By: M.S.Yatnatti: Editor and Video Journalist Bengaluru: According to press rep[orts in a major setback to thousands of students who pursued engineering studies through correspondence courses offered by deemed universities in the last 16 years, the Supreme Court declared recently that the degrees were invalid, putting them at risk of losing jobs obtained on the basis of the certificates. A bench of Justices A K Goel and U U Lalit noted that the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) did not approve distance learning programmes in engineering studies and the approval granted by the Distance Education Council (DEC) for such courses was illegal.The SC decision exposes the extent to which the regulatory system was compromised as the courses were being run for more than a decade and a half without attracting serious scrutiny.The apex court directed the Centre to create an oversight mechanism to regulate deemed universities, saying that UGC completely failed to curb the commercialisation of education. It asked the go vernment to review the deemed university status of various institutions.The court adjudicated a bunch of petitions on the validity of correspondence courses of four deemed universities -JRN Rajasthan Vidyapeeth, Institute of Advanced Studies in Education in Rajasthan, Allahabad Agricultural Institute and Vinayaka Mission's Research Foundation in Tamil Nadu -which have been providing engineering education through correspondence since 2001 despite AICTE disapproval.The apex court restrained all deemed universities from offering correspondence courses without the approval of the AICTE and directed a CBI probe against officials who permitted the universities to run the programmes from 2001. The court passed the order after UGC's counsel and additional solicitor general Maninder Singh and AICTE advocate Anil Soni informed the court that distance learning courses in engineering were not permitted.Holding the degree issued by universities invalid, the court, however, opened a small window for students who took admission between 2001 and 2005 to revive their degree by undergoing a fresh examination to be conducted by AICTE. It said they should be given another chance as they pursued the course under the impression that the course is valid in the light of DEC's approval. But the court had no sympathy for the students of the post-2005 batches as they were aware that the courses lacked sanction.
UGC should KEEP the minimum standards to 50% of average at PG level for doing PhD and appointment of lecturers for all including general CATEGORY as presently this is applicable only to SC and ST candidates and this will ensure supply of teachers to all institutions .When you have 50% of average at PG level for doing PhD and appointment of lecturers for SC ST why not you extend this to general category .MHRD cannot play double standards in education .A bad student is best teacher .Financial crunch at IITS and IIITS for appoint of professors and lecturers .AICTE and MHRD follow double standards .They are very critical of private institutions and cancel their affiliations on shortages of faculty and they do not take any action on IITS as they are Government run institution LIKE IITS and IIITS. MHRD is failing to replace teachers who are retiring or resigning even in places like the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, IITs or some other top institutes. "The problem has to be viewed holistically and problem is artificially created by UGC standards on teachers of universities. UGC should reduce the minimum standards to 50% of average at PG level for doing PhD and appointment of lecturers .When you allow 50% for SC and ST and other backward categories why not general candidates .This double standards is killing the education and reducing the opportunities to many and this creates an artificial scarcity for teachers in the institutions ..It needs immediate attention. Having good faculty is crucial .Given the opportunities in other sectors and abroad for more talented , finding a good faculty of more who scored more than 55% is difficult. Let the UGC reduces it to 50% for all and many candidates will be in line for teaching jobs.It is said that a bad student is some time a good teacher,.
AICTE and MHRD are not bothered about the state of affairs of IITS in India .According to data compiled by the Union HRD ministry in Sept 2014, only IIT-Gandhinagar has 99% of the sanctioned faculty. Here's some unpalatable truth for a nation dreaming to set up a string of new-age technology institutes: more than 37% of the faculty posts in the existing 16 Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are vacant. The IITs have 4,308 faculty members against the sanctioned 6,944. IIT-Kharagpur, long considered an ace, reports a 46% shortage.The overall student-faculty ratio stands at 16:1.Going by the faculty matrix in the existing IITs, the MHRD need 100 faculty members per 1,000 students in the new institutes. Assuming each of the five new institutes gets about 200 students, and then the government has to hire at least 100 faculty members. Most centrally funded institutions, including the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and universities, are conducting classes with large number of faculty positions vacant, prompting the government to launch a major recruitment drive.Worst hit are new central universities with 53.28% vacancies followed by NITs with 47% teacher vacancies.Old as well as new IITs, too, have over 35% vacancies, human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar said while announcing a major recruitment drive across campuses in the next fortnight.Reportedly in an interaction with journalists, Javadekar said the ministry was thinking of re-employment and wooing industry experts to fill up the teaching vacancies. Concerned over the number of vacancies in faculty positions, HRD minister said institutions will have to at least fill up 75% untenanted posts by the year-end. Information provided to Parliament by the ministry on August 3, 2017 does not indicate that the situation improved significantly. While vacancy status for old IITs has been recorded at 39%, new ones are only marginally better at 36%. NITs are worst affected with 47% vacancies.In fact 14 of 20 old NITs have a 40% and more vacancies, while four of eight old IITs have the same vacancy levels. Even Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) have 26.01% vacancies. Among the IIMs, Indore has 51% vacant positions, followed by Kolkata with 41%. .Reportedly A big question mark has been posed by a parliamentary committee on the Modi government's rhetorical claims that it's determined to convert India into a hub of higher learning with a number of refurbished valuable institutes such as IIT, NIT and IIM.Taking stock of the current situation prevailing in the education sector for higher professional studies including several universities, the panel points out "acute shortage of faculty” in these educational institutions as it expresses anguish on finding that out that this problem has emerged as "the biggest handicap for the development and growth of higher education vis-a-vis maintaining the quality of education”.It is not the first time that the Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resource Development headed by Satyanarayan Jatiya has pointed loopholes in the system for higher education. But the committee has expressed regrets that despite serious concerns expressed earlier, "situation continues to be grim with no improvement foreseen in the near future”.In its deposition before the committee, the Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry had said that the total number of sanctioned teaching posts in various Central Universities was 16,600 (2376 Professors, 4708 Associate Professors and 9521 Assistant Professors).According to reports Out of these teaching posts, 5928 teaching posts were laying vacant (1277 Professors, 2173 Associate Professors, and 2478 Assistant Professors) for a considerable time.Stressing that the availability of adequate and qualified faculty is a pre-requisite for quality education, the committee tries to determine the cause of the grave crisis of faculty.