After getting exemption from reservation, the minority institutions now may not have to follow the University Grants Commission’s regulation for appointment of teachers. If this happens, thousands of institutions having minority tag like St Stephens, Loyola College and St Xaviers would have much more freedom than conventional colleges to appoint staff.
The commission at its meeting on June 18 and 19 discussed the possibility, but no final decision could be reached.
Commission officials said the final view on the issue would be taken at the next commission meeting.
The move has evoked strong reaction from academicians. “The minority status is meant to allow access to education to a larger number of minority students and does not provide licence to compromise standards by appointing unqualified teachers and principals,” S.S. Rathi, member of Delhi University court, said. An official of the National Commission for Minority Education institutions was of the view that any relaxation to minority institutions should be for infrastructural needs and not on the quality of education.
But, the UGC has other ideas. Its agenda note for the meeting asked the commission to consider that minority institutions should be kept outside the purview of UGC’s regulations on minimum qualification for appointment of staff to enable minority institutions to make appointments of their choice.
The issue came before the commission on the behest of HRD minister Arjun Singh to whom principal of Loyola College, Chennai, Fr A.J. Albert Muthumala had made a request to give exemption to minority institutions from UGC regulations on appointments.
The principal wrote to Singh that inability to appoint staff on their own choice is an infringement upon minority rights and therefore, minority institutions should be kept outside the purview of UGC regulations. He found the UGC stipulation of having a Vice-Chancellor’s nominee of the affiliating university in the selection committee to appointment of teachers as the biggest stumbling block in appointment of teachers of their own choice.