A day-long conference meant for vice-chancellors of central universities on sensitisation and promotion of equity in higher educational institutions had them under fire from the HRD minister for not performing up to the mark, sources said on Thursday.
The ministry had organised a conference of all central university VCs in Surajkund, Faridabad which was chaired by HRD minister Smriti Irani.
Sources said that the minister expressed her displeasure over the fact that most of the VCs had not responded to queries sent by her department for putting in place a grievance redressal mechanism.
Soon after the first session on sensitisation of administrators on issues faced by SC/ST began, Irani hit out at the officials and told them to set their house in order.
Addressing the VCs in her 15 minutes long speech, Irani asked them to perform better and scolded them for not responding to the queries sent by the ministry regarding appointment of ombudsman, equal opportunity cells as mandated by the University Grants Commission (UGC) among others.
Sources said that she even threw out a member of the faculty that had organised the event for attempting to take her picture. The minister was angry over delay in updating the curriculum and asked them to look into the issue immediately. She reprimanded a few VCs who had reportedly dozed off during one of the sessions too and scolded them for interrupting the presentations.
In the meeting it was decided that an anti-discrimination officer will be appointed in every university, a grievance redressal system will be put in place and new courses will be introduced on various subjects such as ‘inter-faith studies, dialogue of culture and civilizations, citizenship and value education among others.
To increase Gross Enrolment Ration in higher education from the existing 23.6% to 30% it has been decided to run evening colleges. Vice-chancellors and senior faculty members will be sent on a week long course on leadership and management at two select IIMs.