IN A recent communication sent to Panjab University by the University Grants Commission (UGC) for implementation of promotion policy for teachers, the UGC has issued a directive stating that all promotions made at the university in contravention of the prescribed regulations be immediately reviewed and corrected.
Failure to review these promotions done since July 2013 could result in stoppage of grants to the university, the directive states.
As per the new system of promotion introduced by the UGC under its Career Advancement Scheme (CAS), after June 13, 2013, all teacher appointments were to be made on the basis of Academic Performance Index (API) and capping. However, over the years, nearly 50 promotions have been made which will now be reviewed, and over 200 teachers/staff members have been recruited at PU under CAS.
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As per the UGC directive, all teacher appointments and promotions made without implementation of API and capping system must now be reviewed. The letter has been issued on the basis of the observations on the implementation of the CAS at Panjab University made by the Local Audit Department of the UT Administration. In 2015, the UT Finance Department had also issued a notice to PU for flouting the CAS norms for appointments and promotions. The administration also highlighted that the university had failed to review all the appointments and promotions by October 31, 2014, which was the deadline set by the UGC for review of these cases after the new API system was enforced.
The UGC (Minimum Qualifications for Appointment of Teachers and other Academic Staff in Universities and Colleges and Measures for Maintenance of Standards in Higher Education) Regulations, 2013 (2nd amendment) came into effect from July 24, 2013. As per the regulations, the overall selection procedure of candidates must be done after an analysis of merits and credentials, which should be based on weightage given to the candidate’s performance on the basis of his/her academic performance indicators. As per the new criteria, 30 per cent weightage is given to research papers, 25 per cent to research publications, 20 per cent weightage for research projects, 10 per cent for research guidance and 15 per cent weightage must be given for training courses and conferences.
Having received the directive from the UGC, the PU authorities have stated that a special committee has been formed to review the appointments, and the issue will also be presented before the Syndicate in its meeting on May 1. “Now all the cases will be reviewed, and in this context, the Dean University Instructions will soon convene a meeting of all those who were promoted after June 13, 2013 without API and capping,” stated Professor Akshaya Kumar, president of Panjab University Teachers’ Association.
Kumar maintains that PU was being singled out due to some ongoing murky politics. “What about the other universities in the region, and other colleges in Chandigarh where the API and capping has not been implemented? The UGC has not raised questions over appointments made at these institutions since the enforcement of the new norms,” he said.