Government moves to strengthen quality of higher education

December 16th, 2008 - 11:42 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 16 (IANS) The central government has taken a number of measures to attract young and talented people to the teaching profession to strengthen the quality of higher education in the country, parliament was informed Tuesday. “One of the critical factors affecting the quality of universities and institutions imparting higher education, is our inability to attract and retain young and talented persons to the teaching profession, leading over a period of time to shortage of teachers in central as well as state universities and other higher educational institutions,” Minister of State for Human Resource Development (HRD) D. Purandeswari said in a statement in the Lok Sabha.

She said the cabinet Monday approved an Empowered Committee’s proposals based on the recommendations of the Pay Review Committee for university teachers. G.K.Chadha, a member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, headed the Pay Review Committee.

Explaining the important features of the revised pay scales and service conditions for teachers, Purandeswari said: “No one shall be eligible to be appointed, promoted or designated as professor unless he or she possesses a Ph.D. and satisfies other academic conditions, as laid down by the University Grants Commission (UGC).”

“This shall, however, not affect those who are already designated as professor,” she added.

This apart, there would, henceforth, be only three designations - assistant professors, associate professors and professors - for teachers in universities and colleges.

“For the first time, posts of professors shall be introduced in both under-graduate (UG) and post-graduate (PG) colleges. The number of posts of professors in UG colleges shall be 10 percent of the number of posts of associate professors. There shall be as many posts of professors in PG Colleges as the number of departments,” Purandeswari said.

Through these measures, she said the government “has begun a process of restoring the dignity and pride in being associated with the teaching profession.”

The minister, however, lamented that approximately 25 percent of teachers’ posts in central universities and constituent colleges were lying vacant.

“Vacancies in teaching posts in state-level institutions are known to be even higher,” Purandeswari said.

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