COIMBATORE: Adverting to the Shakespearean adage that Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has evolved a Policy on Conflict of Interest and Ethics and Code of Conduct for its members.
The code of conduct, which was approved at the UGC’s 484th meeting last month, urges members to make proactive voluntary disclosure on any post, employment or office of profit that the member or his/her immediate family holds in a university or college or any entity that falls under the jurisdiction of the UGC.
At its regular periodical meetings, the apex regulatory body for higher education takes vital decisions on a host of administrative and governance matters including sanctioning financial grants to an institution and awarding of deemed to be university status.
Therefore, the UGC has asked members to disclose any interest that may conflict with their duties when items on agenda are discussed at the meetings.
In such cases, the member may recuse himself from sitting at the meeting when the relevant agenda is taken up for decision.
The UGC code also encourages the public to bring to its notice any likely conflict of interest that a member might have when an agenda it taken up.
To ensure that personal interests do not clash with the administrative decisions, the UGC has restrained its members from applying for or receiving any research grant from the Commission or any regulated entity.
Besides, the members cannot accept any gift from any institution that is regulated by the UGC. During official visits to universities, the members should not accept “undue hospitality”. Routine hospitality such as “normal stay”, meals and refreshment can be accepted.