Upgraded postgraduate course made candidates ineligible for jobs: TNIC

Students who passed out of the University of Madras remain disqualified for the post of Assistant Superintendent for Vigilance Institutions in the Department of Social Defence, for which recruitment is done by the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC), even two decades after the upgradation of the M.A. (Criminology) course to M.A. (Criminology & Criminal Justice Administration) and then to M.Sc. (Criminology & Criminal Justice Science), as the University has not received the “equivalence of qualification” status from the competent authorities.

While TNPSC continues to not treat the upgraded courses as equivalent to M.A. (Criminology) and reject applicants from the University of Madras and other universities with upgraded courses, candidates from institutions like the University of Delhi, that still offer the M.A (Criminology) course, have been offered jobs in the Tamil Nadu State services. Passing orders on a Right to Information (RTI) Act petition moved by candidate S. Nishanti from Chennai, whose application for the post was rejected on the same grounds, the Tamil Nadu Information Commission (TNIC) came down on the University of Madras and the TNPSC for the lack of coordination despite the issue being flagged three years ago.

State Information Commissioner S. Muthuraj said the University authorities had written to the TNPSC and the Department of Social Defence, urging that the upgraded courses, which incorporated latest advancements in criminal justice administration and criminal justice science, be treated as an equivalent to M.A (Criminology). The course syllabus was upgraded keeping in mind the advancements in the field of education concerned.

Though the issue was flagged in 2017 by another candidate, Raj Kapil, whose application for the post was rejected, the TNPSC, being a constitutional body, should have effectively dealt with the matter to prevent the recurrence of such issues, he said. “The University should write to the Department of Social Defence and the other authorities concerned, that M.Sc (Criminology & Criminal Justice Science) is equivalent to the M.A (Criminology) course that was offered till 1990,” Mr. Muthuraj added.

While noting the initiatives taken by the University to get the “equivalence of qualification” approval through the Tamil Nadu State Council for Higher Education, the State Information Commissioner said all steps taken by Public Information Officers of the TNPSC, the University and the Department of Social Defence should be communicated to the petitioner in the case.

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