Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Change V-C selection process

Change V-C selection process

Dr J D Bapat

The Maharashtra Governor S C Jamir—as the chancellor of state universities—has called for a systemic overhaul in the appointment process of university vice-chancellors. Instead of a selection process he described as "politicized'', Jamir recommended that a group of eminent academicians must select vice-chancellors. The Governor was in Chandrapur on, 19 Jan 2009, Monday to inaugurate a state level principals' forum.

The quality of governance of many educational institutions in the state is a cause for concern. In many states, university appointments, including that of V-Cs, have been politicized.

Currently, a university vice-chancellor is appointed by the chan
cellor on recommendations of a committee consisting of representatives from the government, from the university academic council and management council, among others.

When the scholars choose the vice-chancellor, universities would see a qualitative difference in their functioning. We do not have a dearth of talented people for the posts in our uni
versities. To ensure that we get the best persons to run our universities, it is necessary to take a re-look at the composition of the appointment committee.

There are growing concerns about the large number of teaching faculty positions that remain vacant in the universities
and colleges. This has considerably paralysed some of our reputed institutions. The recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission have made teaching more attractive, offering good pay scales to the teachers. If the young and bright minds are to be attracted to join the profession, enough opportunities should be made available for growth. One of the reasons for the vacant teaching positions in the higher educational institutions is the perpetual reservations. When the teachers are not available in the "reserved" category, the vacancy should become "open" after certain time period. The qualified teachers draw job satisfaction, when teaching is accompanied by the research (as in IITs). Therefore research funding for the universities need to be increased substantially.

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