Environmental subject teachers without MSc degree fear termination

Implementation of GR saying profs must be science postgraduates to teach zoology, botany panics many

Professors who don't possess a postgraduate degree in science but have been offering classes on environmental subjects such as zoology for years may just lose their jobs. For, a government resolution (GR), issued in 2008 and implemented in June this year, mandates that the professors teaching environment subjects in junior colleges and universities must hold a postgraduate degree in any science subjects. 

Harsh move? The new GR was implemented by Pune University in June

Shivers down spine
This notification has sent shivers down the spine of veteran teachers who don't posses a masters degree in science but have been teaching these subjects with authority for years. The GR further states if the environmental subjects, including ecological sciences or zoology, are to be taught on a part-time basis then anybody is eligible to teach. But if it is to be done by a full-time teacher then he needs to have an MSc degree.
After making environment a compulsory subject in 2007, the government had issued the GR next year underlining eligibility criteria for the post of environment teachers. 

Teacher terminated
On the basis of the GR, environment professor Shashikant Shelar was terminated from his job by a college in Mumbai. He has even appealed against his termination before the Bombay High Court. At the time of termination, Shelar was told since he had done his MA in geography instead of MSc in geography, he did not fulfill the eligibility criteria for the post. 

"I had written to the minister as well as to the University of Pune (UoP), where the decision is taken. I received a letter from the UoP conforming that both courses MA in Geography and MSc in Geography were equivalent and I was qualified for teaching environmental science. Despite that I have still not been reinstated," Shelar said. 

'GR contradictory'
Education activist Anil Deshmukh, who heads the Junior College Teachers' Union, said, "The GR contradicts itself as it says that anybody is eligible to teach the subject on an ad hoc basis, but then for the full time post one has to be an MSc. What about the teachers who have been teaching the subjects for past 5-7 years? We had approached State Education Minister Rajendra Darda, but the matter is still pending."

Dr V Gadde, Director of Board of College and University Development (UoP), said, "Environment is an interdisciplinary subject and anybody who have done their MA or MSc should be eligible to teach the subjects related to environmental sciences. The issue will be solved soon."

The other side
State Education Minister Rajendra Darda said he could not comment as he was admitted in a hospital. 

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