The state high court has set aside the recommendations of a selection committee of the Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, which had conducted interviews for the post of Assistant Professor in Production Economics and Natural Resource Economics in November 2009 as no reason was accorded for rejecting a PhD candidate while selecting one having MSc qualification.

Acting on a writ petition filed by a candidate, Dr Sonika Gupta, whose candidature was rejected by the selection committee, the court has directed the university to produce some qualitative comparative analysis of the merits of incumbents by the committee comprising eminent experts to indicate the exclusion of the candidate who otherwise has been declared eligible for consideration.

The university had declared the result of this interview in April 2010 and it was after obtaining information under the RTI Act that facts regarding irregularities came to the fore. Three candidates with two of them having MSc qualification and one having PhD qualification had appeared for the interview.

The petitioner in her writ has alleged that though the interview committee had accorded a total score of 65.77 to Dr Sonika Gupta and 49.38 to selected candidate Subhash Sharma, Dr Gupta was not selected for the post.

Further, the selection committee while selecting Sharma has stated that he had fulfilled the condition in Natural Resource Economics having studied 5 courses in the field, including specialisation and experience in the same, though the committee had failed to accord any mark against the criteria for experience in the score card to both Dr Gupta and Sharma.

The petitioner, therefore, alleged that her case was not properly considered and despite being better qualified with a PhD degree than the selected candidate who was merely MSc she had not been selected.

The selection and screening committees were headed by the Vice-Chancellor and though the screening committee had found Dr Gupta eligible for the post, she was rejected without any valid reason.

The court has also directed the same selection committee, if possible, to consider the case of the petitioner or else constitute another committee as per the university statute within six months while allowing Sharma to continue in service till that time.

Article is taken from the The Tribune online edition