Failed to Promote Excellence in Education

Academicians have pointed out that on various issues like controlling ill-equipped deemed universities and regulations pertaining to faculty appointment, the UGC has failed to fulfil its mandate.

Former Vice-Chancellor of Anna University, E Balagurusamy, said, “Not even a single Indian university found a place in the list of top 500 universities in the world. The UGC should be held responsible for this as it has failed to concentrate on quality of higher education, either in faculty or Vice-Chancellor appointment or in curriculum development.”

“The UGC was not able to control or take action against erring universities. Even if the universities had failed to follow regulations framed by the apex body, it was not able to take action,” Balagurusamy, who is a former member of Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), said.

“In 1991, the UGC came up with a regulation by which appointment of faculty should be done through a National Eligibility Test (NET). But, the apex body exempted MPhil and PhD degree holders from appearing for NET. Because of this, only 15 per cent of candidates who cleared NET/SLET were able to get faculty appointment,” rued S Swaminathan, founder secretary, NET SLET Association.

Though the UGC has taken over the Distance Education Council, it had failed to control universities from offering distance education programmes outside their jurisdiction, he added.

Another senior academician from the Western region said, “The UGC has not brought in international benchmarking in curriculum construction, teaching-learning methods or students assessment tools in the last 60 years. Very good practices followed elsewhere was not discussed and adopted by the apex regulatory body. It has also failed in its responsibility of playing a major role in management of information system for mid-course correction or promoting relevant research.”

The apex body has failed in promoting excellence in education, research and extension activity in higher education institutions.

Academicians have also highlighted the fact that the UGC has failed in taking action against Deemed Universities which were blacklisted by the Tandon Committee in 2009, and was pulled up by the Supreme Court for its failure to conduct physical inspection.

The four-year degree programme offered by the Delhi University created a controversy as it violated national policy on education, which advocated 10 + 2 + 3 pattern and academics blame UGC for allowing the universities to start such a programme.

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