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For quality, Panjab University (PU) to reward research published in ‘reputed’ journals

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The Times of India | Vishakha Chaman | TNN | February 3, 2016 |

CHANDIHARH: In an attempt to give impetus to quality research, Panjab University (PU) is going to institute incentives for teachers whose work gets published in ‘reputed’ journals. The university would ask its deans and department heads to draw a list of reputed journals from each discipline and then award the best publication from each discipline. “In order to encourage people to publish papers in good journals, we will give a list of recommended journals. Once we do that, we will have a reward system for them. They can use the incentive given to them in the form of cash to promote their career. The list of recommended journals is yet to be prepared,” said PU vice-chancellor Prof Arun Kumar Grover, adding that the university can’t instruct teachers to publish in specific journals as it falls under the jurisdiction of University Grants Commission (UGC).
The promotion of teachers from one grade to another is decided on academic performance indicator (API). Under career advancement scheme (CAS) promotions, API score has been fixed for three categories: Category I is teaching, learning and evaluation-related activities; Category II is co-curricular extension, and professional development-activities; and Category III is for research and academic contributions “When Prof Arun Nigvekar committee recently visited the university to seek inputs on API, we suggested that a lot of ‘spurious’ publications are going on and second and third grade journals have sprung up and it is a kind of a business,” said Panjab University Teachers’ Association (PUTA) president Akshaya Kumar.

Was taken up syndicate meeting

The matter was also taken up in the PU syndicate meeting held last month and it was decided that some kind of award will be given to the best publications from each discipline. “After it was pointed out in the meeting that in order to prevent any kind of mediocre stuff from getting published, it was decided that the deans shall meet to decide on drawing up a list of recognized publishers by the academic world so that the best publication from any discipline would get award and certain fixed amount of money,” said Shelly Walia, a PU professor.
Some oppose move

On one hand, when it is seen as an attempt to give boost to research in PU, some teachers are of the view that their workload should be less so that they can devote time to do good quality of research. “If the university wants its teachers to do good research, workload should be less. The university is introducing new courses, but recruitments have not been done. How can you expect teachers to invest time in research while doing the work they are supposed to do?” said Mohammed Khalid, a professor at department of evening studies and former PUTA president.   “The kind of scores that UGC demands is overambitious. Within a particular frame of time, serious teachers cannot meet those requirements. The current API scenario has triggered more non-serious research. It is not encouraging research but is counterproductive,” added Akshaya Kumar. – Courtesy


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