The recent government ordinance changing the eligibility criteria for the members of governing bodies of universities has left academicians wondering if there are enough people to fulfill the new criteria.
Governing bodies of universities like the senate, management council and academic council decide on all matters. Academic members of these bodies should now have a minimum qualification of Ph.Ds.
Earlier, all teachers and principals could be part of these bodies if they had the required experience of either five or 15 years.
While teachers and principals have to hold Ph.Ds, deans of faculty will also have to have at least three of their papers published in known national or international journals. They will also have to be Ph.D guides for students doing their thesis. Even representatives from college managements will have to be from recognised and accredited institutes with 10 years’ experience.
“While publications will ensure that teachers take their research seriously one has to consider that getting a paper published in a reputed journal is a long procedure that can take up to two years. Also there are not enough Ph.D guides in affiliated colleges,” said Uday Mashelkar, principal of Patkar College and senate member.
Other members of the senate feel that the senate is a public body and effectiveness of a candidate should be considered instead of qualification.
“We will voice our reservations. The senate does not deliberate on academic issues only. It is an administrative body that looks into the budget and other university issues. The education minister or principal secretary do not need Ph.Ds,” said Madhu Paranjapee, a teacher representative in the senate.
The deans of faculty feel that the move will help elevate the university’s status. “This ordinance falls in line with the national and international trend of promoting research. Even the sixth pay commission emphasises on this,” said Parvathi Venkatesh, dean of faculty, Arts.
But, the students, for who all the changes have been made have only one thing to say. “Ph.D or not, we want representatives who are active and care about our issues. It is not the qualification alone but the passion they have for the welfare of students,” said Abhijit Phanse, president, Bhartiya Vidyarthi Sena.