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University Grants Commission (UGC), New Delhi, Delhi


University Grants Commission (UGC), New Delhi, Delhi
Address: Plot / Street / Area
Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg
New Delhi (District New Delhi)
Delhi, India
Pin Code : 110002

University Grants Commission (UGC), New Delhi Delhi is a Central Authority under the control of Government of India.
Principal of University Grants Commission (UGC), New Delhi Delhi is K Gunasekaran.

University Grants Commission (UGC) is situated in New Delhi of Delhi state (Province) in India. This data has been provided by www.punjabcolleges.com. New Delhi comes under New Delhi Tehsil, New Delhi District.

Fax # of University Grants Commission (UGC), New Delhi Delhi is 011-23231797, 23232783 23239659, 23231814.

Mobile No(s) of concerned persons at University Grants Commission (UGC), New Delhi Delhi are 9815706165, 9814436940, 9815628998.

email ID(s) is University Grants Commission (UGC) New Delhi Delhi

Website of University Grants Commission (UGC), New Delhi Delhi is http://www.ugc.ac.in/.

General Secretary : Dr CS Meena, RC Kandera, Dr Jaspal Singh Sandhu, Dr. Akhilesh Gupta, Secretary.

Contact Details of University Grants Commission (UGC), New Delhi Delhi are : Telephone: +91-11-23232701, 23236735, 23239437, 23235733, 23237721, 23232317, 234116/23236351/23230813/ 23232485

Profile of University Grants Commission (UGC)

From ancient Bharat to modern India, higher education has always occupied a place of prominence in Indian history. In ancient times, Nalanda, Taxila and Vikramsila universities were renowned seats of higher learning, attracting students not only from all over the country but from far off countries like Korea, China, Burma (now Myanmar), Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Tibet and Nepal. Today, India manages one of the largest higher education systems in the world. The present system of higher education dates back to Mountstuart Elphinstones minutes of 1823, which stressed on the need for establishing schools for teaching English and the European sciences. Later, Lord Macaulay, in his minutes of 1835, advocated "efforts to make natives of the country thoroughly good English scholars". Sir Charles Woods Dispatch of 1854, famously known as the Magna Carta of English Education in India , recommended creating a properly articulated scheme of education from the primary school to the university. It sought to encourage indigenous education and planned the formulation of a coherent policy of education. Subsequently, the universities of Calcutta, Bombay (now Mumbai) and Madras were set up in 1857, followed by the university of Allahabad in 1887.

The Inter-University Board (later known as the Association of Indian Universities) was established in 1925 to promote university activities, by sharing information and cooperation in the field of education, culture, sports and allied areas. The first attempt to formulate a national system of education in India came In 1944, with the Report of the Central Advisory Board of Education on Post War Educational Development in India, also known as the Sargeant Report. It recommended the formation of a University Grants Committee, which was formed in 1945 to oversee the work of the three Central Universities of Aligarh, Banarasand Delhi. In 1947, the Committee was entrusted with the responsibility of dealing with all the then existing Universities.

Soon after Independence, the University Education Commission was set up in 1948 under the Chairmanship of Dr. S Radhakrishnan 'to report on Indian university education and suggest improvements and extensions that might be desirable to suit the present and future needs and aspirations of the country'. It recommended that the University Grants Committee be reconstituted on the general model of the University Grants Commission of the United Kingdom with a full-time Chairman and other members to be appointed from amongst educationists of repute. In 1952, the Union Government decided that all cases pertaining to the allocation of grants-in-aid from public funds to the Central Universities and other Universities and Institutions of higher learning might be referred to the University Grants Commission. Consequently, the University Grants Commission (UGC) was formally inaugurated by late Shri Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the then Minister of Education, Natural Resources and Scientific Research on 28 December 1953.

The UGC, however, was formally established only in November 1956 as a statutory body of the Government of India through an Act of Parliament for the coordination, determination and maintenance of standards of university education in India. In order to ensure effective region-wise coverage throughout the country, the UGC has decentralised its operations by setting up six regional centres at Pune, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bhopal, Guwahati and Bangalore. The head office of the UGC is located at Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg in New Delhi, with two additional bureaus operating from 35, Feroze Shah Road and the South Campus of University of Delhi as well.


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Date of Decision : April 19, 2007.

Dr.Nrender Kumar .... Petitioner
The Union of India and others .... Respondents


Present :
Mr.Naveen Daryal, Advocate for the petitioner.

J.S.KHEHAR, J. (Oral) :
The petitioner responded to an advertisement, for filling up 14
posts of Assistant Regional Directors. Out of these posts, seven were reserved to be filled up for special categories, out of which six were reserved for Scheduled Caste candidates and one for a Scheduled Tribe candidate. The petitioner responded to the aforesaid advertisement as a Scheduled Caste candidate. It is the case of the petitioner that the selection process comprised of a written test, followed by an interview. In this behalf, it is also pointed out that the name of the petitioner figured at Sr.No.5 in the merit list, amongst all the candidates. Despite the aforesaid,
the petitioner was not eventually selected against the advertised posts and it is therefore, that the petitioner has approached this Court by impugning the selection process, conducted by the respondents.

The first contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner is
that, despite the fact that the advertisement invited applications for 14 posts of Assistant Regional Directors, the respondents chose to appoint 21 persons. The petitioner, therefore, vehemently contended that the entire process of selection stands vitiated. It is not possible for us to accept the instant contention at the hands of the petitioner, for two reasons. Firstly, the claim of the petitioner was considered for all the 21 posts filled up. In
case, the posts filled up are beyond the advertised number of posts, then only such candidates, who have been deprived of participating in the selection process, can assail the action of the authorities, in filling up the posts in addition to the advertised posts. Since the petitioner was admittedly one of the candidates who had participated and were selected in the selection process, the instant contention cannot be raised by the petitioner.

Secondly, the petitioner has not impleaded the seven candidates,
appointed in excess, of the advertised posts. Before raising such a challenge, all those liable to be effected, ought to be arrayed as party respondents. For this reason also, the instant plea is not open to the petitioner.

The second contention advanced by the learned counsel for the
petitioner is that, in terms of the advertisement, application forms were liable to be submitted through proper channel, whereas, a decision was taken by the respondents unilaterally to consider all application forms received, whether through proper channel or otherwise. Learned counsel for the petitioner, accordingly, vehemently contends that consideration of the candidature of all those, whose application forms were received other than through proper channel, is liable to be set aside. Unfortunately for the
petitioner, the instant plea is not backed by supporting material.

Through the instant writ petition, the petitioner has only impleaded one of the selected candidates i.e. respondent no.5, namely, Narender Kumar Arya.

Despite being specifically asked, learned counsel for the petitioner responded that he could not affirm whether the application form submitted by respondent no.5 was through proper channel or not. In view of the above, the second contention raised by the learned counsel for the petitioner is liable to be rejected on account of lack of material particulars.

The third contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner is
that, respondent no.5 was interviewed twice over for the same selection process. In order to substantiate the instant contention, learned counsel for the petitioner has invited our attention to Annexure P-6, whereby information was furnished to the petitioner. Learned counsel for the petitioner, accordingly, invited our attention to the “Brief Profiles of the Applicants invited for interview for the post of Assistant Regional Director”, wherein, the name of respondent no.5 figured at Sr.No.3, as well as, at Sr.No.50. On account of the fact that the name of respondent no.5 figured at two serial numbers, it is the contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner that he was interviewed twice over for the same process of selection. This contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner, in our view, is wholly misconceived. The compilation brought to our notice relates to a preparation of profiles of all the candidates, who had been invited for interview. Merely because the name of respondent no.5 figured at two places in the aforesaid profile, cannot be a valid justification to accept that respondent no.5 had been interviewed twice over for the same selection process. In view of the above, we find no merit in the third contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner as well.

Learned counsel for the petitioner then invited our attention to a communication addressed by the Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Human Resources Development of the Department of Secondary and Higher Education of the Government of India, to the Vice Chancellor of Indira Gandhi National Open Universities, New Delhi, where in an earlier meeting of the Central Universities' Vice Chancellors, held at Jawahar Lal Nehru University Campus, on 12.01.2006 (wrongly referred to as 12.12.206 in the letter), wherein it was suggested by the visitors' office of the Ministers Representatives that guidelines be evolved whereby the outgoing/officiating Vice Chancellor is restrained from inter alia convening the process of selection. Having considered the aforesaid contention, we are of the view that in the case of the petitioner, no guidelines were actually evolved
whereby an outgoing Vice Chancellor was actually restrained from convening of meeting of selection process, and as such, merely on account of the fact that the Vice Chancellor under reference had participated in the process of selection, would not vitiate the same in the absence of clear guidelines to the contrary and in the absence of any allegations of mala fides against him.

It also needs to be noticed that the pleadings of the instant writ
petition do not disclose the date, on which the tenure of the Vice Chancellor under reference was to come to an end. For the aforesaid reasons, it is not possible for us to accept the instant contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner.

The last contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner is
that the Central Vigilance Commission has initiated an inquiry into the process of selection for the appointment to the posts under reference and as such, the respondents should have refrained from giving effect to the process of selection, inasmuch as, the appointment to the posts of Assistant Regional Director should not have been effected, till the receipt of final report from the Central Vigilance Commission . The instant contention of
the learned counsel, in our view, is also devoid of merit. As and when, the findings recorded by the Central Vigilance Commission, are made available, and they require initiation of further action, it would be open to the respondents to deal with the same, in accordance with law.

For the reasons recorded above, we find no merit in the instant
writ petition and the same is dismissed.





Date of Decision:- 27.11.2006

Bhoop Singh ....Petitioner through
Mr.Sanjeev Kodan, Advocate
Mool Chand Sharma ....Respondent
Mr.S.K.Sharma, Advocate.


Claiming that they are entitled to get two advance increments, the petitioner along with others filed which was disposed of by this Court on January 24, 2003 with a direction to the third
respondent in the writ petition to decide the legal notice which the petitioners had already served upon the authorities, by passing a speaking order within a period of three months.

Alleging non-compliance of the above-stated order, this contempt petition has been filed against the Secretary, University Grants Commission, namely, respondent No.3 in the writ petition.

In response to the show cause notice, Mr.S.K.Sharma, learned counsel has put in appearance on behalf of the respondent. It is submitted by him that the said respondent has principally accepted the claim of the petitioner, however, the advance increments are required to be granted by the Government of Haryana and not by the University Grants Commission.

According to Sh. Sharma, the respondent has already written to the authorities in the State Government on more than one occasion to take a decision on the legal notice of the petitioner which in fact was served upon respondents No.1 and 2 in the writ petition i.e. the State of Haryana and its authorities.

In this view of the matter, this contempt petition is disposed of with a direction to (i) The Principal Secretary to Government of Haryana,
Higher Education Department, (ii) the Director General of Higher Education Haryana, to take a decision on the recommendations made by the Secretary, University Grants Commission vide his letter No.F.16-19 (PandH)/2005 (L) dated 4.10.2006, within a period of two months from today and communicate the said decision to the petitioner. If it is found that pursuant to the above-stated letter written by the University Grants Commission, the petitioner is entitled to the benefit of advance increments, the same shall be released in his favour within the aforesaid period. However, if the authorities in the State Government find that the petitioner is not entitled to the said benefit, a speaking order to this effect shall be passed and conveyed
to him.

Rule discharged.



In the High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh

Date of Decision: October 23, 2006

Dr. (Mrs) S.L. Sud …Petitioner
Union of India and others …Respondents


Mr. S.K. Sud, Advocate, for the petitioner.
Mr. Manjeet Singh Guglani, Central Govt. Counsel, for respondent Nos. 1 and 2.
Mr. Harish Rathee, Sr. DAG, Haryana, for respondent No. 3.

M.M. KUMAR, J. (Oral)
This petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution
prays for issuance of direction to respondent Nos. 1 to 3 to enforce notification dated 24.12.1998 (P-1) issued by the University Grants Commission-respondent No. 2 (for brevity, ‘the UGC’) as a whole by raising the age of superannuation of teachers working in Government Colleges. A further prayer has been made for quashing notification dated 13.5.1999 (P-5) issued by the respondent State of Haryana
CWP No. 8501 of 1999 providing for the age of retirement of the lecturers working in the Government Colleges at the age of 58 years.

Brief facts of the case are that the petitioner who has
been working as a Lecturer (College Cadre) in the respondent State of Haryana, had attained the age of superannuation of 58 years and retired as such on 30.6.1999. The claim of the petitioner is that the recommendations made by the UGC for raising the retirement age of lecturer in the colleges to 60 years must be implemented by the respondent. State of Haryana and, therefore, the notification issued by the respondent State dated 13.5.1999 (P-5) maintaining the age of superannuation at 58 years is liable to be set aside.

Mr. S.K. Sud, learned counsel for the petitioner has
argued on the basis of the recommendations made by the UGC, vide its letter dated 24.12.1998 (P-1) that the universities and colleges must adopt the uniform standards with regard to pay scale, mode of recruitment and qualification of teaching staff at various level. In para 16 the question of superannuation and re-employment of teachers has also been referred to and the recommendations made are that the teachers are to retire at the age of 62 years leaving it open to the university to re-employ a teacher up to the age of 65 years. In para 16.2 the age of retirement for other employees in the university
has also been specified. Learned counsel has then made a reference to certain other portions of the recommendations of the UGC and submitted that these recommendations are binding on the Central as
well as the State Governments. The basis of his argument is that the education is a subject which figure in Entry 66 of Union List referred in Article 246 of the Constitution. According to him, once such recommendations have been made, it must be considered as a Central Legislation binding on the State by virtue of Entry 66 of the Union List. In support of his submission, learned counsel has placed reliance on a judgment of Hon’ble the Supreme Court in the case of State of Maharashtra v. Sant Dhyaneshwar Shikshan Shastra Mahavidyalaya, 2006 (3) RSJ 604. He has also submitted that the respondent State Government has adopted the Scheme with regard to pay scale and the standard of education by passing the notification as
per the recommendations made and once a part of the Scheme has been accepted then the respondent State was under obligation to accept the same as a whole. Another argument raised is that there is discrimination between the lecturers employed by the private aided colleges and the respondent State of Haryana. The private college lecturers are retired at the age of 60, who have been granted grant-inaid to the extent of 95%, whereas the lecturers in Government Colleges are retired at the age of 58 years. Lastly, learned counsel made a reference to the recommendations made by the Rastogi Commission for enhancing the age of retirement.

Mr. Harish Rathee, learned State counsel has made a
reference to the provisions of Rule 3.26 of the Civil Service Rules Volume-I and argued that the age of retirement for all public servants in the respondent State is 58 years and the recommendations made by
the UGC after thorough consideration have been partially accepted as per the notification dated 13.5.1999 (P-5). The age of retirement has been maintained at 58 years.

Learned counsel has further submitted that lecturers working in the private colleges are not persons similarly situated to that of the petitioner as the lecturer working in the private colleges governed by a separate set of rules and, therefore, there cannot be any breach of equality clause if the conditions of service of both cadres are different.

Having heard learned counsel for the parties at some length, we are of the view that there is no merit in the instant petition.

The founding fathers of our Constitution have kept in view the federal character of Indian Polity on account of diversity of our culture despite the fact that various common factors keep the whole nation in one bond.

Accordingly Part XI of the Constitution has provided for distribution of legislative power (Chapter I). On a cojoint reading of Articles 245, 246 and 254 of the Constitution it becomes evident that Parliament has been clothed with the power to make laws for the whole or any part of the territory of India and the Legislature of a State can make laws for the whole or any part of the State. The powers of Parliament and State legislature have further been defined by introduction of three lists namely Union List, State
List and Concurrent List in the Seventh Schedule.

The Parliament enjoys exclusive powers to make laws with respect to any of the subjects enumerated in List I of Seventh Schedule of the Union List.

