HRD ministry asks 11 varsities to address crucial gaps in first ever performance audit
The vcs of central universities of Gujarat, Jharkhand, Kashmir, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Orissa, Sikkim participated in the review. So did the heads of North-Eastern Hill University, Indira Gandhi National Tribal University (Madhya Pradesh) Mahatma Gandhi Central University in Bihar’s Motihari and Guru Ghasidas Vishwavidyalaya or GGV (Chhattisgarh).Updated: Dec 25, 2018 12:34 IST
In its first-ever performance audit of 11 central universities, the Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry on December 15 asked them to address their crucial gaps by focusing on employment-oriented courses in some cases, strengthening infrastructure in others, hiring faculty, administrative officers, and statutory functionaries in still others.
“The ministry, UGC [the University Grants Commission, which regulates higher education] and the central varsities signed memorandums of understanding [MOUs] regarding key parameters [for the assessment] earlier this year,” a government official said.
Union education minister Prakash Javadekar had ordered the review, the official said.
“This was the first review on the basis of these parameters. The universities have drawn a roadmap about the areas in which their performance needs to be improved,” he added.
The vice-chancellors of central universities of Gujarat, Jharkhand, Kashmir, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Orissa, Sikkim participated in the review. So did the heads of North-Eastern Hill University, Indira Gandhi National Tribal University (Madhya Pradesh) Mahatma Gandhi Central University in Bihar’s Motihari and Guru Ghasidas Vishwavidyalaya or GGV (Chhattisgarh).
The official said the vice-chancellors made presentations at the December 15 meeting. Suggestions regarding the areas in which more was required were made after the presentations, he added. “For instance, some of the universities have not filled up key posts like that of registrars or controller of examinations… [They] have been asked to do so.” The secretary (higher education) R Subramanyam and UGC chief D P Singh led the review.
The official added the GGV was asked to fill up statutory posts such as that of the controller of examination and the finance officer and to also focus on starting vocational courses. The focus was on the need to start employment-oriented courses in case of Ranchi’s Central University of Jharkhand too. Dharamshala’s Central University of Himachal Pradesh was asked to appoint key officials such as the librarian and a financial officer. The utilisation of a new campus was discussed in the case of the Central University of Kashmir.
The MOUs regarding the review signed with the varsities include 14 performance parameters, output targets and programmes of work.
The official said 39 central universities have signed such agreements. “There will be a review of the remaining varsities as well. The varsities will be asked to set their own targets and then the progress can be followed up in consultations with them.”
The Delhi University is the only institution among the 40 central varsities under the UGC’s purview that has not signed the pact yet. It is yet to get its executive committee approve the signing of the MoU.
Former UGC member Inder Mohan Kapahy called the review essential and desirable. “However, it is to be recognised that central universities differ widely in terms of resources, history, accessibility, ready availability of competent academic and administrative personnel. The HRD ministry should make special provisions for new central universities.”