UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Monday announced that the SP Government would soon fill up the 4,000-odd posts of university teachers, which had been lying vacant for a while now.
Addressing the two-day meeting of the vice-chancellors of the state’s 24 varsities convened by Governor B L Joshi in his capacity as chancellor Akhilesh, who also holds the Higher Education portfolio, said that 41 new degree colleges will be established in the mainly minority areas. The Chief Minister also pointed out that it was futile to draw parallels with the Western varsities on the quality of education since there was a paucity of teachers at the state’s universities. According to him, some of the hurdles encountered in the recruitment of the teachers on account of the UGC restrictions had been done away with and this would help to smoothen the hiring process.
And Akhilesh said the lack of adequate representation of minorities in the higher education , medical and other professional institutes would be addressed by setting up the degree colleges. The Governor, who was the chief guest, appealed to the academicians to do a bit of introspection in order to find out the actual reasons for the ills plaguing the state’s higher education sector. And he said that it was up to the varsities to decide on whether there should be a uniform syllabus or to continue with the existing system. Besides, Joshi focused on the quality of research and the steps to improve the teaching standards. Higher Education Principal Secretary, Neeraj Gupta called for a review of the varsities’ fee structure and the courses offered and said there was an urgent need to keep pace with the changing times. He also raised questions over the employability of the students passing out from the universities and said surveys had revealed that only 25 per cent of the students were found to be employable.
Secretary to Governor, Rajiv Kapoor cautioned the vice-chancellors about the large-scale irregularities and frauds being committed in some of the varsities under the guise of research and accreditation by the national agencies. He specifically mentioned the Agra University for the irregularities in Ph Ds and urged the VCs to ensure that such frauds did not occur in their respective varsities.
The VCs, for their part, avoided direct criticism of the state government. Nonetheless, they lamented the fact that while on the one hand the government was talking about improving the quality of teaching, the minimum qualification of the teachers was being compromised.
They were referring to a recent directive by the SP Government, which stated that only a Second Division pass in the PG was sufficient and not the minimum 50 per cent cut off specified in the selection of teachers for the universities. The VCs opined that such populist measures in the higher education must be avoided .