The Kerala Institute of Local Administration’s (KILA) reported move to recruit academicians ahead of it being accorded the status of a university has sparked off a row. Official sources told The Hindu that the top brass of the institute was going ahead with the recruitment flouting norms in anticipation of being elevated as a university with specialised centres for studies and research in local governance. Except for making a token budgetary allocation of Rs.20 crore in this year’s budget, the government has not taken any step to develop the institute as a university. Still, moves are allegedly afoot to recruit two assistant professors on the premise that the upgrade procedures will commence soon.
The initial recruitment has been planned from among those working in the Rajiv Gandhi Panchayat Shashakthikaran Abhiyan, a Central initiative.
Appointments made by KILA itself to various posts for executing the scheme have been criticised. Instead of appointing specialists with expertise for capacity-building in local bodies, the institute chose to create posts of assistant professors who are not directly linked to its execution. And now they are to be absorbed in the institute.
The funds for the scheme have almost been absorbed and it is likely to be wound up in the next three months.
At this juncture, those heading the institute have reportedly decided to absorb the project staff at KILA neglecting the key provisions in the bylaw governing the institute. The bylaw has specified that those with PhD alone should be appointed as assistant professors. Such norms are being overlooked and recruitment is progressing in full swing.
The present budgetary allocation of Rs.20 crore will not be sufficient even to meet the preliminary expenses required for upgrading the institute. This calls for a thorough augmentation of infrastructure facilities too. When the government was striving hard to meet even its routine commitments, it was highly unlikely to accord top priority for elevating the institute as a university this year, the sources said.
Institute allegedly flouting norms anticipating an upgrade to university status.