The Parliament and Legislature of a State have also been given powers to frame laws with respect to any matters enumerated in the Concurrent List (Part III) but the laws framed by the Parliament are to prevail over the law framed by the State Government in case of any conflict between the two. In the present case, we are concerned with Entry 66 of the Union List (List I of Seventh Schedule) which has referred to Article 246 of the Constitution. The afore-mentioned Entry is in the following terms:

“ 66. Co-ordination and determination of standards in
institutions for higher education or research and scientific and technical institutions.”

It is evident that Entry 66 deals only with co-ordination
and determination of standards in institution for higher education or research and scientific and technical institutions. It does not deal with the age of superannuation or the question of pay scale. The
notification issued by the UGC titled as “The Notification on Revision of Pay Scales Minimum qualifications for Appointment of Teachers in Universities and Colleges and other measures for the
Maintenance of Standards, 1998 ( Annexure P.1) could be held to be binding on the State Government only to the extent of maintaining minimum qualifications for appointment of teachers in the Universities and other institutions but not in respect of matters concerning the age of superannuation or even pay scales. In those respect, the view of the State Government is to prevail. Therefore, on the basis of the provisions contained in Articles 245, 246 and 254 read with Entry 66 it is well nigh impossible to come to the conclusion that the notification ( Annexure P.1), as referred to above, would be binding on the State Government.

The decision of the State Government dated 13.5.1999 ( Annexure P.5) is discernible from para 19 under the heading 'age of superannuation' which reads as under:

“ The age of superannuation will remain unchaged and teachers working in Govt. Colleges will continue to retire on attaining the age of 58 years and the teaching personnel working in private affiliated colleges and universities will continue to retire on attaining the age of 60 years.”

It would also be pertinent to mention that reliance has
been rightly placed by respondents on the decision of the Union Government dated 21.12.1998 (Annexure R.1) which was communicated to the respondent-State of Haryana by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Department of Home, Government of
India and the same is reproduced hereunder for facility of reference:

“ Please find enclosed a copy of the CWP No. 17943 of 1998 filed by Shri Rajeshwar Aggarwal, Principal, Indira Gandhi National College, Ladwa, District Kurukshetra v. State of Haryana and ors. in the High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh regarding revision of pay scales w.e.f. 1.1.1996 and enhanced age of superannuation from 60 to 62 years.

In this regard, I would like to inform you that the
Central Government has since enhanced the age of
superannuation of teachers in the Central Universities
vide its letter dated 27.7.1998 (copy enclosed). A
decision about the age of superannuation of teachers in the State Universities and Colleges is required to be taken by the concerned State Government. The order dated 27.7.1998 issued by the Central Government is not meant for them. In view of this, we have already requested the State Governments to issue appropriate orders regarding the revision of pay scales of teachers in the State Universities and Colleges since appropriate orders are required to be issued by the Government of Haryana in this case, it is requested that the case may be defended by the State Government on behalf of the Central Government as well and we may be informed of the progress in this case from time to time.”

It was in this context that a Division Bench of this Court also considered the afore-mentioned controversy in CWP No.4124 of 1999 decided on 31.3.1999 ( Prof. Lakhmir Singh v. UOI and others).

Placing reliance on a judgement of Hon'ble the Supreme Court in Civil Appeal Nos. 4053-4054 of 1998 (Director of Public Instructions, Punjab v. Mahesh Chander and others) decided on 14.8.1998 their Lordships have held as under:

“ After hearing the learned counsel for the parties we are of the view that there is no merit in these writ
petitions. The circular issued by the Ministry cannot be said to be, in any manner, covered by Entry 66.

According to us, the question of pay scales and the
question of the age of superannuation cannot be said to be covered by the said entry. We are here only concerned with the fixing of the age of superannuation. It is upto the State Government/ University to adopt the recommendations in toto or partially depending upon the state of affairs in a particular State/ University. In Mahesh Chander's case (supra), the UGC had issued guidelines that for the purpose of grant of selection grade/ senior scale, under the career advancement scheme for lecturers, the service rendered by a particular Lecturer in a Private College before joining Government College/ a Department of University or a college run by the University was to be counted for making up particular number of years of service required for grant of selection grade/ senior scale. The petitioners in those
cases had joined Government Colleges after resigning from private colleges. This High Court held that the circular of the University was binding on the Colleges and the previous service rendered in the private colleges had to be counted for the purpose of senior scale/ selection grade. The apex Court while reversing the judgement has held that the circular of the UGC had only been adopted by the University and not by the Government and, therefore, the petitioners on joining Government Colleges were not entitled to count their previous service rendered in the private college for purpose of grant of senior scale/selection grade.”

The Supreme Court in Mahesh Chander's case (supra) has taken the view that the notifications issued by the UGC which involves financial burden on the State exchequer cannot be ipso facto applied unless such notifications are specifically adopted and
accepted by the concerned State Government. It was in this context that the following observations made made in Mahesh Chander's case (supra):

“ In paragraph 8 of the affidavit, it has been categorically stated that the clarification issued by the University Grants Commission dated 27th November, 1990 has to be considered (sic.) by the State Government for its implementation as the clarification issued by the University Grants Commission involves a financial burden on the State exchequer. The concurrence of the State for its implementation has to be sought. Since State concurrence has not yet been given, the High Court was not right in granting to the respondents the benefit of the University Grants Commission letter dated 27.11.1990.

The appeals are, therefore, allowed and the impugned judgement and order of the High Court is set aside. The writ petition filed before the High Court is dismissed.”

In view of the above discussion, the argument of the
learned counsel for the petitioner that the recommendations of the UGC are binding on the State Government is liable to be outrightly rejected because UGC in its recommendation itself has left it to the State Government to adopt the Scheme to the extent possible.

The reliance of the petitioner on the judgement of
Hon’ble the Supreme Court in the case of Sant Dhyaneshwar Shikshan Shastra Mahavidyalaya (supra) is completely misplaced as the observations made by their Lordships’ are not applicable to the
facts of the present case for the reason that no Legislation of the Central Government has been brought to our notice which might have been encroached upon by the Legislation framed by the State Government.

Therefore, there is no substance in the argument raised by the learned counsel. Even the other argument that there is discrimination between the lecturers working in the private colleges who are retired at the age of 60 years and the lecturers working in Government Colleges who are retired at the age of 58 years has failed to impress us because both the services are regulated by different set of rules and the service conditions are wholly incomparable. It is well settled that the lecturers working the private colleges are not entitled to any allowance which are given to the lecturers working in
the Government Colleges. The last argument of the learned counsel that recommendations have been made by the Rastogi Commission does not require to be dealt with in detail because the recommendations have never been adopted and the respondent State of Haryana vide notification dated 13.5.1999 (P-5) has scanned through the recommendations and have adopted a part of the recommendations without adopting the recommendation with regard to age of superannuation.

We are further of the view that the State Governments are within their competence to alter the condition of service of its employees, reduced the age of superannuation by fixing the date of superannuation and such action would not be violative of Article 311 of the Constitution. For the afore-mentioned proposition reliance may be placed on a judgement of Hon'ble the Supreme Court in the cases of N.Lakshmana Rao and others v. State of Karnataka and others (1976)2 SCC 502 and K. Nagaraj v. State of Andhra Pradesh, AIR 1985 SC 551.

For the reasons mentioned above, this petition fails and the same is dismissed.

However, there shall be no order as to costs.







Dr.Asha Rani .....Petitioner
State of Haryana and others ....Respondents

1. Whether Reporters of local papers may be allowed to see the judgement?
2. To be referred to the Reporters or not?
3. Whether the judgment should be reported in the Digest?


Mr. Satbir Gill, Advocate, for the petitioner.
Mr. Ashwani Markenday, DAG, Haryana, for the State.
Mr. Jagbir Malik, Advocate, for respondent Nos.3 and 4.

The petitioner has filed this writ petition for quashing of impugned criteria issued by respondent No.1 vide letter dated 21.11.2007 for selection of Lecturers in the Government Aided Privately Managed Colleges. Prayer further is to quash the advertisement on the basis of which, respondent No.4 has been selected on the post of Punjabi Lecturer with respondent No.3 College.

The sole submission made by learned counsel for the petitioner is that the petitioner has qualified the State Level Eligibility Test (for short, “SLET”) i.e. the State test, for which no weightage has been prescribed as per the criteria given in the advertisement. On the other hand, 8 marks weightage is provided to those candidates who have qualified in National Eligibility Test (hereinafter referred to as “NET”). The grievance of the petitioner is that prior to the year 2002, the qualifications were the same and accordingly now giving any weightage to those candidates who have qualified NET would be arbitrary and discriminatory. Learned counsel for the petitioner has made reference to Annexure P-2, which is issued by the University Grants Commission for laying down the eligibility conditions.

No doubt, the candidates who have cleared the SLET, are to be held eligible for appointment to the posts of Lecturers anywhere
in India if they have cleared SLET prior to 2002. This letter, however, will not govern the laying down of criteria for selection or for grant of weightage. The grant of weightage to a particular candidate would be on the basis of criteria required to be adopted and accepted by the respondents. There is no justification to interfere in the action of the respondents in giving some weightage to those candidates who have qualified in NET and not giving such consideration to those who have qualified in SLET. These are two different tests. It is for the respondents to attach weightage to a particular test and the counsel has not been able to point out any arbitrariness in this regard. The petitioner has been considered eligible as per the instructions of U.G.C. There is no cause made out for interfering in the criteria adopted for selection as I do not see anything arbitrary or discriminatory in the criteria so formed by the respondents.

There is no merit in the writ petition and the same is accordingly dismissed.




Date of Decision: 8.8.2008.

Navin Chand Thakur ............. Petitioner
State of Punjab and others. ..............Respondents.


Mr.Rajiv Atrma RamSenior Advocate with
Mr.Gursewak Singh MannAdvocate for the petitioner.
Mr.KS DadwalAddl.AG Punjab for the official respondents.

Petitioner a 91 years old retired teacher has filed the present writ petition for directing the respondents to re-fix his pension in the pay scale of Rs.12000-18300 w.e.f. 1.1.1996 and further grant arrears of pension on
account of said re-fixation alongwith interest @ 18% per annum.

Facts in brief are that the petitioner who was born on 20.2.1917 joined the Punjab Education Service on 1.11.1943. He was promoted to the Punjab Education Service Class II on 1.11.1956. Government of Punjab vide its letter dated 24.2.1968 (Annexure P-6) revised the pay scales of teaching personnel working in the Government colleges w.e.f. 1.11.1966 and the petitioner was accordingly given the pay scale of Rs.700-40-1100 as a Senior Lecturer. The petitioner retired as one of the senior most Government College Senior Lecturers on 28.2.1975 after rendering almost 32 years of meritorious service. The pension of the petitioner was fixed in the pay scale of Rs.700-40-1100.

It is relevant to mention that prior to 1.1.1973 the Lecturers in the Government Colleges of Punjab were on the basis of length of their service re-designated and granted different pay scales as is discernible from a
reading of Annexure P-6. The pay scale admissible to a Lecturer was Rs.300-600 to Lecturer Senior Scale Rs.400-800 and to a Senior Lecturer Rs.700-1100 in a hierarchy of three tier category of teaching personnel.

The Government of Punjab vide its instructions dated 25.2.1977 (Annexure P-7)on the recommendations of University Grants Commission revised the pay scales of teaching personnel in the Government Colleges w.e.f. 1.1.1973 and provided a common running pay scale of Rs.700-1600 and the Lecturers Lecturers Senior Scale as well as Senior Lecturers were fitted in the said running scale instead of separate pay scales admissible before 1.1.1973. Accordingly the pension of the petitioner was re-fixed by notionally fixing his pay in the pay scale of Rs.700-1600.

The Government of Punjab on the pattern of University Grants Commission sanctioned the grant of selection grade of Rs.1200-50-1300- 60-1840 with effect from 10.10.1983 against 20% posts of total strength of Lecturers of Government Colleges and the criterion for such grant was possessing of 15 years of service.

Thereafter the Government of Punjab vide notification dated 12.1.1988 (Annexure P-8) having regard to the decision of Government of India and in pursuance of recommendations of University Grants Commission revised the pay scales of the teaching personnel of Universities and Colleges w.e.f. 1.1.1986 and provided as under:-

(B) GOVERNMENT COLLEGES Lecturer/Assistant Director
700-1600 2200-75-2800-100- 4000 Lecturer/Assistant Director (Senior Scale) Not existing 3000-100-3500-125- 5000 Lecturer/Assistant Director (Selection Grade) 1200-1840 3700-125-4950-150- 5700 It is clear from the reading of the above that the three tier classification of posts of Lecturers based on the length of service which was existing prior to the issuance of instructions dated 25.2.1977 (Annexure P-7) was revived.

Thereafter Government vide notification dated 16.1.1998 issued Punjab Civil Services (Revised Pay Rules) 1998 re-fixing the pay scales of its employees w.e.f. 1.1.1996.

As per these rules the pay scales of Lecturers were revised to Rs.8000-13500 of Lecturers Senior Scale to Rs.10000- 15200 and Lecturers Selection Grade to Rs.12000-18300.

The Government of Punjab accepted and implemented the
recommendations of the Fourth Pay Commission in respect of pensionary benefits to pre-1.1.1996 pensioners by issuing instructions dated 21.7.1988/18.8.1988 (Annexure P-9). As per these instructions for the retirees prior to 1.1.1986 it was provided that their pay shall be first fixed on notional basis in the revised scale of pay of the post held by them at the time of their retirement according to the pay revision rules issued by the Government for implementation of the recommendations of the successive Pay Commissions and thereafter the updated pension on 1.1.1986 shall be 50% of this notional pay subject to proportional reduction where qualifying service was less than 33 years.

The respondent Government in continuation of instructions dated 21.7.1988/14.8.1988 issued another instructions dated 25.8.2005 (Annexure P-2) whereby it was provided that w.e.f. 1.1.1996 pension of all pensioners irrespective of their date of retirement shall not be less than 50% of the minimum pay in the revised scale of pay introduced w.e.f. 1.1.1996 of the post last held by the pensioners. The said instructions also provided the
manner in which the pension is to be revised w.e.f. 1.1.1996. Para 5 of the same provides the manner in which the pension is to be fixed for the pensioner who retired prior to 1.1.1986.

The petitioner being a retiree prior to 1.1.1996 submitted his application dated 18.10.2005 (Annexure P-3) in the prescribed form alongwith necessary documents giving his option for re-fixation of his pension. The respondents re-fixed the pension of the petitioner by
notionally fixing his pay in the pay scale of Rs.8000-13500 (admissible to a Lecturer) w.e.f. 1.1.1996 instead of Rs.12000-18300 (admissible to Lecturer Selection Grade) as is being claimed. Hence the present writ petition.

Respondents upon notice filed their reply and have more or less admitted the factual aspects regarding admissibility of the pay scales to the posts of Lecturers Lecturers Senior Scale and Lecturers Selection Grade. It has however been stated that the petitioner retired on 28.2.1975 as Lecturer in the scale of Rs.700-1600 and not as a Senior Lecturer as is asserted because w.e.f. 1.1.1973 all the three previous scales were merged
into one running scale of Rs.700-1600 with one designation as Lecturer and there was no provision of any post of Senior Lecturers. It has been further averred that selection grade of Rs.1200-1840 was introduced for the Lecturers against 20% of total posts in Government Colleges w.e.f. 10.10.1983 for Lecturers having 15 years of service. It is further averred that since the petitioner retired on 28.2.1975 in the pay scale of Rs.700- 1600 the benefit of notional pay fixation in the selection grade for refixation of his pension was never/ cannot be granted to him and therefore his notional pay w.e.f 1.1.1986 has been rightly fixed to its revised scale of Rs.2200-4000 and again in its further revised scale of Rs.8000-13500 w.e.f. 1.1.1996.

