On the annual convocation day of the University of Mumbai, University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman Sukhadeo Thorat said Maharashtra must remove all restrictions on teacher recruitment.
Currently, the state allows only 50 per cent of open posts to be filled forcing colleges to recruit teachers on ad-hoc and contract basis.
“Our research shows that 50 per cent of colleges and 40 per cent of universities are functioning with temporary teachers. Quality faculty is a critical element of higher education and Maharashtra should aspire to reach the UGC recommended teacher-student ratio,” he said.
Thorat requested the state to match up to the commitment of the Centre towards higher education. “If the Centre has increased higher education allocation by nine times, the state should at least increase it eight times.”
“The Sixth Pay Commission has given teachers a good deal and matched the salaries of PhD holders to IAS officers at the entry level. I hope in Maharashtra the same has been implemented,” he added. The 11th five-year plan allocated Rs 40,000 crore to higher education, an increase from the Rs 4,000 crore in the 10th plan.
Thorat said: “We need to revive state universities as 60 per cent of the student output comes from there.”
More than 1.6 lakh degrees were conferred at the convocation, but only medal holders and toppers were awarded degree certificates. This is the first time that students will have to collect their certificates from their colleges, which will take another month.
The ceremony was disrupted by Bharatiya Vidyarthi Sena activists, who alleged that the varsity has printed only 30,000 degree certificates despite the delay in convocation.
The slogan-shouting activists went up to the podium and distributed leaflets before the police rounded them off.
“The university does not have a full time vice-chancellor and the additional VC does not have power to take any decisions. The prime minister talks of quality education but the University of Mumbai is only deteriorating,” said BVS president Abhijit Panse.
Controller of Examinations Vilas Shinde said all certificates have been printed and will begin dispatching them to colleges from Monday.