NEW DELHI: A government-appointed panel has recommended introducing changes in the way vice-chancellors and faculties are appointed. A committee headed by former Indian Institute of Science director P Balram, which was tasked with suggesting ways to improve quality of research in institutes of higher education, has suggested that the Centre as well as states “must seriously review the mechanism by which vice-chancellors are appointed”.
The committee, in its report to the UGC that has now been released in public domain for feedback, has suggested that political appointments at VC level are hampering research scenario in universities.
As per the current practice, VCs of central universities and IIT directors are appointed after approval from the Visitor — the President of India — after a selection panel headed by HRD minister makes the recommendations. In universities funded by state governments, the respective government sets up search committees, approves the recommendations and sends them to the governor, who is the chancellor.
When contacted to elaborate on the suggestion, Balram explained that the VC appointments are often “political, which is detrimental in the long run”. “There have been many controversial appointments recently and it’s not good,” he said. Educationists said the committee should have suggested a structure to achieve that.