It appears that during the pendency of the hearing of the present writ petition the opinion of the Finance DepartmentPunjab was sought regarding the claim of the petitioner. It was opined that the petitioner was not entitled to get his pension re-fixed in the claimed scale of Rs.12000- 18300 w.e.f. 1.1.1996.

We have heard the learned counsel for the parties and persued the record.

Learned counsel for the petitioner submits that the respondents have mis-interpreted the instructions dated 21.7.1988/14.8.1988 (Annexure P/9) and 28.5.2005 (Annexure P/2) and wrongly re-fixed the pension of the petitioner by notionally fixing his pay in the scale of Rs.8000-13500 as the petitioner on account of his almost 32 years of unblemished service was entitled to be notionally fixed in the pay scale of Rs.12000-18300 w.e.f. 1.1.1996.

On the other hand learned counsel for the respondents has argued that on the date of his retirement the petitioner was drawing the pay scale of a Lecturer as per the notification in force and thereafter all his subsequent
notional fixation of pay have been correctly fixed in the pay scale admissible to Lecturers.

After giving our thoughtful consideration to the rival submissions we are afraid that we cannot accept the stand of the respondents which to our mind is devoid of any merit.

It is undisputed that the petitioner on account of his almost 23 years of unblemished service was granted the pay scale of Rs.700-1100 as Senior Lecturer w.e.f. 1.11.1966. At that time there were three categories of teaching personnel in the Government Colleges based on the length of service i.e. Lecturer in the scale of Rs.300-600 Lecturer Senior Scale in the scale of Rs.400-800 and Lecturer Selection Grade in the scale of Rs.700-
1100. It is also not disputed that the petitioner after rendering almost 32 years of meritorious service retired on 28.2.1975 from the post of Senior Lecturer in the pay scale of Rs.700-1100 and accordingly his pension was fixed. Thereafter vide instructions dated 25.2.1977 (Annexure P-7) all the three cadres of teaching personnel in the Government Colleges were merged into single cadre of Lecturer in the pay scale of Rs.700-1600
retrospectively w.e.f. 1.1.1973. The pension of the petitioner was accordingly re-fixed in the scale of Rs.700-1600. By no stretch of imagination this retrospective merger for the purpose of grant of higher
pay scale can operate to his disadvantage to mean that the petitioner had been demoted to the post of Lecturer since he had already retired as Senior Lecturer.

It is further undisputed that selection grade of Rs.1200-1840 w.e.f. 10.10.1983 was granted to the Lecturers. It is also not in dispute that the criterion for grant of selection grade to the Lecturers was 15 years of service as Lecturer. Therefore hypothetically speaking and notionally fixing the pay scale of the petitioner it cannot be denied that the petitioner would have been or is entitled to be placed in the selection grade of Lecturer and thus be re-designated as Lecturer Selection Grade (admittedly the petitioner had been granted grade of Senior Lecturer after 23 years of service).

It is further undisputed that w.e.f. 1.1.1986 the three tier categorisation of teaching personnel was revived with the nomenclature of Lecturers Lecturers Senior Scale and Lecturers Selection Grade (in place of earlier designated Senior Lecturers) in the pay scales of Rs.2200-4000 3000-5000 and 3700-5700 respectively. It is further admitted that the pay scale of Rs.3000-5000 for a Lecturer Senior Scale came into existence w.e.f. 1.1.1996. Respondents have not been able to explain as to how and on what basis all the Lecturers prior to 1.1.1986 who were in the pay scale of Rs.700-1600 would have been placed in the revised scale of Rs.2200-4000 or the newly sanctioned pay scale of Rs.3000-5000.

Therefore to place the petitioner notionally in the pay scale of Rs.2200-4000 admissible to a Lecturer with minimal length of service in the three tier classification of teaching personnel despite his almost 32 years unblemished service defies any reasoning or logic. Hence in our considered opinion the action of the respondents in notionally placing the petitioner in the pay scale of Rs.2200- 4000 w.e.f. 1.1.1986 (admissible to a Lecturer at the initial stage of his appointment) by ignoring his length of service and placement in the highest category of teaching personnel at the relevant time i.e. Senior Lecturer is grossly unjust and arbitrary. On the same parity of reasoning the placement of the petitioner for the purpose of re-fixing his pension in the corresponding scale of Rs.8000-13500 is also arbitrary.

Therefore in the facts and circumstances of the case we find that the petitioner is entitled to pensionary benefits/ re-fixation of his pension in terms of instructions dated 25.8.2005 (Annexure P-2) by notionally fixing his pay in the pay scale of Rs.3700-5700 w.e.f. 1.1.1986 and corresponding scale of Rs.12000-18300 w.e.f. 1.1.1996 as the post last held by him at the time of his retirement was that of a Senior Lecturer i.e. the highest category amongst teaching personnel of Government Colleges on account of his meritorious length of service.

In view of the above we allow the writ petition and direct the respondents to re-fix the pension of the petitioner in terms of instructions dated 25.8.2005 (Annexure P-2) by notionally fixing his pay in the pay scale of Rs.3700-5700 w.e.f. 1.1.1986 and corresponding scale of Rs.12000- 18300 w.e.f. 1.1.1996. Since the qualifying service of the petitioner is less than 33 years he would be granted pro rata pension as provided by the instructions dated 25.8.2005 (Annexure P-2).

The payment of arrears on account of such re-fixation shall be restricted to 38 months prior to the filing of the writ petition. The petitioner shall however be not entitled to any interest on such arrears.

The respondents are further directed to do the needful within three months from the date of receipt of a certified copy of this order failing which the petitioner shall be entitled to interest @ 12% on such arrears from the date they became due till the date of realisation.

(Jaswant Singh)

(Jasbir Singh)



Regular Second Appeal No. 1562 of 2008

Date of Decision : May 26 2008

Haryana Government through Collector Hisar and another ....Appellants
Randhir Singh Works Inspector .....Respondent


Present :
Mr. A.K. Rathee Assistant Advocate General Haryana for the appellants.

Suit for declaration filed by plaintiff-respondent was decreed by learned Additional Civil Judge (Senior Division) Hisar vide judgment dated 22.2.2007. Order passed by the defendants on
25.2.2005 regarding recovery from the pay of plaintiff on account of wrong fixation of his pay with effect from 1.1.1996 was declared
illegal null and void and accordingly set aside. The defendants were restrained from implementing the said order against the plaintiff and from making any recovery from his salary. Aggrieved of the same the defendants filed an appeal which was dismissed by learned Additional District Judge Hisar on 21.1.2008. The defendants have now filed the present second appeal under Section 100 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

As is clear from the testimony of DW1 Basau Ram Sub Divisional Engineer who was examined by the defendants the pay of the plaintiff was fixed at Rs. 5150/- by the department at its own level.

It was not the result of any representation much less misrepresentation made by the plaintiff before the defendants for
fixation of his pay. The said witness also deposed that the plaintiff
never played any fraud upon the department. Prior to 1.1.1996 he
was given three increments within two years. If the over payment
had been made by the defendants on account of some mistake it
cannot be held that the plaintiff played any fraud upon the defendants or made any misrepresentation for getting higher standard pay scales.

It is settled law that if any excessive payment had been made by the department to its employee for no fault of the employee the excess amount could not be recovered later on. At the most the department could re-fix the pay of the employee and then keep on paying the same but it cannot recover the payment earlier made.

In this context the Court derives support from the judgment of Hon’ble Supreme Court in Sahib Ram Vs. State of Haryana 1995(1) Services Cases Today 668 and Union of India Vs. M. Bhasker and others 1996(4) Services Cases Today 56 wherein it was held that when an employee had been getting the benefit of any higher standard pay scale or increment although he was not entitled to the same the amount already received as a result of benefit of the higher standard pay scale cannot be recovered. The observations of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Sahib Ram’s case (supra) are as follows :-

Admittedly the appellant does not possess the required educational qualifications. Under the circumstances the appellant would not be
entitled to the relaxation. The Principal erred in granting him the relaxation. Since the date of relaxation the appellant had been paid his salary on revised scale. However it is not on account of any misrepresentation made by the appellant that the benefit of higher pay scale was given to him but by wrong construction made by the Principal for which the appellant cannot be held to be at fault.

Under the circumstances the amount paid till date may not be recovered from the appellant. The principle of equal pay for equal work would not apply to the scales prescribed by the University Grants Commission. The appeal is allowed partly without any order as to costs.

A Division Bench of this Court in Shiv Kumar Vs. State of P unjab and others 2004(2) Recent Services Judgments 155 also held Regular Second Appeal No. 1562 of 20078 -4- as follows :-

We have heard learned counsel for the parties. We are satisfied that the sole issue relating to recovery of excess amount paid to the
petitioner stands determined in favour of the petitioner in view of the judgment rendered in ASI Amrik Singh Vs. State of Punjab and others (C.W.P. No. 15762 of 2003 decided by this bench on 5.12.2003) specially on account of the fact that the said excess amount is not alleged to have been paid to the petitioner on account of some misrepresentation made by him.

In view of the above it cannot be held that the concurrent findings of facts arrived at by the learned lower Courts suffer from any illegality or infirmity. The substantial questions of law as claimed by the appellants do not arise for consideration. The appeal is therefore dismissed being devoid of any merit.

( T.P.S. MANN )

Rs 11 cr in 10 days: UGC gets generous on city university

Indore: The University Grant Commission (UGC) sprung a pleasant surprise on the citys Devi Ahilya University by releasing a whopping fund of Rs five crore. This ten days after the UGC had given the university Rs six crore under the merge scheme.

The university has received Rs 60 lakh just for books.The university, which has to spend the Rs five crore grant by March 12, 2012, has called for a meeting on Tuesday where the ways to utilise the generous fund will be discussed.

Last year, the university despite its many efforts received a small amount from the UGC, but all that has changed now.

The professors can now attend workshops and seminars throughout the country, for which Rs 60 lakh has been allocated specifically.

DAVV snubs anti-ragging inspectors

Indore: Is the two-member team purported to have been sent by the Union HRD ministry to inspect anti-ragging cells in the DAVV-affiliated colleges fake?
The university authority appears to believe so. However, team members aver about their genuineness.
The two members claiming to represent HRD ministry had come a month ago and conducted inspection in several colleges. They expressed annoyance over non existence of anti-ragging cells in many colleges. They are again in the town for college inspection.

However, this time round the DAVV is refusing to acknowledge their authority. DAVV registrar RD Musalgaonkar told DNA that he did not receive any instruction from either the HRD ministry or the Universitys Grants Commission (UGC) about inspection of the anti-ragging cells in colleges.

This time the members did not meet me. I havent received any letter or document from any person or institute, he said. As a result, the university declined to provide any facility to inspection panel members.
On the other hand, the members claim that the university never asked them for any documents. Nobody asked us to show the letter from the ministry, said Pankaj Gupta, member of the anti ragging cell. Gupta told DNA that he is senior executive in the anti-ragging department of the ministry.

This is an attempt to ensure that the anti-ragging policy of the Union government is being implemented in all colleges. I am in charge of Punjab and MP divisions, he said. The panel intends to inspect 20 colleges of the city and has inspected 13 colleges so far. Gupta said the panel would be again visiting the city after 10 days.

DAVV staff go on indefinite strike, officials too stay away

Indore: As the employee union of the DAVV departments funded by the UGC went on indefinite strike from early morning on Monday, officials including the vice chancellor, registrar, rector and others remained absent throughout the day. The strike completely paralysed working of the university.

It seemed as though with the employees, officials of Devi Ahilya Vishwa Vidyalaya too were in strike.
The officials stayed away from the Nalanda campus, fearing outburst from the protestors.
The employees staged dharna in the Nalanda campus and shouted slogans against the management to highlight the demands for their regularisation and salary hike of the daily wagers. Students waited for long hours to meet the officials of various departments, but no one turned up.

Our revaluation results were going to be declared today. But we cant find a single official here. All the departments including the examination and result departments are closed. If the non- teaching staff is on strike why are the officials absent from their work, exclaimed a group of students from Sanghvi College. Students had to return without solution to their problems due to the absence of the officials at the university on Monday.

Animal dissection in UG courses banned

Indore: All life science institutes and research laboratories under the purview of the University Grants Commission (UGC) will form dissection monitoring committee which will act as watchdog to the use of animals in experiments and research works.Nearly four months after ordering to stop animal dissection in undergraduate courses and putting a limit on dissection at postgraduate level to all its educational institutes, the UGC issued new guidelines regarding the rules to DAVV on Sunday.The new UGC guideline says dissection of animals for class work in the zoology curriculum will be replaced in a phased manner with acquisition of an appropriate technology.It states that all the institutes will have to revamp their curriculum which will be in tune with the new guidelines. It also states that all higher education institutes will have to strictly adhere to the wildlife protection act, 1972 and prevention of cruelty to animals act, 1960.

Head of the life science department of DAVV, Prof S Chand said that the department will form a three member dissection monitoring committee soon. We received the order today. According to the instruction of the UGC, animal dissection is prohibited at undergraduate level but, in exceptional cases, the teacher is permitted to carry out dissection for demonstration. Some important dissections can be carried out at postgraduate level, he said.Sources claimed that UGC will charge fine on the institutes which will fail to form the monitoring committee soon. Rats and rabbits are absolutely banned for dissection, claimed sources. The notice states that there several digital learning devices, available on the internet and freely downloadable, to be used to evaluate the students during examination. The UGC shall conduct workshops for teachers to use these ICT-based techniques.

Examination date clash, aspirants fume

Chandigarh: Thousands of students who have applied for National Eligibility Test (NET) and Central Teachers Eligibility Test (CTET) are going to miss one of them.

The test for recruitment of lecturers and teachers is going to be held on the same date June 26.

The worried students feel that the examination dates should be changed so that the aspirants get a chance to appear for both the exams.

The candidates who wish to teach in college or university have to appear for UGC exam without fail. Those who wish to get recruited in government or private schools have to clear CTET examination.

If the examination dates are shifted then this would certainly help them as their year long preparation won t go in vain.

Bhushan Patwardhan is new VC of Symbiosis

Pune: Bhushan Patwardhan will be the new vice chancellor of Symbiosis International University. He will take over charge in March last week from the current incumbent, Mrunal Rasate, who would be completing five years in office.A search-cum-selection committee of University Grants Commission (UGC) approved Patwardhans name.Patwardhan has more than 20 years experience in academic and university governance at the University of Pune. He has over 200 publications, international patents and 18 PhD students under him. He was instrumental in getting research funding from national and international agencies.

A convener of national committee on promotion of Indian higher education abroad of the UGC and member of boards of several universities and national institutions, Patwardhan is also a member of the task force of national knowledge commission and Planning Commission.

He has worked as chief academics with the Manipal education group in Bangalore and as director of the Institute of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine based in Bangalore.

Central aid likely for higher education

Jaipur: The state higher education may get a shot in the arm with the fund from Union government during the 12th Five Year Plan which starts from next year.The issues related to higher education were largely discussed in the two-day conference of vice-chancellors of Central and state universities which concluded on Saturday at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi.
The University Grants Commission had called V-Cs from Central and state universities for exhaustive discussions on new policy framework for reservations, and admissions among others during the 12th Five Year Plan.

After appearing for conference, the vice-chancellor of Central University of Rajasthan, Prof MM Salunkhe, said that the Union government will soon conduct a new survey to find out the regional disparities and allocate the funds accordingly during the 12th Five Year Plan. "Our state can expect better funding in higher education as this time the focus will be laid to reduce regional imbalances," Salunkhe told DNA.

Haryana principals told to take classes and inspire teachers

Chandigarh: Principals in government colleges in Haryana have been asked to take classes in order to inspire other teachers.Haryana's Higher Education Commissioner Vineet Garg on Friday asked all principals to take a class every day as per the norms of University Grant Commission (UGC).
He said, "The purpose is to be an inspiration to the teachers."

