Deccan Herald | Prakash Kumar, Dec 12, 2016, New Delhi, DHNS |
Education regulator seeks to withdraw UPA programme, Faculty Recharge Programme (FRP),
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has scrapped a programme to recruit qualified faculty from abroad to meet the shortage at higher educational institutions in India.
The higher education regulator at its meeting recently decided to “withdraw” the Faculty Recharge Programme (FRP), launched by the UPA government in 2011, as many of those appointed to universities in different parts of the country were complaining of various problems, particularly irregular payment of salaries and other emoluments. Many of the universities did not accept the programme “in its true spirit and showed their reluctance to “accept the faculties” hired through a rigorous procedure under the scheme, official sources told DH. About 200 faculty members were hired under the programme to teach at various universities and colleges across the country since it was rolled out in 2011. Most of the recruits were persons of Indian origin. “Those already recruited will continue to work as per the terms and conditions of their appointments. The commission, however, will not accept any new application from the candidates under the programme. The programme has been withdrawn prospectively,” a source said.
An empowered committee on basic scientific research of the UGC recently discussed the commission’s decision to scrap the programme and recommended that the FRP should be “revisited and re-casted in a new avatar”. At its meeting, the committee, headed by All India Council for Technical Education chairman Anil Sahasrabudhe, noted that the FRP programme brought many “talented people (faculty)” to India and helped promote research and teaching in the universities and institutes of higher learning.
“The committee appreciated the role played by the programme by providing skilled manpower in science research and teaching despite initial hiccups. It also noted that many universities have been strengthened because of the faculties hired under the programme,” an official source said. Taking note of the problems faced by the faculties recruited under the programme, the panel recommended for reframing of the service and promotion rules. “It noted that there was enough demand of such faculties even now,” the source said. The “best course” for the UGC could have been to modify the programme and plug the loopholes, instead of scrapping it, the sources added. – Courtesy