor position at Kannur University 

UGC Regulation states that a person should have actual teaching experience, not something that can be inferred by the operation of law
File photo of Kerala High Court | Pic: Express
File photo of Kerala High Court | Pic: Express

The Kerala High Court ruled on Thursday, November 17, that Priya Varghese, wife of KK Ragesh, Private Secretary to the Chief Minister, does not have the necessary experience to be considered for the position of Associate Professor in Malayalam at Kannur University. The court ordered the University's scrutiny committee to reconsider Priya Varghese's qualifications and decide whether her name should be on the rank list. 

Justice Devan Ramachandran said, "I allow the writ petition and direct the competent authority of the university to reconsider the credentials of Priya Varghese and decide whether she should continue in the rank list. On such inquiry be completed and the rank list sufficiently modified further action to make appointments can be taken forward," stated a report by The New Indian Express.

The court noted that the teaching experience specified in the UGC Regulation must be actual teaching experience and cannot be inferred or construed by the operation of law or on the strength of circulars or executive orders. Since the position of associate professor is so important, the UGC was certainly justified in requiring that only someone with actual teaching experience can apply for it. To maintain the excellence and integrity of the higher education system, the UGC clearly stated that a person must have actual teaching experience. In that context, teaching experience can only be factual and not speculative. 

Some of the various spells of teaching experience claimed by Priya Varghese “cannot find favour in law. The court stated that, "In this case, the scrutiny committee proceeded on certain assumptions which they thought to be true, particularly with respect to the services claimed by Priya Varghese while engaging in full-time research and discharging duties as a Director of Student Services and or the coordinator of the National Service Scheme. Certainly, such activities would go to the promotion of the growth of a person as a good teacher, but that by itself would not be sufficient in the absence of requisite experience of teaching. What would be required is a 'felicitous mix of both', so that a teacher is able to guide their children not only in academics but also in community service, which is an absolute must in the given times, and involvement in activities of the NSS and such other certainly laudable and to be appreciated," stated The New Indian Express report.

Related Stories

No stories found.