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UGC norms should be followed for VC appointments
21 Mar 2011

In Patna, even as the regular meetings of chief minister Nitish Kumar and HRD minister P K Shahi with governor-cum-chancellor Devanand Konwar has paved way for the appointment of new candidates as the vice-chancellors of five state universities  no foolproof mechanism has yet been devised at the highest level for ensuring appointment of only distinguished academics as the incumbents.

The appointment of VCs in state universities in recent years had  often became  controversial as  "undeserving" people occupied the coveted post resulting in such candidates to be found involved in irregularities of various nature and a few also sent to jail. 

Academics have pointed out that why the one in power oversee the guidelines framed by the UGC for appointment of VCs. The latest UGC regulations published on June 30 , 2010 clearly state that there should be a search committee for suggesting the names of new incumbents as VCs. The selection of VCs should be from a panel of three to five names suggested by the search committee. The members of the above search committee shall be persons of eminence in the sphere of higher education and shall not be connected in any manner with the university concerned or its colleges. While preparing the panel, the search committee must give proper weightage to academic excellence, exposure to the higher education system in the country and abroad, and adequate experience in academic and administrative governance. 

The UGC guidelines further suggest that the search committee should consist of a nominee each of the chancellor, UGC and the syndicate of the university concerned. The guidelines also elaborate on who should be considered a " distinguished academic" for the appointment of VC. Academic excellence of a teacher can well be judged by his academic performance indicator (API) and citation index scores. 

Academics feel that if these well-laid criteria are followed, the universities are bound to get good VCs, minimizing the chance of any controversy. 

[Source: Times of India]

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Dr. B. S. Chaudhary
22 Mar 2011

These should be made mandatory for all the state universities who are getting funding from the UGC. Moreover, there should be uniform norms/ criteria across the country not only in respect of the Vice Chancellors but also for teaching faculty regarding various academic issues related to their appraisal, promotions, recruitment and age of superannuation etc.