The University Grants Commission has agreed to review controversial regulations for the appointment of faculty at varsities and colleges in an admission that its norms — opposed by most universities — may be flawed.
The UGC on Wednesday formed a panel of experts to iron out anomalies in the regulations, days after Vice-Chancellors of central universities complained to Human Resource Development Minister Kapil SibalHuman Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal.
The three-member panel is headed by former Madras University Vice Chancellor S.P. Thyagarajan.
The UGC has also been flooded by complaints from aspiring teachers and researchers.
HT had reported first on August 25 on the V-Cs complaining that the UGC regulations were killing their attempts to hire faculty to fill large scale teacher vacancies.
The regulations mandate that only those holding PhDs meeting standards set in 2009 are eligible for any teaching post. According to estimates by academicians, this has left several thousand PhD holders across the country potentially ineligible for teaching jobs — for no fault of theirs.
"When these people were pursuing their PhD, the rules setting new standards weren't there. Now, their PhDs run the risk of being invalid. Why cannot the UGC enforce the new rules prospectively," a V-C questioned.
Another "anomaly" V-Cs have pointed out in the UGC regulations involves the requirement that even those applying for ad hoc posts must hold PhDs.
Ad hoc posts are created by universities precisely to get teachers when they are unable to find faculty meeting qualifications required for regular posts. If a PhD is required for adhoc posts, universities are unlikely to attract any teachers for these positions, the V-Cs have complained.
But the government will not find it easy to defer the implementation of the new regulations or the new PhD standards.
"If we defer the regulations by, say, a year or two years, we will have to be prepared for pressure from institutions after that time is over to once again defer it," an HRD ministry source argued.