Published On: Wed, Aug 3rd, 2011

VC selection process should have university’s say: Prof. Yash Pal

EduShine Academic Search

Eminent academician Professor Yash Pal has objected to key provisions of proposed National Commission on Higher Education and Research bill. The proposed bill requires vice-chancellors of central universities to be selected from a pool of candidates suggested by a collegium. The noted professor believes that such a rule will deny universities a say in deciding who should be their vice-chancellors while the collegium itself will “create an army of academic babus”.

“I strongly object to the notion that university bodies should have no say in who they want as their leader. The fact that the present system of appointing search committees does not always work properly is no excuse to infringe the right of universities to choose the person they like,” Yash Pal has written in an article.

The NCHER will prepare a registry of possible candidates for vice-chancellors of central universities. The appointment will have to be made from a list of five. The collegium will recommend names for inclusion in the national registry to be maintained by the NCHER.

However, Yash Pal believes that the university should have a role in the selection of the vice-chancellor. “The proposal of the task force might further enhance the powers of interference by babudom of governments or unscrupulous politicians,” he wrote.

Speaking on the second provision of the bill regarding the collegium, Yash Pal said it would create another layer, lead to delays, infringe on the autonomy of the universities and make the system dysfunctional. “It will create an army of academic babus with little function except adding to the viscosity of the system.”

Professor Yash Pal clearly mentioned that both the controversial provisions should be dropped.

Some states have opposed another provision in the bill, one that will require a new university to seek approval from the NCHER before starting operations.

As per the bill, the NCHER will subsume existing regulators such as the University Grants Commission (UGC), All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), National Council of Teacher Education and the Distance Education Council. It will have a chairperson and six other members to be appointed by the President on the recommendation of a selection committee headed by the Prime Minister.

The HRD ministry is expected to introduce three other bills — the National Academic Depository Bill, University for Innovation Bill and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Bill — in the monsoon session.

[Source: The Telegraph]