Himachal governor Kalyan Singh has instructed vice chancellors of the three state universities to reduce expenses incurred on official travel and avoid "unnecessary tours". In a letter circulated to the three vice chancellors on Wednesday, Singh, who is also the varsities' chancellor, said only tours related to university work would be approved.
The three universities are the University of Horticulture and Forestry at Solan, whose vice chancellor is Vijay Thakur, Himachal Pradesh University at Shimla and Himachal Pradesh Agriculture University at Palampur.
The governor issued the instructions after he rejected "inflated" travel bills submitted by two of the vice chancellors that had come to his notice. He also asked the vice chancellors to avoid making visits to private universities in Himachal and restrict travel outside the state. "It was observed some of the vice chancellors were touring unnecessarily. The circular has been issued to ensure they spend more time at the universities rather than travelling," said a government official who requested anonymity.
Singh had recently drawn up an eight-point action plan for effective functioning of state varsities. The plan encompasses all major academic activities including admissions, education, campus activities, examinations, checking exam papers, exam results, exam re-evaluation and medals.
An effective review mechanism and solutions for current problems have been ensured in the plan, which was formulated after detailed deliberations and study with the aim to improve the state's higher education system.
The plan provides for strict compliance with admission guidelines, similarity in syllabus, ensuring attendance of teachers and students, a healthy atmosphere on varsity campuses by dealing strictly with issues like ragging, anti social elements and sexual harassment by encouraging educational, sports and cultural activities besides checking cheating in examinations.
Singh has asked varsity administrations to ensure effective checking and re-evaluation procedures by maintaining quality. He suggested a centralised evaluation system besides reassessing honorarium for minimising errors and maintenance of secrecy in the procedure. He also underlined the need to improve the reevaluation system.