Teaching experience should be real and not a myth, Justice Devan Ramachandran said while considering a petition challenging the appointment of Priya Varghese, wife of CM’s private secretary and CPM leader KK Ragesh, as an associate professor at the Malayalam department at Kannur University.
The petitioner, who had secured the second rank in the selection list for the appointment, had alleged that Priya does not have the required teaching experience. She had served as NSS coordinator and the director of student services. If her deputation to these posts are excluded, Priya does not have the required teaching experience, the petition had said.
Criticism regarding teaching experience was made by the court after Priya’s counsel could not provide a direct answer to the court’s query as to whether she had taken classes while serving as the NSS coordinator and director of student services and whether there is any document evidencing the same. Stating that such work experiences cannot be considered as teaching experience, the court said the UGC norms have to be followed.
The teaching experience of Priya after her research period is less than three years and her total teaching experience is five years and five days, the petitioner’s counsel submitted. Priya’s counsel argued that the time spent for research without taking leave can be considered as part of her service and that the work during deputation is part of teaching experience. UGC informed the court that in order to consider a teaching experience for the post of associate professor, the research should have been carried out while also teaching. The university registrar’s counsel argued that Priya has sufficient teaching experience for the post. The court will hear the case again on Thursday.