Tue. Jun 15th, 2021

A BJP MLA from Banda district has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alleging that the roster system of reservation was not followed in recent appointments for educational posts at Banda University of Agriculture and Technology, thereby leading to appointment of a high number of candidates of a particular caste.

Taking cognizance of media reports on the MLA’s allegations, the Agriculture Department said they are looking into the matter.

In his letter to the PM, Brijesh Kumar Prajapati, the BJP MLA from Tindwari, alleged that the university issued two separate advertisements to fill 40 vacant posts for professors, associate professors and assistant professors with a “devious” attempt to “conduct serious irregularities in reservation”.

“Whenever there is a vacancy, it is decided how many seats will be for reserved category candidates through a roster system. The university did not follow this roster system and filled the seats. There is a 50 per cent reservation as per the rules, but it was not followed. To make this happen (avoid roster system), they (the university) issued two separate advertisements to fill all the 40 seats – 29 at one time and later 11. If the government allowed the university to fill all the 40 vacant seats in one go, then the roster system should have been applied,” Prajapati wrote, adding that copies of his letter have been sent to Governor Anandiben Patel and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Of the first 29 vacant posts, 24 were reportedly filled on June 1 this year. The MLA alleged that out of the candidates selected under the General Category, most are from a particular caste.

In the list of the 15 selected candidates under the “Unreserved (UR)” category, 11 have ‘Singh’ surname. Seven more have been selected under the reserved category, and five posts in the list have not been filled yet, said sources.

Prajapati has demanded that the recruitment advertisements should be cancelled and re-issued.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Additional Chief Secretary (Agriculture) Devesh Chaturvedi said that his office has not received any official complaint or written order for an investigation so far.

“We are reviewing the documents. Basically, the selection has been made by the university. The interview board has five members, including two external members, appointed by the Governor and one either the dean or another external member. Out of the total weightage, 70 per cent is based on academic performance and the rest 30 per cent on interview. On three posts, there was just one candidate, and the rest of the selections were made on merit basis,” Chaturvedi said.

US Gautam, the vice-chancellor of the university, could not be reached for comments.

A senior state government official said: “We need to look if proper merit was considered for the selection or not…”

An official of Banda University of Agriculture and Technology said the main allegation is about splitting the reservation roster on 40 seats. “However as far as recruiting more candidates from a particular caste is considered, it can be just a coincidence …” the official added.

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