NEs enrolment rate in higher education increasing

Agartala, Sept 26 (IANS): Enrolment levels in higher education in urban areas of the NE region are higher than the national average, University Grants Commission (UGC) chairman Sukhadeo Thorat has said.
The enrolment ratio in higher education in urban areas is 27.58 percent and the national average is 27.08 percent. However, he said, the all-India enrolment rate in higher education in rural areas was 8.40 percent and 5.20 percent in the northeastern region.

Over the years, the northeastern region has made considerable progress in the higher education. Compared with the all India enrolment rate of 13.59 percent, the enrolment rate for post higher secondary education for the region is 9.46 percent, Thorat told reporters late Saturday.Many years back the gap of enrolment rate between the national average and northeastern region was much higher, he said.The UGC chairman said the northeastern states would have to address the rural urban and male female disparities in access to higher education.

The male and female enrolment percentage of northeastern region is 10.81 percent and 8.14 percent respectively. The national average as a whole is 15.56 percent for male and 11.46 percent for female.
He hoped that the state governments in the region would give special focus on the rural area and the groups with lower access tohigher education. Saying that the central government has accorded high priority to the promotion of higher education in the country, the UGC chief said: Out of 42 central universities, 10 central universities, including central agricultural university, are located in the northeast region. This shows the priority that government has given to the region.

According to Thorat, the union human resource development ministry and UGC had constituted a forum of vice-chancellors of northeastern universities in April 2008, with the purpose to share experiences and collaboration to ensure better coordination, identify the area of expansion and develop them in focus manner.
The vice-chancellors forum had held five meetings so far and achieved a lot in different fields, he added.
Thorat said the central government and UGC would continue to their focus on the promotion of higher education in the northeastern region, comprising eight states.

The vice-chancellors of the region must give leadership and make use of funds made available to them. The funds should not remain underutilise, he said.

BTAD students facing myriad problems

GUWAHATI, July 14 – For no fault of theirs, scores of students in the Bodoland Territorial Area District are facing grave difficulties in the absence of teachers and improved infrastructure in schools. If the situation remains unchanged, a generation of students would step out of schools with little or no acquaintance with crucial parts of their curriculum.

Even though efforts are being made to improve the situation, there are no immediate signs of hope, a well-placed source in the Bodoland Territorial Council told The Assam Tribune, who revealed that currently more than 2,250 posts were lying vacant in schools across the BTAD.

It was stated that the number of vacant posts would be close to 30 per cent of all sanctioned posts for teachers in BTAD schools, and the numbers were increasing with teachers going into retirement every year.

The state of affairs is worst in high school and higher secondary schools, where many subject teachers have been absent for several years. Some students have already passed out from such institutions missing out on a valuable part of their education.

Although the students of the BTAD have been provided access to computers, the dearth of teachers has impacted on their learning. Similar has been the case with mathematics, where trained teachers are also hard to get.

We have informed the Assam Government on several occasions, sent several proposals from 2005 onward, but nothing has materialised so far...the problem would remain till the ban on new recruitment is lifted, said the source in the BTC.

Desperate over the shortage of teaching staff, the BTC has gone in for appointment of teachers on a contractual basis. From 2005 till date around 500 teachers have been employed on annual contract, which will have to be renewed in 2009-10.

Realising the need to improve the existing education scenario, the BTCs education department has identified three subjects – English, mathematics and science – on which special emphasis is being given. It is expected that the strategy would empower students to qualify for technical education once they emerged from school.

Availability of books in Bodo language, which was once a hurdle in BTAD schools, has been addressed to some extent, but the books are still hard to find in the elective subjects. It would be a few years before this challenge can be adequately tackled, the source added.

College education in the BTAD areas have also continued to suffer from perennial problems, but the positive sign has been 11 colleges getting deficit status. This step has enabled the institutions to receive One-time Development Grant from the University Grants Commission. The first instalment from the total amount of Rs 19 crore has been released.

Getting Maintenance Grants for colleges would, however, be a more arduous task as only colleges affiliated to Central Universities are eligible to receive such funds. Here, the BTC hopes that intervention by the Prime Ministers Office would help the colleges to get the much-needed grants.

Call to set up environmental varsity

GUWAHATI, July 10 – A civil society group has called for establishing an environmental university in Assam to cater to the needs of students as well as conservation of the regions flora and fauna. Aranya Suraksha Samiti - Assam, the Orang-based NGO has written to the Chief Minister Assam and the BTAD Chief Hagrama Mahilary stating their demand.

The Samiti mentioned that the Supreme Court of India has instructed the University Grants Commission to make environmental education compulsory to college students, but lack of properly trained teachers has proved to be a challenge. Auniversity imparting environment education can fulfill that gap and also produce students who can contribute to important areas of research.

It was reasoned that the new university should be open to students from different academic backgrounds and should have a multidisciplinary character. It could offer courses on several subjects such as environmental education, ecology, sustainable development, forestry, ethno-botany, folk science, among others.

In its letter to the Assam Chief Minister and BTAD Chief, the Samiti requested that the site for the university should be in Orang because apart from being in the middle part of Assam, the area was in close proximity to Orang National Park, Kaziranga National Park and not far from the biodiversity rich Himalayan foothills.

Time to unshackle yourself

O Lord! I was born with a heart originally made of crude copper. Now I am trying to enrich it with my love for You— by serving my fellow beings— into that of pure gold- so that on the Day of Judgment, I can present it to You as a gift. This couplet of Iqbal alludes to Quran (26:89) which says that on the Last Day only those who arrive in Gods presence bearing a sound heart will achieve salvation.

If God would have so willed, He could have ensured my birth in the Saudi royal family. I would have been revelling in mundane luxury and would have perhaps been under the impression that I am a better Muslim. But God decided that I should be born in India, in the mid 20th century, where Muslims would be facing a set of challenges. Ill have to rise to the occasion, gird myself and try to come up to Gods expectations by earmarking a part of everything that Ive been blessed with for the sake of people beyond my immediate family.

Thats a practical and powerful solution to todays problems of Muslims in India. We must take time off from continuously blaming the government for all our deprivation and start looking inward to be self-analytical. Each one of us will have to ensure that a good portion of our time, resources, assets, income and love is dedicated to the needy. I have given this the acronym TRAIL-33. That is, one third of each of these features of ours should be dedicated to community uplift.
Under Zakat Foundation of India, we work in an institutionalised fashion. We monitor implementation of government schemes for minority welfare by asking the right questions to the governments, ministries and departments. In return, we have a series of wonderful success stories to tell. The central ministry of minority affairs came up with Maulana Azad National Fellowship Scheme for Minorities. After a while we asked the ministry for details of the scholarships granted. They informed us that the task had been assigned to the University Grants Commission (UGC). But the UGC website didnt show the scheme. Nor did googling help. Obviously, the UGC had not advertised the scheme till then. We asked the UGC when would their website begin showing the scheme and when it would be advertised in the print media. On the fifth day of receiving our letter, the UGC did both the tasks.

Vital recommendations of the Sachar Committee have not been implemented. There are 28 state Wakf Boards in India. Theyre supposed to oversee proper utilisation of five lakh Wakf properties spanning six lakh acres with an estimated current value of Rs 1200 billion. But the annual income from these properties is a paltry Rs 163 crore. The reason is mismanagement. Each Board is managed by a CEO who has to be Muslim as per the Wakf Act, 1995. Sachar Committee documents that there are less than three per cent Muslims in higher government bureaucracy. Hence Sachar Committee recommended the creation of Indian Wakf Service whose officers could be selected by UPSC from among those who fulfil the statutory and administrative requirements.

The Centre rejected this pivotal recommendation. When ZFI asked for the reasons under the RTI Act, the Union ministry for minority affairs said it did not fall within the statutory definition of information. The Zakat Foundation then approached the Central Information Commission, which ordered that ZFI be allowed to inspect the Ministrys file and take copies. This was done. The ZFI discovered that such an important recommendation was rejected at the deputy secretary level without any cogent reasons. The ZFI got these findings published in national dailies, drawing the attention of the UPA chairperson and the Prime Minister.

On its part, the Muslim community should try to enhance its presence in the civil services. Their percentage of selection is usually higher than the percentage of Muslim applicants. The simple solution is upgrading the quality and number of Muslim IAS candidates. One candidate, Shah Faesal, picked up by ZFI from Srinagar in 2009 and brought to Delhi, topped the IAS exams in 2010. Another candidate, Mohd Shahid Alam, joined the IFS. As many as 15 ZFI candidates qualified for the civil services prelims in 2010 and have since appeared for the mains. Their result is awaited. But much more is required to be done by many more.

Varsities Bill back in focus

The Andhra Pradesh Private Universities Bill, which was lying in cold storage since 2004, has come back into focus thanks to the old airport at Begumpet.

A few private aviation companies have been lobbying hard with the state government to set up an aviation university at the old Begumpet airport spread over 845 acres. As per government estimates, the land is worth Rs 16,000 crore. For the varsity to be set up, the state government has to pass the Private Universities Bill in the Legislative Assembly, and to this effect it has stepped up efforts to introduce the Bill in the ensuing Monsoon Session of the Assembly.

Minister for higher education Mr Damodara Rajanarasimha has directed officials to take up the Bill on a priority basis and the officials are in the process of studying Bills introduced in other states like Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Uttaranchal for setting up private universities. It should be noted, however, that the Union ministry of civil aviation had turned down a proposal forwarded by late chief minister Y.S. Rajashekar Reddy for setting up an aviation university at Begumpet airport by the state government after airport operations shifted to Shamshabad in 2008.

Official sources said the representatives of Rajiv Gandhi Aviation Academy, a Secunderabad-based aviation training academy, has come up with a proposal to set up the aviation university at Begumpet airport in partnership with Goldstone, which runs a small private airport in Barstow, California, US and two other aviation firms from Europe and Canada. They informed the government that they have already secured an in-principle approval from the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Airports Authority of India for setting up the private university and requested the state government to pass the Private Universities Bill for the purpose.

When the officials suggested that they opt for a deemed university status, they informed that it would not be possible since the University Grants Commission accorded deemed status to only those institutes which were in operation for more than five years and thus the Private Universities Bill was the only available option to set up the aviation university.

Lecturer posts lie vacant as state puts off exams

April 12: Hundreds of lecturer posts in degree colleges and universities are lying vacant due to the negligence of the state government in conducting the State Level Eligibility Test (SLET) for the last 12 years.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) had in 2009 made National Eligibility Test (NET) or SLET mandatory for appointment as a lecturer in the degree colleges and universities. However, majority candidates find it difficult to crack the NET since it is conducted only in English and Hindi languages. Such candidates have been demanding revival of SLET for several years. While the AP Public Service Commission (APPSC) has issued a notification to fill 1,017 lecturer posts in degree colleges nearly two years ago, only 4,350 candidates applied for the recruitment exam. The fewer number of candidates was because of non-availability of NET-qualified candidates in the state in the absence of SLET. The government which has been dilly-dallying over the revival of SLET for the last three years finally issued orders on February 25 this year appointing Osmania University as the nodal agency to conduct SLET. However, the OU is yet to get accreditation from the UGC for the purpose.

Ordinance to amend AP varsities Act defies norms

Ordinance to amend AP varsities Act defies norms

July 26: Academicians feel that the Ordinance to amend the AP State Universities Act, approved in November 2010, was just an eyewash. Reluctant to give up its control over the universities, the state government has deviated from the UGC norms. Despite all the hype, the Ordinance approved by the government to amend the AP State Universities Act has no provisions to free universities from political and bureaucratic influence.

Experts also say that the Ordinance does not really comply with the revised guidelines issued by the University Grants Commission on selecting vice-chancellors. The norms specified by the UGC and those listed in the Ordinance are contradictory, exposing the lack of commitment and sincerity on the part of the state government to bring reforms in the higher education sector. Unfortunately, the state government seems to be in no mood to give up its control over the universities despite the Governor and the Chancellor of Universities, Mr E.S.L. Narasimhan, also pitching for reforms ever since he assumed office in February 2010.

The Ordinance was the result of relentless efforts made by Mr Narasimhan since February 2010, when the state government first agreed to implement the revised UGC norms in the appointment of VCs. However, the Ordinance approved by the state government after deliberating for more than nine months, does nothing of that sort. The UGC rules say that a search committee should recommend between three and five names in the panel. Members of the search committee should be persons of national eminence in the sphere of higher education and should not be connected in any manner to the university concerned or its colleges. While preparing the panel, the search committee must give proper weight to academic excellence and experience and should also adopt a transparent process.
However, the Ordinance specifies no guidelines for the appointment of members for search committees.

Though the UGC rules say that a nominee of the chancellor should be the chairperson of the committee, and nominees of the UGC and the university syndicate should be members, the Ordinance gives all the powers to the state government. Thus, the principal secretary will chair the meeting and send the panel of names to the Governor for approval. The only thing that is common to both the UGC norms and the Ordinance is that the Governor will select the VC from among the three names, unlike earlier when the state government used to choose one and send it to the Governor for formal approval.

Ban on distance Ph.D, M.Phil goes

Universities in the state will offer M.Phil and Ph.D in correspondence mode after a gap of two years.

This follows the recent decision of the University Grants Commission to lift a two-year ban on offering M.Phil and Ph.D through correspondence mode.

However, the universities will not be allowed to set up study centres outside their jurisdiction to offer M.Phil and Ph.D through correspondence mode.

The UGC had imposed a ban on M.Phil and Ph.D through correspondence mode in 2009 following large-scale complaints against several universities regarding irregularities in admission procedures and awarding Ph.Ds and M.Phils against norms.

In AP, Dravidian Univ-ersity was under fire for granting over 8,000 PhDs in just two years by setting up study centres across the state. It was alleged that the varsity had allowed private players to set up study centres, charging around Rs 1 to Rs 2 lakh for awarding Ph.Ds. The state subsequently imposed a ban on awarding Ph.Ds and M.Phils through correspondence mode.

Other universities, however, opposed the ban, saying they followed the norms while awarding the degrees. The UGC consulted legal experts who advised lifting the blanket ban subject to the conditions that all relevant norms are followed.

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Despite touting to have a good English-speaking faculty and despite being the home ground of most silicon valley entrepreneurs, India fails to attract students from United States of America.

India stands at 14th place when it comes to number of US students going abroad for higher education. However, the sub-continent ranks second as far students joining US educational institutions goes.

The US Institute of International Education recently released the Open Doors report, which is a comprehensive information resource on international students and scholars studying or teaching at higher education institutions in the United States, and U.S. students studying abroad for academic credit at their home colleges or universities.

Of the 2,70,604 US students going abroad for higher education only 3,884 came to India in 2009-10, an increase of 44.4 per cent over the previous years figures. Countries like South Africa (13th rank — 4,313 students), Costa Rica (10th rank —- 6,262 students), Italy (2nd place — 27,940 students) and Mexico (8th rank —7,157 students) have attracted more US students than India.

However students from India, the second largest international segment in the United States, decreased by one percent to a total now of nearly 1.04 lakhs. While slightly declining in numbers, students from India still represent 14 percent of all international students in U.S. higher education.

Asked about his comments on the issue, Dr John E. Dooley, vice-president, Virginia Tech said it is because of lack of knowledge about the 21st century India among US students that the numbers are less.

I think US students need to visit India and interact with universities here to prepare themselves to see the global market place. US students dont know India but they have learnt more about South Africa in the last decade as the football world cup in South Africa did a remarkable job to introduce the country to US students, he said.

Former Anna University vice-chancellor and member of state planning commission Prof. E. Balagurusamy recalled that a couple of years ago University Grants Commission (UGC) constituted a committee and conducted visit India programme but that did not yield any big results.

Indian Universities dont offer different courses which the American students want to study and also the institutions dont provide proper accommodation and security. So I dont think we will get more US students. We should provide courses like study about Indian heritage, culture and temples which they would like to take up, he pointed out.

