PhD must for college teachers' promotion

16/6/2018 232 Social Issues | Education | View Recent Current Affairs

  •  The University Grants Commission (UGC) has brought out a new set of regulations to alter the conditions for recruitment and promotion of college and university teachers, so as to make universities more focussed on research and colleges on the teaching-learning process.
  • Till now, college teachers who didn't have doctorate degrees could be promoted to associate professor based on their academic and research performance and interviews.

Important highlights:

  • The new regulations, prepared by the University Grants Commission, would supersede the earlier rules that made it mandatory for university and college teachers to pursue research.
  • According to the new norms, universities will be asked to recruit only PhD degree holders as assistant professors from the 2021 session.
  • Colleges, however, will have the liberty to recruit as assistant professors candidates who have either cleared the National Eligibility Test (NET) or State Level Eligibility Test (SLET) or hold a PhD degree.
  • The mandatory requirement of a PhD degree for hiring assistant professors in universities will make the NET and the SLET irrelevant for such posts.
  • But the NET will come into the picture when selecting candidates for fellowship programmes, such as the Junior Research Fellowship.
  • The new regulations will replace the Academic Performance Indicators (API) for promotion with a teacher evaluation grading system. Under this system, every teacher will be evaluated on teaching, extension and mentoring activities and their performance categorised as "satisfactory", "good" and "very good".
  • The proposed policy has not changed the required weekly 16 hours of teaching for assistant professors and 14 hours for associate professors and professors. But those pursuing research and involved in extension activities like community-related work will get up to two hours of relaxation from the required teaching hours.

Analysis:

  • Making research optional is a retrograde step. This will create separate cadres of college teachers and university teachers. It cannot be supported.
  • Also, there were not enough PhD degree holders from socially deprived sections like the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes. This decision will affect the interest of the deprived sections.
  • At one level the government wants PhD for promotion in colleges. Then it says research is optional. In DU, the majority of the research comes from colleges. Making research optional is a very bad move.
  • This decision leads to many college teachers to remain stuck at level 1 in the assistant professor rank for not having a doctorate degree.
  • The requirement of PhD for promotion is arbitrary. There are so many very good teachers who don't have a PhD.

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Simrandeep Dhaliwal. There are many well versed teachers who without holding PhD are excellent in teaching, because they have solid experience in this profession.

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