TRICHY: A government order declaring 33 professional postgraduate courses in various arts and science colleges and state-run universities non-equivalent to conventional courses will make thousands of students ineligible to apply for government jobs .
A rough estimate of the number of students taking up such professional courses would easily exceed 20,000 in the state, according to sources in Bharathidasan university. However, for many thousands who are awaiting government jobs especially in the teaching sector fulfilling all the eligibility criteria, the order has come as a bolt from the blue. The equivalence committee constituted by the higher education department states that for any two degrees to be equivalent, 75% of their syllabi have to be similar.
The worst affected will be 13 MSc programmes with various nomenclatures offered by some of the state-run universities that are similar to MSc computer science including MCA — that have now been deemed non-equivalent. MCA offered by Bharathidasan University and Annamalai university have been deemed not equivalent to MSc Computer Science. MCom Corporate Secretaryship (CS) and MCom Computer Application offered by Periyar university have also been deemed non-equivalent to MCom apart from MCom international business and MCom Corporate Secretaryship offered by Bharathiar University.
The government order dated August 14 was in recognition of the resolutions passed by the 59th equivalence committee meeting held in May. The state government had approved the recommendations of the committee. T S Senthil Kumar, a guest faculty of Bharathidasan University College, Perambalur said that the decision would badly affect candidates like him who fulfilled all eligibility criteria to become teacher in a state-run university. “Though I did MCA, we were considered students of MSc Computer Science itself. Now when I have completed over 10 years of service as an ad-hoc teacher and am waiting for a job, I am denied opportunity,” he said.
“It may not affect students who are going to the industry after their post-graduation as MCA and other related programmes are in demand. But thousands of students who wish to get into the government sector especially as a teacher will be affected,” said a senior faculty from Bharathidasan University. “This is a cumulative result of many litigations by students on the equivalence or non-equivalence issue,” said a senior official from the higher education department.
“TNPSC had to unnecessarily delay the result of many candidates during recruitments due to confusion over equivalence of degrees. The delay has gone even for years together,” said the official. “It is a very sensitive issue that has not been handled properly by educational institutions. We have asked colleges to issue letter of equivalence to students before they join such course,” added the official.