Stressing the need for adapting to the changing higher education system across the country, the Panjab University Teachers’ Association (PUTA) has put forward recommendations for the re-structuring of the PU Senate and Syndicate.
Panjab University Teachers’ Association (PUTA) president Akshaya Kumar said, “Though the Senate has contributed a lot to the evolution of the university over the years, now it has become rather static. As the imperatives of higher education change and new challenges emerge, it demands innovation and professional expertise from the decision-makers. Therefore, we cannot afford to retain the given system of governance.”
For the upcoming meeting of the PU Syndicate on October 18, Kumar has moved a resolution proposing five amendments in the working of the PU Senate and Syndicate. The PUTA president added that as pointed out in the NAAC review, the university needed to undergo some structural reforms in its governance mechanism.
According to the proposal, each Senate member should be allowed to opt for one major and two minor faculties. “In the present scheme of things, a Senate member can opt for two major faculties out of the given five – languages, arts, science, law and medical sciences. These five faculties are so different that no one member can claim to contribute in two faculties with a fair degree of competence,” a PUTA release stated.
Explaining the reason for the proposed amendment, the release stated, “Senate members should opt for one major faculty, which ideally corresponds with his/her area of expertise/profession. Such a minor amendment would lend academic seriousness to the discussions in the Senate and the Syndicate.”
A proposal has also been put forward recommending that a Senator should not be allowed to be a member for more than two consecutive terms (eight years). Further it has also been proposed that if a Senator wants to come back to the Senate, she/he must wait for a minimum of two terms of the Senate.
It has also been suggested that for the election of Syndicate members, the faculties should constitute an electoral college. Also, in the election of an added member to any faculty, the added member must also be endorsed by at least one ex-officio member of the respective faculty.
“We should not equate Senate and Syndicate with Parliament/Assembly. It is a body that deals with issues of academic excellence. Therefore, in the days to come, we can allow this body to be monopolised by chosen individuals or groups for years together,” Kumar said.