UGC asks varsities to prepare own plans for seeking grants

In a step towards granting more autonomy to universities, the UGC has asked them to prepare their own proposals for seeking funds from it for development purpose.

So far, expert committees deputed by the University Grants Commission (UGC) used to visit the varsities to assess their financial needs, based on which funds were allocated to them.
The past experience shows us that this procedure invariably resulted in delayed communication of financial allocations to the universities by UGC due to variety of factors, UGC chairman Ved Prakash said in a letter to the vice chancellors.

Citing this as one of the major reasons for discontinuing with the practice, he said the existing procedure led to delayed implementation of programmes and under-utilisation of funds by the varsities.

So, from now on universities will have complete autonomy to prepare their perspective plan and after getting it duly approved by the statutory authorities, it may be submitted to the UGC, Prakash said in his letter.

He said the measure could help the proposals emanating at the level of individual faculty in the university and pass through the departmental advisory board, board of studies, academic council, finance committee and the executive council.

It is hoped that the confidence reposed by the UGC will provide greater autonomy to the university, besides ensuring objectivity and transparency, ownership and accountability, he said.

Teachers file fake certificates

Education department officials are worried about fake educational certificates produced by teachers to get promotions.

Education department officials are worried about fake educational certificates produced by teachers to get promotions.

Teachers have reportedly spent Rs.20,000 to Rs.50,000 for these certificates.

In Nizamabad district, the state government has sanctioned 413 posts for promotions.

The posts will be filled in 70:30 ratio of in-service teachers and direct recruits.

Presently, PG headmaster (6), school assistant maths (105), physical science (50), biological science (32), English (64), social studies (33), Grade-I (67) and Grade-II (56) posts will be filled up by promotions. For the 413 posts, 1,500 teachers submitted their applications.

Officials scheduled counselling for promotions on January 19 and 20.

In view of lapses in the promotion process, some teachers are trying to get promotions through shortcuts, and are submitting fake certificates and offering bribes to the authorities.

It may be noted that around 70 teachers in the district are already facing charges of getting promotions with fake certificates.

Vigilance officials conducted an enquiry into fake certificates submitted during the counselling for promotions in January 2009. No action has been initiated against the errant teachers so far and this has emboldened others to adopt similar methods in present counselling.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has already declared a list of fake universities and educational institutions, but education department officials do not reject such certificates outright during counselling.

Teachers union leaders and some peoples representatives are pressurising them to accept the fake certificates, arguing that if any trouble occurs in the future, they will take care of.

In these circumstances, fake certificates including those of other states, un- recognised distance education institutions were also under consideration for the promotion.

ABVP state vice president Renjarla Naresh and district convener Narayana urged district collector D. Vara Prasad to initiate stringent action against the teachers who have submitted fake certificates for promotions.

As the education department officials have invited appeals on promotions, about 1,200 appeals have been received by officials so far.

Promotion counselling is scheduled to be held on January 19 and 20 and officials are trying to finalise the seniority list.

The government gave late night orders on Tuesday about providing reservations to physically- challenged teachers in promotions. Speaking to this newspaper, education department assistant director-II S. Sambasiva Rao said that they were taking all precautions to prevent fake certificates in promotions counselling.

We hope that we get clear instructions during the video conference by the commissioner and director of school education soon, he said.

Varsities short of govt funds

The state and Central governments aspire to make India a leading destination on the education front, but this remains a dream because of lack of government funding. Educationists say with lack of government funding, several state-run universities struggle to survive.

Eminent educationist, Dr S.S. Rajagopalan, said the state government fails to accord maximum priority to the education sector as it allots more funds for other sectors. We have been urging the state government for decades together to invest in public schooling system so that government schools can compete with the private ones and provide high-quality education, which never happened, he said.

Elaborating, Dr Rajagopalan said in the past, governments used to invest more in education but now funding has dropped drastically. Various committees and commissions constituted by the Central government recommended that 6 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) should be allocated for education but it still remains a dream, he added.

The administrator of a state university, who did not want to be named, said it was not clear on what grounds the University Grants Commission (UGC) funds a university as century-old universities get meagre funding and decade-old ones get more.

UGC has granted only Rs 19.37 crore for our university, which is more than 50 years old, but a younger university in the north gets Rs120 crore. I dont know the rationale behind this is. UGC has to look at students strength and other parameters before funding before sanctioning funds, he said.

A committee headed by late president Radhakrishnan recommended to the Union government to set aside 6 per cent of its GDP for education. The National Knowledge Commission also suggested that spending for higher education sector should be increased.

20% Central varsity seats for outsiders

In order to promote national integration and check regionalism, the government proposes to keep a minimum 20 per cent seats in Central universities for students from states other than where these are located. It also wants 20 per cent of the faculty at each such university be recruited from other parts of the country.

The University Grants Commission plans incentives for universities which adopt these proposals and ensure diversity in both student and faculty populations.
The UGC proposal says these steps will benefit the states and promote student and faculty mobility across the country. Recruitment of faculty should not be entirely from products of the same university; on the contrary, at least 20 per cent of the faculty should be from other states, the proposal adds.
Also, in an effort to encourage universities to get international students to enrol, the UGC has also proposed the creation of an Office of International Relations and Foreign Student Facilitation Centres in each of them.
The universities may also be given funds to construct hostels to house international students; the only clause being there must be a minimum of 50 foreign students at each university. The aim is both to attract more students from other countries and improve facilities for international students already studying in India.

Tab on non-TN students: Activists say social fabric will be torn

The governments decision to enumerate non-Tamil students in educational institutions in the backdrop of the recent encounter has not gone down well with activists working among students and youth.

They feel the move will alienate the student community and will throw cold water on the inclusiveness of the society.

The police anyway take action after nabbing the culprit. This move is unwarranted. This amounts to branding the non-Tamils as criminals like branding the Irulas as thieves.

This is both unsafe and alienating, says Prof Kalyani, who works among tribals and students. Kalyani also says the measure will not achieve any purpose.

For Madhumita Dutta, a social activist, the move is targeted at the inclusiveness of the society. It is dangerous that they started it with migrant labourers and now extending to the student community.

Chennai has always been proud of being an inclusive society. We are losing it soon she says.

Madhumitha points out that the educational institutions in Tamil Nadu have continued to attract students across the country. Now the parents will think twice before putting their students into any institution in Tamil Nadu. Nobody would want to undergo this kind of humiliation.

Bharat Jain, originally from Rajasthan whose family has been in Chennai for four generations, feels the move is personally humiliating. A practicing advocate, Jain says his family feels more at home in Chennai. This is extremely sad and we strongly object to such a move, Jain says.

Jain strongly feels the decision will hamper peaceful co-existence of various communities and will bring about divisions among communities. We have been living as brothers and sisters for the past four generations. This will create a wedge between us he rues.

The student community too seems to have not taken to the idea.

An educational institution is where you learn to forget the differences. This measure will be a stark reminder of the differences. There are umpteen other ways to track down those involved in criminal activities, says a student on condition of anonymity.

Get details from deemed varsities

The state government should seek the database of students from North India only from deemed universities as a majority of them study there, opine academicians. State-run institutions have a few North Indian youth and several students from other southern states, they say.

According to a former vice-chancellor who did not wish to be named, it would be difficult for the state to create a database of students from other states as most of them study in private deemed universities, which come under the purview of University Grants Commission (UGC) and the human resource development (HRD) ministry.

You are knocking on the wrong door. State universities can admit only about 15 per cent of students from other states under all India quota. So we need to ask deemed universities to provide the record of their students, an administrator of a private engineering college said.

Educationists also say that there have been no incidents of other state students in state universities and their affiliated colleges indulging in any kind of violence or disturbance to law and order.

The state government does not have any control over deemed universities. For any details from these institutions, they need to go through the HRD ministry. Already Tamil Nadu has represented to the Union government asking for right to bring deemed universities under its control, a senior academician said.


* Apart from people in the city, outsiders should also furnish the name, office address, job description, previous place of residence with necessary identity proofs

* Hence, under section 144 of CrPC 1973, the city police commissioner has issued the order that comes into force from March 3 and those who fail to abide by the order are punishable under IPC section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant).

* The forms can be obtained from local police stations or traffic police office. They can also be downloaded from www.tnpolice.gov.in from Monday.

Private varsities may go national

The University Grants Commission plans to recognise private universities set up through Acts of Parliament for the first time under new regulations that remove a statutory obstruction to setting up private varsities nationally. Private universities can be established either by an Act of Parliament or by a State legislation under the new regulations for private varsities finalised by the UGC, top government officials have told.

The current regulations require a private university to be set up only through State Acts. The finalised regulations are now being vetted by the HRD ministry, the sources said. The move comes at a time when the government is keener than ever before to attract private investment in higher education to meet its ambitious target of 30% gross enrolment ratio in higher education by 2020. Indias GER in higher education currently stands at 12.4%. Current UGC regulations on private universities, brought in 2003, specify that each private university shall be established by a separate State Act and shall operate ordinarily within the boundary of the state though in exceptional cases additional campuses can be allowed. The new regulations allow the establishment of private universities through Acts of Parliament too.

The requirement of a State Act was in tune with the policy at the time which did not encourage private players to set up national universities. That perspective has changed and our rule books must reflect the change, a senior HRD ministry official said.

HRD minister Kapil Sibal has publicly stated that the government wants private participation in establishing 14 Innovation Universities proposed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh focused on cutting-edge research to help India emerge a global knowledge hub.The government is arguing that despite unprecedented public expenditure on higher education, it alone cannot provide the number of colleges required to meet Indias GER target. Several top industrial houses have shown interest in setting up universities.

Clock starts ticking for UGC

The wait has begun for the quiet burial of the countrys apex higher education regulator. In a clear signal of the winding down of the 54-year-old behemoth, the government plans to avoid appointing a full-fledged chairman to the University Grants Commission after economist Sukhdeo Thorat, officials concede.

The proposed National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER) will subsume many of the roles of the UGC and other regulators, including the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).But the end of the UGC is more than just the creation of a new regulator. It epitomises the end of an era when the government micro-managed higher education. We now want to act as a facilitator, a senior government official said.

While the NCHER will set standards in higher education, the new regulator will relinquish direct control of many other functions of the UGC, including funding universities and testing candidates for teaching jobs.The NCHER will act against institutions on complaints under a self-disclosure regime that human resource development minister Kapil Sibal is pushing. But the change in philosophy of the Centre isnt the only reason behind the decision to wind down the UGC and AICTE.

The recommendations of the National Knowledge Commission and the Yash Pal Committee - both set up by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh - to replace these institutions with a single overarching regulator came amid a corruption cloud over Indian higher education. AICTE chairman RA Yadav was suspended and is set to be prosecuted by the CBI.
Thorat, who ended his tenure at the UGC earlier this week, has faced repeated corruption allegations though he has rejected all charges.

IAS officer Raju Sharma was repatriated from his post as UGC secretary after he locked horns with Thorat, accusing him of corruption in a Rs. 230-crore e-governance project and in the award of recognition to deemed universities.
Final nail in the UGCs coffin possibly came from differences that emerged between the regulator and the HRD ministry over the mess in deemed universities - for which the Centre blames UGC.

The minutes of a meeting of the parliamentary standing committee on HRD on a proposed law to punish colleges that cheat or mislead students state that Thorat told the panel the UGC was not consulted by the Centre.

Thorat has subsequently changed his stance, and said he had clarified to the panel that the UGC had been consulted. The damage, however, has been done.

UGC scholarship direct to students

Soon, thousands of students who win University Grants Commission (UGC) scholarships each year may no longer need to suffer delays in actually getting the money. The UGC plans to cut through the red tape institutionalised in the countrys university administrations to allow scholarship winners to access their financial aid directly from banks, under a landmark proposal it is working on.

The commission has already held meetings with Canara Bank and plans to meet other banks to tie up with them and open bank accounts for all scholarship winners who can then access their money directly.The UGC, in collaboration with central ministries, offers a slew of scholarships to students from scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and minority communities, and for single girl children.

At present, the UGC transfers the scholarship amounts of selected students to their universities. The universities are then required to verify whether the student is meeting the requirements of the scholarship before handing over the scholarship.But most universities take several months over this review process, routinely leading to delays in the scholarships actually reaching the students they are intended for.Several scholars have even quit their academics because of their inability to afford their education while waiting for scholarships they have already earned, but not yet received.

Under the new proposal, the UGC will transfer the scholarship amount of a student to banks, who will then verify whether the student is meeting scholarship requirements before allowing him access to the money. Banks will be paid a fee by the UGC for the service.Banks will have to complete their scrutiny and decide on allowing students access to their money within a fixed time period, in exchange for the service fee.The proposal is also likely to benefit banks that tie up with the UGC, since the scholarship money will expand their deposit base for other investments or loans.

Three held for selling fake MBA certificates

The Wagle Estate police, on Wednesday, arrested three persons on charges of selling forged MBA and BBA (bachelor in business administration) certificates. The arrests followed a sting operation by political activists on the National Academy of Management Studies in Eternity Mall, Thane.

A case of cheating and forgery has been registered against Seema Nair, 37, Arshi Khan, 23, and Kavita Shashidharan, 22.
Mira Road resident Nair is the director of the academy, Manpada resident Khan is the branch manager and Wagle Estate resident Shashidharan is an employee. The accused used to arrange for fake certificates within a span of a few days in exchange for thousands of rupees. A complainant said he had paid Rs. 75,000 and another, Rs. 23,000.

Police said the accused had told the complainants that they had the approval of the University Grants Commission. We have not found proof of this yet, assistant police inspector RA Sheikh said.
The accused have been remanded in police custody for a day.

Students from SAARC countries to pay less fee in universities

In a major step to attract students from the SAARC countries, Indian universities will now slash their fee to level them with the Indian students. The University Grants Commission (UGC) has taken a decision in this regard and asked the Central Universities, State Universities and Deemed Universities to implement it immediately.

The decision will immensely benefit the aspiring students from Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Maldives.These students have been paying higher fee compared to their Indian counterparts. In IITs, they pay USD 1000 (Rs 45,000) per semester while Indian students are paying Rs. 25,000.
The UGC has approved a proposal for reducing fee for the students of SAARC countries. They will pay the same amount as the Indian students are paying, UGC Secretary R K Chauhan told PTI.

He said the decision of the UGC has been communicated to the nearly 480 universities and deemed universities for its immediate implementation.The proposal was originally mooted by Nepal which wanted reduction for its students in Indian universities. However, the UGC decided to extend the benefit to all the SAARC countries.

Yes, teacher, were present

India has already been acknowledged as a knowledge superpower. It has achieved this on the strength of contributions from only 10 per cent of its population. Imagine what is possible if every Indian has access to the same standards of education as the privileged 10 per cent? <b2> The country is currently in a demographic sweet spot. Over the next three decades, the working age population will make up more than half its population. This is the group that earns, spends, and supports the two other population groups in any nation — the retired and the pre-working. If Indias vast army of working age people — numbering more than 550 million — is equipped with education (both academic and vocational), then, this sweet spot can be turned into a demographic dividend. Can we do it?

Happily, the answer is: yes. The education pipeline begins at the primary level. Here, after several false starts, the country seems to have got its formula right. The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), the governments flagship primary education programme, has ensured that over 200 million children now go to school, double the number a decade ago.
The Millennium Development Goal of ensuring that every child goes to school by 2015 now looks achievable.
The areas of concern, however, are higher education and vocational training. Schools churned out more than 15 million students eligible for higher education in 2007-08, three times the number five years ago.

But there arent enough institutions to meet this demand, University Grants Commission (UGC) chairperson, Professor S.K. Thorat, admitted. The target for gross enrollment ratio has been set at 15 per cent by 2012. It would mean creating new institutions and upgrading infrastructure of existing institutions for another 60 lakh students that are expected to join

higher education in the next four years.
That will require 743 new universities, a government committee told UGC in August 2008. In all, plans for 100 universities, including 30 by the Central Government, have been approved.
Many students give up education after failing to gain admission into colleges. This is a huge loss that no aspiring knowledge superpower can afford.

