Calicut varsity accused of manipulating interview for faculty post

Applicant seeks details under RTI Act

An applicant has alleged that the interview for the post of Assistant Professor in the Department of Education in the University of Calicut held in January this year was manipulated to appoint those close to the authorities.

M.P. Bindu from Kannur had, under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, sought details of the interview, including the marks given to the candidates. The rank list had five names. Though she managed to get an order from the State Information Commissioner directing the university to furnish the information by August 10, the authorities did not oblige. She was told that providing the interview score sheet would pose a threat to the lives of the selection committee members. Ms. Bindu again wrote to the Chief Information Commissioner highlighting the university’s response.

The reply from the Vice Chancellor’s office on August 20 said that directions had been issued to provide “all the available documents”, as directed by the State Information Commissioner, to Ms. Bindu. The Vice Chancellor’s office claimed that the marks were given “after discussions by all the interview board members” and “based on the opinion of the subject experts”. Ms. Bindu was given 78 marks in the interview, it was informed.

Another letter from the recruitment section of the university said on August 25 said that “marks of the appellant can be provided while those of the other candidates is a third party information exempted under Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act” and “an order of the Central Information Commissioner”. Also, “name, educational qualification and experience of the list of candidates called for the interview”, “name, address and declaration copy of the selectors and experts”, and “copy of complete documents submitted by the candidates also contain third party information” cannot be provided. Her index marks, however, have been given as 80.5.

Ms. Bindu alleged that if the marks were given after holding discussions, it clearly meant that they were not decided during the interview. “The university is admitting that the priority list for the marks are decided through discussions,” she added.

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