A minimum of 55 per cent marks at the Masters level for direct teaching recruitment, a compulsory PhD to be promoted as associate professor and no study leave to pursue PhD — these are some of guidelines in the University Grants Commission (UGC) 2018 draft regulations on minimum qualification for appointment of teachers and other academic staff in universities and colleges.
Delhi University teachers, however, said the draft regulations are “extremely retrograde” as they envision a screening process for appointment of teachers as well as their promotion. In particular, teachers have objected to the minimum 55% marks at Masters level for direct recruitment for general category candidates. There is, however, a 5 per cent relaxation for reserved category candidates.
According to the regulations, a candidate who scored 80% marks at the undergraduate level will get 20 points, those with 60-80% marks will get 19 points and those who scored less than 55% get no points.
“What will happen to those teachers who have been teaching on a contract/ad hoc basis and have graduated a long time ago? Also, the marks of two universities cannot be compared. These screening guidelines are not acceptable,” said Sujit Kumar, a teacher at the department of commerce, B R Ambedkar College.
Teachers are also worried as PhD has been made compulsory for a promotion to associate professor post, and to move to a level 12 pay grade (increment on basic pay from Rs 7,000-8,000). As per the earlier guidelines, teachers said they needed 12 years of teaching experience as an assistant professor to be promoted to associate professor. The regulation also states that taking study leave for PhD will not be counted as teaching experience.
“This provision is very retrograde as it will take away seniority and deprive a teacher of three years’ increment. Everyone knows that the first year of PhD is a full-time course,” Kumar said. However, the draft regulations have done away with the Academic Performance Indicator (API) score till the post of assistant professor. Introduced in 2011, the API has been a bone of contention among teachers, who have been calling for its removal.
“There is apprehension among teachers as the draft regulations talk about the exemption and not relaxation from the API system. It is a cause for worry, as there is a retrospective implementation of the point system,” said Rajesh Jha, a political science teacher at Rajdhani College and an executive council member.