In his Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said: As our primary education programmes achieve a degree of success, there is a growing demand for secondary schools and colleges.
The Centre has announced the setting up of 6,000 model schools, a college in each district and over 40 technical education institutions, including IITs and IIMs. But the PMs dream of better education to all eligible students cannot be met without corporate participation.
Happily, this, too, is happening. The government has come up a scheme to upgrade teaching methodology and curricula at the Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) through the public-private partnership model.
Large corporations will adopt ITIs and train personnel keeping in mind the needs of industry. Already 1,400 ITIs have been put up for adoption and business houses like Infosys, the Tatas and Maruti have come forward to participate.
But more needs to be done, especially relating to institutions of higher education. The National Knowledge Commissions recommendations will go a long way in bridging the demand-supply gap.
Former UGC chairperson Yash Pal is optimistic that the education system will meet aspirations of young Indians by 2020 following the enactment of the proposed Right to Education Bill.

E-journals to make college projects easier

College students in India can soon access online research journals of international repute that, till now, were available only to premier institutes like the Indian Institute of Science. In the first phase of an ambitious project, starting October, 550 colleges aided by the University Grants Commission (UGC) will be able to download journals, books, biographical databases and reviews published by academic societies for a nominal fee. The first phase will cover Mumbai colleges like Ruia, Jai Hind, Ruparel, HR and Vaze Kelkar.

This means, a student of chemistry will be able to study original work from 1879 by the American Chemical Society. Or, a student of humanities can read journals published by the Oxford University Press.
Called the National Library and Information Services Infrastructure (N-LIST) for scholarly content, the Rs. 18-crore project is an initiative of the Ministry of Human Resource Development. Ahmedabads Information and Library Network Centre, an autonomous inter-university centre of the UGC, will execute the project and be an intermediary between colleges and publishers.

Most colleges subscribe to a few magazines and Indian journals. Colleges do not buy international journals or opt for
online subscriptions a each download costs about $15 (Rs 750), said Jagdish Arora, principal investigator, N-LIST. Now, an annual subscription to about 3,500 journals would cost Rs. 5,000.

The project will initially cover 6,000 UGC-funded colleges, followed by those that are not funded. E-resources will be available in disciplines like pure science, social science, humanities, management and languages. Universities and technical institutes have had access to online resource, but this would be a first for colleges.

Studies are incomplete without research. Most libraries dont have journals due to high subscription fees. Online access for a nominal fee will be value-add, said Suhas Pednekar, principal, Ruia College.

UGC plans to regulate fees of Deemed Universities

The regulator of higher education in India, the University Grants Commission, plans to rein in skyrocketing fees in Deemed Universities and make their controversial admission process transparent. The Deemed Universities —127 of them in all and all fiercely protective of their independence — will resist any attempt to regulate them. They are known to have gone to court to keep the government at bay. But the commission is determined.

Most complaints against Deemed Universities are of no transparency in admissions and unreasonably high fees, said commission chairman S K Thorat in an exclusive interview to Hindustan Times. (Interview on Page 9)No government regulations are applicable to institutions run by Deemed Universities, said Thorat.

A deemed university is called so because it is not created by legislation – either by the Union government or a state government – which is a necessary qualification for an institution to be called a university. Close to three lakh students study at the countrys Deemed Universities. The 127 Deemed Universities run around 200 medical, engineering and management colleges around the country. Some of the well-known ones are Manipal University, Karnataka; Bharatiya Vidyapeeth and Narsee Monjee Institute for Management Studies, Mumbai.

Some of these are in danger of losing their status if they are found lacking during a review ordered by the new human resources minister Kapil Sibal as reported last week by this newspaper.Here is how the University grants Commission plans to regulate their admissions and fees, according to a comprehensive plan ready for final discussions on June 22.
Thorat said they have a choice as far as admissions go: either pick up 80 per cent of their students from the existing all-India engineering and medical tests or they can start their own examination system.

The remaining 20 per cent of the seats can be in the management quota, to be filled as they please – against capitation fee or any other method or system. A panel on fee has made this recommendation to the commission.
On fees, this same panel said Deemed Universities could be asked to come under the ambit of state level fee fixation committees or a new all-India level committee.

Such regulation would be bad in law, said Ramdas M Pai, president of Manipal University, adding, the government should monitor admissions and fees, through a committee, rather than regulating it.
Dr Shivajirao Shripatrao Kadam, Vice-Chancellor of Bhartiya Vidyapeeth, said too much government regulation leads to corruption and is bad for private institutes.

This is not for the first time the government is trying to control fee and admissions in private institutions. In its bill to introduce reservation in the private institutions, the HRD ministry had a chapter on fee regulation and admissions. The bill was scrapped following stiff opposition from Deemed Universities and private self-financing professional colleges.

UGC plans to regulate fees of Deemed Universities

The regulator of higher education in India, the University Grants Commission, plans to rein in skyrocketing fees in Deemed Universities and make their controversial admission process transparent. The Deemed Universities —127 of them in all and all fiercely protective of their independence — will resist any attempt to regulate them. They are known to have gone to court to keep the government at bay. But the commission is determined.

Most complaints against Deemed Universities are of no transparency in admissions and unreasonably high fees, said commission chairman S K Thorat in an exclusive interview to Hindustan Times. (Interview on Page 9)No government regulations are applicable to institutions run by Deemed Universities, said Thorat.

A deemed university is called so because it is not created by legislation – either by the Union government or a state government – which is a necessary qualification for an institution to be called a university. Close to three lakh students study at the countrys Deemed Universities. The 127 Deemed Universities run around 200 medical, engineering and management colleges around the country. Some of the well-known ones are Manipal University, Karnataka; Bharatiya Vidyapeeth and Narsee Monjee Institute for Management Studies, Mumbai.

Some of these are in danger of losing their status if they are found lacking during a review ordered by the new human resources minister Kapil Sibal as reported last week by this newspaper.Here is how the University grants Commission plans to regulate their admissions and fees, according to a comprehensive plan ready for final discussions on June 22.
Thorat said they have a choice as far as admissions go: either pick up 80 per cent of their students from the existing all-India engineering and medical tests or they can start their own examination system.

The remaining 20 per cent of the seats can be in the management quota, to be filled as they please – against capitation fee or any other method or system. A panel on fee has made this recommendation to the commission.
On fees, this same panel said Deemed Universities could be asked to come under the ambit of state level fee fixation committees or a new all-India level committee.

Such regulation would be bad in law, said Ramdas M Pai, president of Manipal University, adding, the government should monitor admissions and fees, through a committee, rather than regulating it.
Dr Shivajirao Shripatrao Kadam, Vice-Chancellor of Bhartiya Vidyapeeth, said too much government regulation leads to corruption and is bad for private institutes.

This is not for the first time the government is trying to control fee and admissions in private institutions. In its bill to introduce reservation in the private institutions, the HRD ministry had a chapter on fee regulation and admissions. The bill was scrapped following stiff opposition from Deemed Universities and private self-financing professional colleges.

Have to crack NET to become a lecturer now

To ensure uniform standard of teachers across universities in India, the University Grants Commission has approved the National Eligibility Test (NET) as the minimum eligibility condition for recruitment of lecturers. All new appointments of lecturers will have to follow the new regulation, said UGC chairman Sukhadeo Thorat.

But candidates who have already been awarded Ph.Ds in compliance with the UGC regulation for minimum standards shall be exempted from the requirement of either NET or SLET. Permanent teachers will also be exempted by the new regulation.
Only Ph.D holders whose course is of high standard will get exemption from NET or SLET to get into teachership in universities and colleges affiliated to UGC. The M Phil holders will have to clear NET or SLET, said Thorat.
The teaching community welcomed the regulation but with some reservations.

Any national test is good. But why have both national and state tests? asked Ujjaini Ray, assistant professor of history at Lady Sri Ram College.Moreover, NET in its current form does not really test the teaching and research skills of the candidate. The UGC should look at revising the test format, Ray said.The Mungekar committee, set up by the government to recommend minimum qualifications for appointment of teachers, had earlier submitted its interim report. NET or SLET clearance should be mandatory for candidates, it had proposed.Reverse Brain Drain

Thorat added that many Indians from abroad and foreigners were now interested to come to India and become teachers.
One of the positive effects of the slowdown has been the return of post-doctoral candidates from abroad. I have received hundreds of e-mails from fellows who want to come back to India, said Thorat.

Researchers to get money equal to IAS entrants

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has decided to increase the scholarship amount for junior research fellowship (JRF) by 35 to 40 per cent. The move will ensure that researchers get money almost equivalent to the basic pay — Rs. 20,800 per month — of entry-level Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officials and assistant professors UGC has also decided to hike scholarships for women pursuing post-doctoral fellowship by about four times.

With this, women without research experience will get Rs. 25,000 (which was Rs. 6,000 earlier) while those with experience will get Rs. 30,000 per month as against Rs. 8,000 earlier. The contingency grant for these women scholars has been increased to Rs. 50,000 per annum.The commission, earlier this month, decided that junior research scholars will now get Rs. 16,000 per month (Rs 12,000 earlier) for first two years and Rs. 20,000 (Rs 14,000 earlier) for the next three years.

The physically challenged researchers will get an escort allowance of Rs. 2,000 per month along with the scholarship.
The scholarship amount has been enhanced so that scholars dont leave mid-day to join teaching, UGC chairperson Sukhdeo Thorat said. The new scholarship amount — to be available to 6,500 researchers every year (doubled as compared to last year) — will be applicable from the new academic year 2009-10.

Only students who have cleared the National Eligibility Test will be eligible for the scholarships. The proposal to enhance the scholarship was taken after a recommendation by RP Aggarwal, Higher Education Secretary in the HRD ministry. The fellowship amount should be increased to 50 per cent subject to the condition that it is less than initial pay for a fresh appointee as assistant professor, Aggarwal had told UGC in letter on July 30.

With this, the UGC is looking to meet the demand for faculty with requisite research credentials and PhD degrees.

1,870 principal posts vacant in state

Around 1,870 posts for principals are vacant across the 13 universities in state. Of these, approximately 250 vacancies are in colleges affiliated to the University of Mumbai. The state has listed names of retired academicians, who could be appointed as principals after the University Grants Commission ordered it to set teachers retirement age at 65.

Retired principals will cost less to the exchequer as their pensions will be deducted from the fixed salaries. The vice-chancellors of all universities met government officials to update them on vacancies. Universities of Pune, Nagpur, Amravati and Marathwada have about 200 vacancies in colleges.

Mahesh Phatak, secretary of higher and technical education said, About 1,700 vacancies are in permanently unaided colleges and 170 in government aided colleges.

Cant take university to consumer court: SC

Statutory authorities like universities or education boards are not service providers and, thus, cant be dragged by students to consumer courts alleging deficiency in service, the Supreme Court has ruled. Allowing an appeal filed by the Maharishi Dayanand University challenging the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), a bench headed by Justice B.S. Chauhan said a direction couldnt be passed against such an authority to award a degree to a student.
The bench reversed the NCDRCs conclusions and held that its direction to award the B.Ed degree to the student, Surjit Kaur, was contrary to the rules. It rejected Kaurs contention that she was a student under the Consumer Protection Act and the university was providing her with a service while holding exams.

Explaining the Consumer Protection Act laws, the bench said when a board or a statutory authority conducts an exam in discharge of its statutory function, it does not offer services as the examinee doesnt hire or avail any service from the board for a consideration.

Instead, it held, a candidate taking the exam is a person who asks the board to test him to ascertain if he has sufficient knowledge and assess his competence vis-à-vis others.

DU colleges put students ahead of UGCs norms for ad hoc teachers

The new University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines meant for ad hoc teachers has resulted in a crisis of teaching staff at the University of Delhi. In order to raise the standard of teaching in colleges, the UGC has made it mandatory for ad hoc teachers to have at least cleared either the National Eligibility Test or the State Level Eligibility Test. In case they havent cleared either, they should have a PhD degree in the subject.

Although the new academic session began on July 21, principals of various colleges are still grappling with staff shortage — especially in subjects such as Computer Science, English and Economics. The hardest hit are the students of the 13 science courses — which will be taught under the semester system.

All first-year science students have to study this paper (Computer Applications), but where are the teachers? said Savithri Singh, principal of Acharya Narendra Dev College. Maharaja Agrasen College has six teachers for computer science — but only one meets the required UGC qualification. Despite this, the college has given letter of extension to the teachers. What else can one do? We cannot let the students studies be compromised, said principal Sunil Sondhi.
Delhi University, on its part had written to the UGC on June 28, 2010, stating about the shortage of teachers who meet the norms for the post of ad hoc teachers. Close to 300 ad hoc teachers in the varsity do not meet the new norms.
Vice Chancellor Deepak Pental said: We have no choice but to continue with the ad hoc teachers for the time being, even if they do not meet the UGC norms. We cannot let the classes be affected due to non-availability of teachers.

UGC bonanza for students in self-financing institutions

Students at self-financing universities and colleges may soon be eligible for a slew of prestigious University Grants Commission (UGC) fellowships and scholarships at present open only to students from institutions receiving government grants. The UGC has proposed allowing students from self-financing institutions including private universities benefits like the Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) and the Post Graduate Merit Scholarship, top government officials told.
The Indira Gandhi Scholarship for girls, the Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship for scheduled caste and scheduled tribe students, and postdoctoral fellowships for SC-ST candidates are other UGC schemes proposed to be opened up.

The proposal is likely to be accepted by the human resource development (HRD) ministry, the officials said. We are in principle okay with this proposal. The more the number of beneficiary students, the better, a senior official said.
The HRD ministry had earlier shot down a proposal from the UGC to provide grants to private and self-financing institutions, the official said. The ministry had argued that the UGC should concentrate on funding government institutions apart from selective grants to private institutions for specific purposes.

The UGC then revised its proposal to keep out direct grants to these institutions and instead target students. Under its proposal, the UGC will reimburse private and self-financing institutions the amount of the fellowships and scholarships that are awarded to their students.

Though the HRD ministry does not have exact data, estimates suggest that tens of thousands of students today study in private and self-financing institutions. The government does not want to keep them outside the net of UGC benefits, sources said.The move to expand the reach of UGC scholarships and fellowships to students of private and self-financing institutions also comes at a time when the private sector is being wooed by the government to invest in higher education.

Both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and HRD minister Kapil Sibal have on more than one occasion argued that the private sector in India needs to substantially enhance its investment in education for nthe country to meet its targets in the sector.Sibal has set a target of achieving a 30 per cent enrolment rate in higher education by 2020 – Indias current enrolment rate is only 12.4 per cent.Achieving the target will mean more than doubling the number of higher education seats available today, a task the government argues it cannot perform on its own.

7,000 lecturers may lose jobs

More than 7,000 college and university lecturers in the state could soon find themselves out in the cold. The Bombay High Court, on Thursday, refused to interfere with the University Grants Commissions (UGC) decision to cancel exemptions granted to them to continue in service. Clearing the National Eligibility Test (NET), State Level Eligibility Test (SLET) or completing a PhD is the minimum criteria set by the UGC for teaching positions in undergraduate colleges across the country.

However, in a resolution passed on February 23 this year, the UGC decided to exempt lecturers appointed between September 1991 and January 2001 from these conditions. But, a week later, the UGC withdrew the exemption following a directive from the Human Resource Development Ministry. The ministry also curtailed UGCs powers to exempt college teachers who did not meet the eligibility criteria and allow them to continue in service.

After the UGC cancelled all exemptions on June 10, the Maharashtra Federation of University and College Teachers Organisations moved the Bombay High Court challenging the HRD Ministrys directive and UGCs subsequent action.
Counsel for the organisation, N M Ganguli, pointed to three earlier orders of the high court, which directed the UGC to process exemption applications of lecturers.

