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UGC to review appointment entry point for teachers; API needs alternative, say academicians

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The Times of India | Kolhapur |

KOLHAPUR: The ministry of human resource development has formed a committee under former University Grants Commission (UGC) chairman Arun Nigavekar to review and suggest alternatives and improvement for the Academic Performance Indicator (API), a mandatory requirement for universities to select and promote faculty members.  The panel will also review the exemption to PhD candidates from clearing the national eligibility test as eligibility criteria for the entry point for the teachers’ appointment. Considering the increasing number of teachers’ vacancies in universities and colleges, the ministry has decided to review the situation and sought the opinion of universities, research institutions and public by September 20.

The advertisement stated that the central government and the UGC have laid down various provisions to regulate the teachers and academic staff in universities and colleges and their career advancement in UGC-funded institutions. “However, the continuing vacancies in central government-funded institutions are a matter of concern as these universities and colleges have to discharge their role as pace setting institutions in their area of operation.” It added that the government has received recommendations regarding the scheme of academic and research requirements governing direct recruitment and career advancement of teachers in universities and colleges. In the interest of attracting and retaining talent and selecting the most meritorious to the teaching profession, the central government has constituted a committee under the chairmanship of Arun Nigavekar.

The committee will evaluate the API scheme with regard to the entry point and suggest suitable improvements. The members will also evaluate the PhD/NET qualifications for entry of teachers and suggest a policy for selections. Speaking to TOI, Nigavekar said that a preliminary meeting of the members was conducted few weeks back during which it was decided to invite the feedback from the universities and colleges on the issue. “Teachers’ vacancies and the eligibility criteria is a complex issue and needs to be handled carefully without disturbing the quality. We are looking at uniformity in all academic institutions, and for it, we need to create a national strategy to achieve the solution,” he said. He added that the committee’s next meeting is likely to be conducted in the first week of October and the recommendations are likely to be drawn by October end. The API system was introduced in 2010, but its received wide criticism across the country for allegedly allowing favouritism and benefitting a select few. The UGC had almost scrapped the API in 2012, however, it was retained after the ministry’s intervention in 2013. The argument for scrapping the API was that the strict but inflexible parameters were holding up appointments and worsening teacher vacancies across universities. – Courtesy

API needs alternative, say academicians : The Times of India |

KOLHAPUR: Academicians at the Shivaji University, Kolhapur, and its affiliated colleges are of the opinion that the Academic Performance Indicator (API) may not be the best way to way to gauge a candidate’s eligibility. They say this may help the University Grants Commission tackle the increasing number of vacancies in universities and colleges.  After the UGC issued the ad on the issue last week, academicians said that the API works better for those who have better research scores. Kranti Kumar Patil, President, Shivaji University Principals’ Association (SUPA), told TOI, “API score is determined by a candidate’s various academic activities. These activities include experience and participation of the candidate in the publication of research papers, conferences attended, books written. It also covers other academic activities during his/her academic career. One way or another, it favours those who have better scientific credentials.”

But according to Patil, the API does not come in handy for a post like a principal. “A principal has to take care of various administrative responsibilities. How does an API score help there? We need a system that balances the eligibility criterion and eliminates favouritism.” He said that with the strict eligibility criteria of at least 400 marks in the API, various posts, especially those of principals, are lying vacant across the country.  A teacher from a city-based college said that the UGC should exempt PhD holders from NET, when it comes to the appointments of teachers. An August 2013 report from the SUK’s Director Board of College and University Development (BCUD) office said that in the division, out of a total of 280 colleges, 27 grant colleges were operating without a principal and 78 colleges did not have the post then. As per SUK officials, the situation has not improved much and most of the colleges have to rely on the acting principal for official communications. – Courtesy


1 Comment

  1. Sarwat says:

    API is quantitative and does not assess the qualitative aspects. Quantity does not yield quality has been the experience in the past.

    Any scheme when it is implemented it has to be reviewed for the results it has produced. In this case the appointments that have been made through API, need to be assessed.

    API has bred corruption into the system. It has opened the market for collecting points. It favors those who opt to be dishonest.

    API in itself is fine but should not be the limiting factor to face the selection committee. APi shall be considered by the selection committee to assess the previous work and simultaneously assess candidates performance through discussions. Work should not be assessed on the basis of amount of the project.

    We follow the policies of west for running our institution why not. in case of selection committee. One selection committee is not sufficient to judge, candidate has to interact with faculty, with students and on the basis of collective decision the appointment is made.

    The decision to assess through the contributions through out career make sense instead of period wise. API has led the teachers to work only on those aspects which fetch them points and neglect other kind of work which is equally important. Teachers who can not write a sentence have published books. Books fetch most marks, and thus are most popular activity.

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