‘Not cognate’: Consolidated PU centres want order revoked
Faculty members of the six PU centres have written to the varsity’s dean university instruction, stating that the term “cognate” does not fit for them, as they are divergent groups
The six centres of Panjab University (PU) that were brought under one umbrella by the university last week have sought immediate withdrawal of the consolidation circular.
Faculty members of the centres have written to the varsity’s dean university instruction (DUI), stating that the term “cognate” does not fit for them, as they are divergent groups.
PU had last week finalised the consolidation of these six centres and subsumed them under the Multidisciplinary Centre for Education and Research.
The centres include Centre for Social Work, Centre for Human Rights and Duties, Centre for Police Administration, department-cum-Centre for Women’s Studies and Development, University Institute of Fashion Technology and Vocational Development (UIFT & VD); and department of life-long learning and extension.
Consolidated on the recommendations of a university panel, all these centres are housed in the building of emerging areas on the varsity’s Sector-14 campus.
The chairperson of one of the centres said, “These centres are not cognate because they represent three different faculties – education, science and social science. Consolidation will take away the departments’ identity at a time when they need strengthening.”
The faculty members have also raised concerns regarding the nomenclature proposed for these centres, which they believe does not reflect their character. “These are key departments that can go a long way in carrying forward the spirit and agenda of the National Education Policy (NEP-2020) and the mandate of the University Grants Commission (UGC). They need to be strengthened by filling vacant posts,” said a faculty member.
Consolidate cognate depts: NAAC recommendation
In 2015, the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) had recommended consolidation of small cognate departments for effective and efficient teaching, learning and research. With the varsity gearing up for the next round of accreditation, authorities had earlier this year given the go-ahead for the merger of the six centres, a plan that had been on hold for several years.
The consolidation order issued by the DUI office recently said the move will facilitate sharing of physical and intellectual resources. “They can jointly offer value-added and skill-enhancement courses in addition to PhD course work,” the order stated.
However, the centres’ faculty members, who met on Wednesday, said the consolidation circular had adversely affected their morale. Minutes of their meeting were submitted to the DUI office.
On the varsity’s part, DUI Renu Vig said, “We will consider the concerns of the faculty members and a decision will be taken in consultation with them.”