The contention, however, failed to impress a division bench of Justice D K Deshmukh and Justice R.G. Ketkar, who refused to interfere with the UGCs decision or entertain the petition. Let the academicians do their job, observed Justice Deshmukh adding, the court cannot decide what the eligibility criteria for certain posts should be.
The matter is likely to be finally decided on Monday, when Ganguli will let the court know of the petitioners wish to withdraw the plea.

The issue dates back to September 1991, when the UGC introduced NET as an entry point qualification for college and university lecturers. The state government had, at the time, refused to make it mandatory considering the shortage of NET qualified teachers.

Centre tells SC it has power to de-recognise deemed varsities

The Centre on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that it was well within its power under UGC rules to de-recognise the 44 deemed universities for allegedly failing to maintain requisite quality education. Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium, appearing before a Bench of Justices Dalveer Bhandari and Deepak Verma, said that under the UGC Act, the Commission was empowered to accord the deemed status to universities.

The power to accord recognition of deemed status included the power to de-recognise them for failing to meet the standards, he submitted before the Bench.Later, senior counsel KK Venugopal assailed the Centres proposal to de-recognise the 44 universities as illegal on the ground that such a power was vested only with UGC.He questioned the very constitution of the Professor PN Tondon Committee which had recommended de-recognition of the universities. The arguments would resume ton Wednesday.

The review committee headed by Professor PN Tondon had earlier recommended derecognition of the 44 institutes across the country on the ground that they had failed to meet the standards required for sustaining the status of a deemed university.

According to the universities, Professor Tondon himself was heading a deemed university and it was not appropriate for him to head the high-powered committee which sought de-recognition of the aggrieved universities.

The apex court had earlier directed the Centre to put on the internet the recommendations of the Tondon Committee and the Task Force and asked the aggrieved varsities to file their response on the Centres decision to de-recognise them.

UGC admits flaws, will review faculty regulations

The University Grants Commission has agreed to review controversial regulations for the appointment of faculty at varsities and colleges in an admission that its norms — opposed by most universities — may be flawed. The UGC on Wednesday formed a panel of experts to iron out anomalies in the regulations, days after Vice-Chancellors of central universities complained to Human Resource Development Minister Kapil SibalHuman Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal.

The three-member panel is headed by former Madras University Vice Chancellor S.P. Thyagarajan. The UGC has also been flooded by complaints from aspiring teachers and researchers. HT had reported first on August 25 on the V-Cs complaining that the UGC regulations were killing their attempts to hire faculty to fill large scale teacher vacancies.
The regulations mandate that only those holding PhDs meeting standards set in 2009 are eligible for any teaching post. According to estimates by academicians, this has left several thousand PhD holders across the country potentially ineligible for teaching jobs — for no fault of theirs.

When these people were pursuing their PhD, the rules setting new standards werent there. Now, their PhDs run the risk of being invalid. Why cannot the UGC enforce the new rules prospectively, a V-C questioned. Another anomaly V-Cs have pointed out in the UGC regulations involves the requirement that even those applying for ad hoc posts must hold PhDs.
Ad hoc posts are created by universities precisely to get teachers when they are unable to find faculty meeting qualifications required for regular posts. If a PhD is required for adhoc posts, universities are unlikely to attract any teachers for these positions, the V-Cs have complained.

But the government will not find it easy to defer the implementation of the new regulations or the new PhD standards.
If we defer the regulations by, say, a year or two years, we will have to be prepared for pressure from institutions after that time is over to once again defer it, an HRD ministry source argued.

Deemed universities to implead themselves in apex court case

Deemed universities, whose derecognition is sought by the central government, have decided to get together to float two lobby bodies and implead themselves in the case being heard by the Supreme Court. According to Ishari K Ganesh, chancellor of Vels University in Chennai, two related stories • Blacklisted deemed varsities get reprieve
associations - one representing the interests of deemed universities in the state and the other a larger body to represent the interests of deemed universities in south India - will be formed and will implead themselves in the Supreme Court case.

The management of the doomed universities in a meeting have called for the review of the Tandon Committee report based on which the central government has recommended withdrawal of deemed university status given by the University Grants Commission (UGC).MK Padmanabhan, vice chancellor of Dr MGR Educational and Research Institute, said the centre constituted two panels - the UGC committee and the Tandon Committee - to look into the functioning of the universities.
He said the UGC panel consisting of educational experts visited the campuses, while the Tandon panel just saw the power point presentations shown by the universities.

The UGC has accorded deemed university status to Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth and has given it five years time to establish itself. In Tamil Nadu a sizeable number of deemed universities are run by politicians and their relatives and higher education has become a lucrative business in the state that turns out more than 100,000 engineers every year.
Though many of the deemed universities charge high fees, they lack the necessary infrastructure and are run like family businesses. Students are subjected to a strict regime. For example, girls and boys studying in the same college are not allowed to talk to each other within the premises.

The violent protests are seen as a result of the pent-up anger of the students who are not treated properly and subjected to a strict regime.On Wednesday, the Salem-based Vinayaka Missions University and the Thanjavur-based Ponnaiyah Ramajayam Institute of Science and Technology University declared closure after violence broke out in their campuses and spilled into the streets.The central government Monday told the Supreme Court that it was all set to divest 44 universities of their special deemed university status as they were being run as family fiefdoms rather than institutions of academic excellence.

Appearing for the central government, Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium made this submission to a bench of Justice Dalveer Bhandari and Justice Mukundkam Sharma during the hearing of a 2006 lawsuit, questioning the misuse of the deemed university status by a glut of educational shops. Subramanium also told the bench that the government, however, has decided to let these universities revert back to become affiliated colleges of their original universities.
This is to avoid jeopardising the career of nearly 200,000 students studying in these institutions across 13 states, he told the court.

In an affidavit filed in the court, the union human resource development ministry said the government has also accepted the recommendations made by the high-powered PN Tandon committee, formed to probe the conditions of the deemed universities across the country. The Review Committee came across several aberrations in the functioning of some of the institutions deemed to be universities. It found undesirable management architecture where families rather than professional academics controlled the functioning of institutions, the affidavit said.

According to the affidavit, most of the 44 deemed universities, failing to maintain their high standard of academic excellence, were offering post-graduate and undergraduate courses that are fragmented with concocted nomenclatures and seats disproportionately increased beyond the actual intake capacity. The bench, during an earlier hearing in July last year had questioned the need for having deemed universities in the country in the wake of their mushrooming growth amid complaints that instead of imparting quality education, they have been fleecing students by commercialising it.
Why deemed university at all? Dont you think the status of deemed university should be abolished in all the states? the bench had asked, while directing the centre to file a detailed affidavit on the deemed universities and their conditions in the country.

The bench adjourned the matter after a brief perusal of the affidavit.

UGC chairman asks state to open all teacher recruitment

On the annual convocation day of the University of Mumbai, University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman Sukhadeo Thorat said Maharashtra must remove all restrictions on teacher recruitment. Currently, the state allows only 50 per cent of open posts to be filled forcing colleges to recruit teachers on ad-hoc and contract basis.
Our research shows that 50 per cent of colleges and 40 per cent of universities are functioning with temporary teachers. Quality faculty is a critical element of higher education and Maharashtra should aspire to reach the UGC recommended teacher-student ratio, he said.

Thorat requested the state to match up to the commitment of the Centre towards higher education. If the Centre has increased higher education allocation by nine times, the state should at least increase it eight times. The Sixth Pay Commission has given teachers a good deal and matched the salaries of PhD holders to IAS officers at the entry level. I hope in Maharashtra the same has been implemented, he added. The 11th five-year plan allocated Rs 40,000 crore to higher education, an increase from the Rs 4,000 crore in the 10th plan.

Thorat said: We need to revive state universities as 60 per cent of the student output comes from there.
More than 1.6 lakh degrees were conferred at the convocation, but only medal holders and toppers were awarded degree certificates. This is the first time that students will have to collect their certificates from their colleges, which will take another month. The ceremony was disrupted by Bharatiya Vidyarthi Sena activists, who alleged that the varsity has printed only 30,000 degree certificates despite the delay in convocation.

The slogan-shouting activists went up to the podium and distributed leaflets before the police rounded them off.
The university does not have a full time vice-chancellor and the additional VC does not have power to take any decisions. The prime minister talks of quality education but the University of Mumbai is only deteriorating, said BVS president Abhijit Panse.

Controller of Examinations Vilas Shinde said all certificates have been printed and will begin dispatching them to colleges from Monday.

Search panel drags feet, UGC still headless

The selection of the chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC) has been considerably delayed with the three-member search committee dragging its feet without reaching any concrete conclusions.

The search committee has now sought an appointment with the human resources development (HRD) minister, Kapil Sibal, to seek some unnecessary clarifications regarding eligibility criteria of candidates in general and the age clause in particular.

Sources said that the reason for seeking clarification was that some candidates in the age range of 62-64 years also figured in the zone of consideration. The UGC Act, significantly, stipulates that the office of the UGC chairman shall be whole time and he-she shall hold office for a term of five years or until he attains the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.

Accordingly, the UGC chairman has to be appointed on a whole time basis and for the full term. The provision does not allow for interpretation knowingly or deliberately that a person could be appointed chairman for a period, which will not be one term of five years.

The appointment is, therefore, to be guided in that the identified incumbent should be able to serve five years in office and without exceeding the age of superannuation — 65 years. The stipulation in the advertisement given by the HRD ministry on this subject mentioned, …nominees should be preferably below the age of 60 years. This appears to have also been guided by this principle. Non-adherence to this provision will tantamount to violation of the relevant stipulation in the UGC.

Curtailment of full term due to an intervening factor such as superannuation or some unforeseen reasons of exit from the position would be an exception and not a rule. The HRD ministrys decision in the appointment of Prof SS Mantha as the chairman, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), made nearly a fortnight ago, supports the principle cited for the position of the UGC chairman.

The AICTE chairman has been appointed for a full term of three years (as per the provision of the AICTE Act) by the ministry notwithstanding the introduction of the legislation about the National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER) in Parliament.

Sources said that attempt to get the age clause relaxed by the search committee could be to bring in some candidates who do not otherwise fulfil the criteria. Hectic lobbying is going on for this coveted position where the names of some vice chancellors who are facing an enquiry also figure.

The long list of aspirants has amongst the front-runners a former vice chancellor who was overlooked for a similar position for the Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University last year.

Coming soon, UGC degree in vocational education

A bachelors degree in vocational education is likely to be introduced in the University Grants Commission affiliated institutions in 2012. The standing committee of UGC which met here two days ago has formally approved a proposal to introduce a bachelors degree in vocational education. This is to get a final nod from the commission. Once approved, a college student can pick up a bachelors degree in art, science , commerce or vocational education. We propose to add vocational education as one of the specific degrees of UGC from 2012. The finer details are however being worked on, acting chairman of UGC Ved Prakash told.

The All India Council of Technical Education had earlier written a letter to UGC requesting them to introduce vocational education at college level. AICTE chairman S S Mantha said that the curriculum of the new courses will be put on the website by March 10.

This will boost employment for college graduates. The student will have to choose a sector and a specific specialization from each sector. Initially 10 sectors have been chosen including tourism, construction, printing, telecom, IT, mobile and communication, Mantha said.

To begin with, Mantha said, the proposal is to have five sectors in each college. Each sector can have a maximum of 100 students which means initially a college can have 500 students for vocational education.
Elaborating further, Mantha said that under entertainment sector a student can opt for specialization in theatre-stage craft or western classical dancing or even acting.

Union HRD minister Kapil Sibal had recently launched the National Vocational Education Qualification Framework for implementation in polytechnics, engineering colleges and other colleges in the university systems from 2012-13.

UGC funds, but 100 PU researchers sans stipends for a year

Even after three months of sanction of funds by the University Grants Commission (UGC) for grant of junior research fellowships, Panjab University is yet to disperse the amount to these researchers. Around 100 scholars have been waiting for their monthly stipend for the past year, making the outstanding dues accumulate to more than Rs. 2 lakh per student.
The UGC had sanctioned Rs. 1.5 crore for 26 scholars in December 2011 followed by another instalment of the same amount in February for another 30 scholars.

Each JRF gets a monthly fellowship of Rs. 16,000 plus HRA of Rs. 3,200. According to the norms, the UGC provides funds to the university, which disperses it among the scholars.After running from pillar to post to get the money released, a group of students on Thursday approached dean research RK Kohli for assistance.

Confirming the development, Kohli said a few students belonging to different departments approached him and submitted their complaints.Taking note of the complaints, Kohli wrote to the university finance and development officer Vikram Nayyar, asking him to release the funds soon.This is for the first time that students have come to me with such a problem, and I will ensure they do not face inconvenience, said Kohli.

Tata Institute of Social Sciences

Eligibility: For MPhil, the applicant should have a second class masters or equivalent degree in the relevant subject awarded by a recognised university in India or abroad, with at least 55% aggregate marks, or a grade point average of 3.5 under the seven-point grade system of the University Grants Commission (UGC), India. The PhD programme is for those with MPhil or equivalent degrees awarded by recognised universities in India or abroad; teachers working in colleges, universities, or institutes recognised by the UGC or appropriate agencies and selected for fellowship under the Faculty Improvement Programme or other similar programmes; teachers working in colleges, universities, or institutes recognised by the UGC or appropriate agencies and who have five years of full-time teaching experience

How to apply: Visit www.tiss.edu

Last date to apply: April 8, 2012

Rectify anomalies in UGC pay structure, say Odisha university teachers

Rectify anomalies in UGC pay structure, say Odisha university teachers
Bhubaneswar: The issue of anomalies in provision of revised UGC pay scale to university, government college and aided college teachers is back to haunt the State Government.
The Sixth Pay Commissions recommendations may have come as a boon for the State Government employees, but for university teachers, it has been a case of what they call discrimination.
Although the University Grants Commission (UGC) notified the revision scheme soon after Pay Commission recommendation to draw the best brains into teaching, the State Governments Fitment Committee played spoilsport, alleged University Teachers Association (UTA), OUAT and Federation of Odisha University Teachers Association members on Sunday .

The Government brought into effect revised UGC pay scales for university and college teachers in December 2009, but the teachers allege the former deviated from what the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) had laid down.
The revised pay scale of college and university teachers was published in a resolution on December 14, 2009. Although the UGC recommended that readers with three years of service would be in the pay band-4 (Rs 37,000 to Rs 67,000) with an additional grade pay of Rs 9,000, the State Government decided to raise this to five years.
The MHRD had stated that 80 per cent of the additional requirements of the State governments for effecting revised pay scales will be reimbursed only when the latter implements the Ministrys scheme of revision as a composite package. The State Government will have to meet 20 per cent of additional expenditure involved in revision of pay scales from its own sources.
Accordingly, the UGC assistance for the purpose in State stood at Rs 331 crore.
The UGC provided for promotion of Associate Professor to Pay Band IV after completion of three years of service. But the Fitment Committee raised the service years to five, said Pravat Kumar Sarangi, president of the UTA.
Later, the Government sought a clarification from the Centre whether the modified pay scale would be acceptable to the UGC, to which, the latter denied.
Interestingly, the Higher Education department sought clarification from the HRD Ministry when the Finance department queried whether changes made by the department would be allowed by the UGC for grant of Central assistance, Sarangi said.
Meanwhile, the UGC assistance of Rs 331 crore for implementation of revised pay scale has not been provided to the State so far.
This apart, while the UGC had recommended a special allowance of Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,000 to principals of undergraduate and post-graduate colleges respectively, the Government decided against it. Although the issue has been raised by various leaders on the floor of the Assembly four times in the past, no action has been taken by the Government.
Demanding Chief Minister Naveen Patnaiks intervention to rectify the anomalies, the university teachers bodies said the decision is a reflection on the higher education sector and have threatened agitation in case their demands are not met. We will hold discussions with the Government over the issues till June 28. If no action is initiated by then, we will intensify our agitation, Sarangi added.

A look at the criteria laid down by UGC

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has been conducting a test to determine the eligibility of postgraduates for lecturership (now, this cadre is re-designated as Assistant Professor) and also for the award of Junior Research Fellowship (JRF). The test is conducted twice in a year on the last Sunday of June and December every year.
This time the test will be conducted on June 24. With effect from this test, the Commission has made a major change in the question paper pattern of Paper – III NET and SET.

Candidates who clear UGCs NET are eligible to apply for Assistant Professorship anywhere in India. This facility is being extended even to those who have cleared the State Eligibility Test (SET) accredited by UGC for eligibility for lecturership held prior to June 1, 2002. The candidates who qualify for the award of JRF are eligible to pursue their doctoral programme in their subject of postgraduation or in a related subject. They are also eligible for the receipt of UGC fellowship under its different schemes.

The candidates who have secured at least 55 per cent marks in their Masters degree or equivalent examination from universities or institutions recognised by the UGC in Humanities, Social Science, etc., are eligible to apply for this test (it is 50 per cent marks for candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and Physically Handicapped (PH) or Visually Handicapped (VH) categories).

Five per cent relaxation in the percentage of marks is extended even to Ph.D. holders whose Masters degree examination had been completed by September 19, 1991, irrespective of the date of declaration of result. The UGC has provided an opportunity even for the candidates who have appeared or are appearing for the qualifying Masters degree (final year) examination and whose result is still awaited to apply and appear for the test.

Generally, NET or SET or SLET (State-Level Eligibility Test) remains the minimum eligibility for recruitment and appointment as Assistant Professors in universities, colleges, institutions, etc. However, there are two exceptions. One, candidates who have been awarded the Ph.D. in accordance with the UGC regulations are exempted from NET, SET or SLET condition for recruitment. Two, those who cleared UGC-CSIR JRF examination prior to 1989 are exempted from NET requirement.

There is no upper age limit for applying for Assistant Professorship. But in the case of JRF, the upper age limit is 28 years as on June 1, 2012. A relaxation up to five years is provided to candidates belonging to SC, ST, OBC (non-creamy layer), PH, VH categories, woman applicants and those candidates having research experience.

UGC is conducting NET and JRF in 94 subjects in Humanities, including Applications, Electronic Science, Commerce, Management, Tourism, etc. Candidates are advised to appear in the subject of their postgraduation only. However, the candidates whose postgraduation subject is not covered in the list of 94 subjects identified by UGC may appear in a related subject. For example, the Department of Commerce may be offering a two-year post-graduation programme in Banking, Finance and Insurance (MBFI) and this is not included in the list of 94 subjects. Hence, MBFI holders can appear for the test in Commerce subject (Code No. 08).

The test for determining the eligibility of candidates for the award of JRF and Assistant Professorship in other science subjects such as Chemical Sciences, Life Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physical Sciences, etc., is conducted jointly with the CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research).

NET aspirants facing glitches applying online

Postgraduates aspiring to appear for the National Eligibility Test (NET) for junior research fellowship and lectureship conducted by the University Grants Commission (UGC) are finding it difficult to submit their applications online at http:--www.ugcnetonline.in-

The deadline for submitting the applications is May 4. The test is scheduled for June 24, 2012.Aspirants here have been thronging Internet cafés to apply, but are returning disappointed. Prasad, who runs an Internet café in Hassan, said he had been trying to fill out applications of 30 aspirants for the last couple of days, but in vain. “The UGC server is not supporting. I have been trying (to fill out applications) even during late night, but with no luck,” he said.
Registration Aspirants have to first register at http:--www.ugcnetonline.in- and get a password.

“Getting the password itself has become a Herculean task… even if we managed that, sometimes we can't download the filled out application, admission card and attendance slip, and have to start the process of filling out the application all afresh,” Mr. Prasad said.

Dileep Kumar, a postgraduate in Journalism and Mass Communication, has been trying in vain to apply online for NET for the last one week.“Submitting applications online is easy if the website is active all the time ... I even tried to submit the application during late night assuming that there will be less traffic. But it was of no use,” he said.
The UGC had announced April 30 as the last day for submitting the applications. However, it extended the deadline to May 4 in view of the difficulties being faced by some aspirants. Those who deposit the fee in a bank account specified by the UGC by May 2 can submit the applications online up to May 4 midnight. The candidates have to submit the hard copies of the applications to the chosen centre by May 10.

Aspirants here are hoping that the UGC would fix the problems at the earliest and extend the deadline further.

Theft, CET tuition almost took Bangalore girl’s life

Hospital with a broken spine, and is facing the possibility of losing both her legs.
Manisha’s parents told DNA she was interested in doing BSc-MSc and not engineering, medicine or dental courses for which the CET is required.

“The administration gave us time to pay the tuition fees in three instalments,” Manisha’s mother Kasturi said. However, the family was going through a financial crisis. Two months ago, their house was burgled, with the thieves escaping with Rs3 lakh, which Manisha’s father, Nagaraj, had procured as loan from a moneylender to start a business.
Family members said Manisha, the only child of her parents, felt trapped between having to pay such a huge amount—a burden on her father—or, facing expulsion from the college which had made the tuitions mandatory for all II PU science students.

“She was afraid that the college would issue her a transfer certificate, like it had decided to do with three other students who did not want the CET tuitions,” said Kasturi.

“If it had not been for the high (CET) tuition fees, there would have been no problem. Since they had to pay double the amount, it got delayed,” one of Manisha’s relatives told DNA.

Rashmi V Mahesh, commissioner, PU Education Board, said: “Under no circumstances can a college administration make coaching compulsory for students. The parents should lodge a police complaint if the college administration threaten to issue transfer certificate.” She said the department would conduct a detailed inquiry into the incident.

But Surana College principal BN Chandrashekarappa denied that CET tuitions were made compulsory for II PU students. “Extra classes are being taken up for students. Instead of going elsewhere, they can study in the campus. Some students are not interested in taking up CET, but the classes are useful for them in the view of the annual examinations.”
He said he would meet Manisha and her family at the hospital on Wednesday.

UGC NET website working but slow

New Delhi: The site for online registration for the University Grants Commissions (UGCs) National Eligibility Test (NET) aspirants at www.ugcnetonline.in is up and running as IBNLive checked out on the morning of May 3. This is the first time that UGC has started accepting applications online.

Candidates attempting to enroll themselves on the site had experienced problems on May 2 which a UGC spokesperson attributed to unprecedented heavy traffic. The site, even though working on May 3, was very slow but worked through the first three steps.

The deadline for submitting online application is till midnight, May 4. Candidates who are applying by submitting hard copies of forms and documents can apply till May 10. The format of the examination has also changed this year. The test will only include objective questions and the system of negative marking has been done away with.

NET applicants rush slows UGC portal, deadline extended

New Delhi: Students applying for the University Grants Commission-National Eligibility Test (UGC-NET) examination, scheduled to be held on June 24, have been facing problems while registering for the exam on the website. Many have complained that the website does not accept new applications.

The deadline for online registration, which initially was April 30, was first extended to May 2 and then May 4, following several complaints from applicants. UGC Secretary Surinder Singh said 3,79,000 candidates had successfully registered online until 5 pm on April 30. However, due to the last minute rush, the UGC site seems to have slowed down, causing difficulties to prospective candidates, he said.

Following this, the deadline was revised.We have been receiving complaints from applicants across the country. There is no technical error in the website, just that the last minute rush to register creates a problem, Singh said.

UGC NET 2012: Application date extended to May 2

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has postponed the last date of online applications for National Eligibility Test (NET) 2012 from April .

The decision to postpone the date was made because of technical errors. According to reports, the UGC website kept on crashing making it impossible for students to register online.

Students, however, do not see the extended period as a benefit as the link is still problematic. Some have said that logging on continuously is a waste of their time and for those logging in at internet cafes, a waste of money.

This is not the first time that students sitting for NET have experiencing problems applying online. In 2011, the UGC website was down for hours and kept on crashing at regular intervals.

Students, who have prepared for the exam, are worried that they will not be able to sit for NET 2012 as the website is down.

Officials were quoted as saying that they were not aware of the site crashing but claimed that it could be because of the large number of students trying to access the site.

TN on top with most number of universities

COIMBATORE: It is not for nothing that Tamil Nadu is hailed as a hub for higher education. The State has the highest number of universities and university-level institutions in the country.

A brochure on higher education released by the University Grants Commission (UGC) shows that Tamil Nadu has 59 universities, including State-run, Centrally-funded and deemed universities. Surprisingly, Uttar Pradesh comes next with 58 universities followed by Rajasthan with 48.

Interestingly, the number of universities in the country has also increased exponentially, from just 30 in 1951 to 634 at the end of 2011. Of this, 297 are State-run institutions, 43 are Central universities and 65 are national niversity-level institutions. The rest (100) are private and deemed universities (129).

In fact, Tamil Nadu is the first in the country to have established exclusive universities for sports education (established during the AIADMK regime) and Teachers Education (established during the DMK regime) in the past decade, an official in the State Higher Education Department pointed out. Recently, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa announced that an exclusive Fisheries University would be set up in the coastal Nagapattinam district, the official added.
Incidentally, a Horticulture University proposed in Krishnagiri district by the previous DMK government is in the nascent stage. Also, during her previous tenure, Jayalalithaa had promised to set up an exclusive Aviation University in Vellore, which did not materialise.

However, academics warn against getting carried away by mere numbers. We should not forget that Tamil Nadu also has the highest number — as many as 16 — deemed universities which have been blacklisted by an HRD Ministry review committee. This means only the remaining 13 deemed universities have made the grade, of which 11 have been granted time by the review panel to set right certain deficiencies within a timeframe, a senior academician said.

Some deemed universities like VIT, SASTRA, SRM, Sathyabama and Amrita, have, however, attracted global attention in recent times with research and academic collaboration with reputable institutions.UGC statistics also revealed that Maharashtra has the highest number of colleges — 4,631. Andhra Pradesh comes second with 4,066 colleges, followed by Uttar Pradesh with 3,859 colleges, as of 2011. Tamil Nadu has 2,267 colleges.

Students in state may evaluate teachers soon

KOLKATA: It has been a standard norm that teachers will rate students. But now, if the West Bengal Higher Education Council has its way, the students will get a scope to register their views on the teachers performance. The Council wants the state-aided universities and their affiliated colleges to introduce this system as a part of teacher evaluation.

Council chairman Sugata Marjit, in his letter to vice-chancellors on May 23, had instructed the institutes of higher learning to take the initiative to optimize the existing teaching resources. He wants the VCs and senior teachers to take the lead role in introducing the system without delay. Deferring such initiative will reflect very poorly on our intention to make the system more accountable, the chairman said in the letter.

The idea has been debated in Indian universities for over a decade. The University Grants Commission (UGC) floated the proposal as part of an objective assessment of teachers and work out indices for their self-development among others. However, the proposal has been staved so far based on apprehensions that it might lead to serious anomalies as students are not mature enough to judge the quality of teachers. Some teachers fear that in a highly unionized atmosphere students may give adverse ratings to teachers belonging to rival political affiliation.

Marjit, however, doesnt buy this logic. Recounting his teaching experience in India and abroad, Marjit in his letter wrote how universities in the US and large parts of Europe and Asia have introduced the system. I am aware of the general reluctance among teachers in our country about this system. But the anxiety doesnt go well with the general experience. The margin of error in judging the teachers ability by students should not be taken as an excuse to give the benefit of doubt to teachers alone, the chairman said.

Marjit also ruled out chances of political victimization. This is a lame excuse. I have many students who do not always subscribe to my views. But that does not prevent them from making a dispassionate assessment of my efforts in the classroom and accessibility outside, Marjit said. The Council has received suggestions from quite a few education experts, teachers and heads of institutions who want the system introduced in universities and colleges. I am not sure if the UGC made such a proposal earlier. I have made an appeal to the state institutions to give a serious thought to it. I believe that such a system would help creating a baseline of the basics of teaching that will enable teachers to hone their skills, Marjit said.

One such proposal is to develop an evaluation form to be distributed among final-year students containing some basic questions. For instance, a student may be asked whether the teacher is a regular in classroom, whether he is accessible outside the classroom or how far the student has benefited from his lecture. The focus is on student welfare. The evaluation, though not ultimate, can throw light on the teachers teaching ability that has not got due attention. The next step could be to utilise the data base in order to incentivise the teachers output, the chairman said.

The process has already found a mention in the Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme conducted in the engineering faculty of Jadavpur University. Some departments in arts faculty have also factored in this evaluation procedure, though not in the university as a whole. Jadavpur University Teachers Association secretary Partha Biswas welcomed the move, with riders though. I believe that the system once introduced will help in the self-development of teachers. However, the parameters of the evaluation need to be objective and based on the given situation in universities and colleges, Biswas said.

University gets UGC nod for think tank

ALLAHABAD: The department of defence and strategic studies of Allahabad University would soon be playing a major role as first of its kind of think tanks in the country. This follows the decision of the recent meeting of the University Grants Commission wherein such departments in five respective universities, ncluding that of AU, will soon be upgraded to department of national security studies.

These new departments of national security studies will also be started in another five varsities resulting in 10 such departments functioning in the country.The upgradation will help AUs department to start getting central support to undertake dedicated research and studies at post-graduate and doctoral levels aimed at enhancing opportunities for young scholars in policy-related national security studies and analysis.

It is pertinent to be mentioned that the UGC, in its latest meeting held in New Delhi has ratified the decision taken to accept the recommendations of the UGC Expert Committee for upgrading departments of defence and strategic studies to departments of national security studies, as per the advice of the Expert Committee set up by the Union ministry of human resource development

As per the minutes put up on the UGC website, the Commission has further decided that this upgradation may be supported during the XIIthPlan period and the support be extended to a maximum of 10 Universities in this mission during the XIIthFive Year Plan Period.

The expert committee set up by HRD Minister Kapil Sibal at the behest of the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has already recommended strengthening and upgrading five existing university departments in the Allahabad, Madras, Pune, Punjab and Manipur Universities to departments of national security studies and opening of new departments in Universities at Goa, Thiruvananthapuram, Jammu and Hyderabad.

The upgradation initiative by the MHRD and the UGC is being implemented owing to the fact that national security as a discipline and autonomous subjects are not finding a rightful place in higher education in Indian universities, even though international security receives far greater attention.

Moreover, the focus of majority of courses on offer is on military issues rather than issues dealing with comprehensive national security. The MHRD expert committee had found just about three departments of defence and strategic studies (at Madras, Allahabad and Pune Universities) out of 29 functional in various universities in the country to be functioning effectively in relation to their charter.

Commenting on the issue, the head of AUs defence studies department Prof RK Upadhyay said that this would pave way for his department to comprehensively study various aspects of national security and contribute to the nations cause. We are already carrying out various researches of national importance and the upgradation along with financial support will further help us in our research activities, he added.

The Allahabad University took the lead in introducing defence studies as a subject in 1940 at the initiative of Dr AN Jha, the then Vice-Chancellor. The department started teaching the subject at postgraduate and research level in 1965.
The courses in defence studies at the University were drafted and improved from time to time in consultation with Prof Michael Howard of All Souls College, Oxford, England, Prof N Gibbs, distinguished Professor of Military History, Oxford, England, Prof Headley Bull of Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, Prof LW Martin of Kings College, London, Prof Sisir Gupta, Prof MS Agwani, Prof MS Venkatramani besides distinguished scholars of psychology, economics, international relations, international law, mathematics, physics and operational research and experts from the United Services Institute, National Defence College and Ministry of Defence.

Summary: University Grants Commission (UGC), New Delhi Delhi website, mobile, contact address and approval / recognition details.