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Monday, August 31, 2009

UGC draws up scheme to address faculty shortage

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The University Grants Commission (UGC) has decided to tap all available resources to address the problem of faculty shortage and upgrade the skills of college/university teachers as the country seeks to expand higher education facilities.

Since faculty shortage cannot be addressed overnight, the UGC has drawn up a scheme to involve academics from outside the university system to enhance faculty resources of universities, particularly at the post-graduate and research levels.

In particular, the UGC is eyeing research organisations, research and development units of Central and State public-sector undertakings and business corporations, Non-Resident Indians and Persons of Indian Origin working with academic, research and business organisations overseas, and foreign academicians and researchers having a demonstrated interest in Indian studies.

Two modalities have been evolved for their engagement with the university system: The “adjunct faculty” route for younger and mid-career professionals within the target groups, and the ‘scholars-in-residence’ avenue for senior professionals and specialists.

The UGC has sanctioned 706 adjunct faculty positions for the entire university system in the country, with Central universities allowed five such positions each, State universities two, and deemed universities one each.

Adjunct faculty positions will be tenure appointments for one academic year or two semesters, and such individuals will be offered a token honorarium of up to Rs.1,500 per teaching hour/session, subject to a maximum of Rs.30,000 a month.

In the case of scholars-in-residence, there will be 512 faculty positions. Each Central university will be allowed two such positions, while State universities and deemed universities can have one position each.

Again, these will be tenure appointments ranging between six months and two years. Selected individuals will be offered a consolidated renumeration of up to Rs.80,000 a month, an annual contingency grant of Rs.1 lakh, and accommodation.

And, to hone teaching skills, the UGC has identified 40 institutions affiliated to universities, which can conduct orientation and refresher courses that are mandatory for promotion from lecturer to Reader. At present, 56 Academic Staff Colleges conduct such courses.

Most of these 40 identified institutions specialise in certain fields of study, and the UGC has drawn up a scheme whereby they can approach it for conducting refresher and orientation courses. And, if the Commission’s Standing Committee clears the courses, they will be recognised for promotion of lecturer to Reader. They will be cent per cent funded by the UGC through the affiliating universities.

The scheme has been drawn up keeping in mind the knowledge explosion, the purpose being providing a systematic mechanism for teachers to keep abreast of the latest and train themselves in modern processes, methodologies and techniques of teaching. With this in mind, the UGC has written to all universities asking them to identify the affiliate institutions willing to run such courses.

Some of the institutions that the UGC hopes to rope in through this route are, the National Institute of Advanced Studies and the Institute of Social and Economic Change (both in Bangalore), besides the New Delhi-based Institute of Public Finance and Policy and the Institute of Studies in Industrial Development.

Source: The Hindu

Central wants equal to states..!

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Teachers demand increase in entry level salaries

Primary school teachers affiliated to the Tamil Nadu Primary-school Teachers Federation (TNPTF) observed fast in front of the Railway Station here on Sunday demanding better wages.
K. Anbarasu, district president of TNPTF, said that the State Government should immediately increase the entry level salaries for primary school teachers to the scale of Rs. 9,300-Rs. 34,800 plus Rs. 4,200 fixed by the Central Government.

“At present, a newly-recruited teacher in the state is entitled for the scale of Rs. 5,200- Rs. 20,200 plus Rs. 2,800 though many other states have already implemented the Central Government’s recommendations,” he pointed out.

The agitators also wanted the Government to come out with revised pay scale structures for teachers in the ranks of selection and special grades.

Some of the other demands included hike in house rent allowance, disbursal of education allowance and time scale pay for teachers appointed on consolidated pay.

Mr. Anbarasu said that sixth pay commission arrears for the teachers who had attained superannuation should be disbursed in a single instalment.

I. Yesaian, coordinator, Retired Lecturers and Teachers Association, and others spoke on the occasion.
Source: The Hindu

Car through CSD - New system raises officers’ hackles

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Over 30 serving and retired officers of the Army showed resentment against the recently introduced system for purchasing car through CSD at the CSD depot in Ambala Cantt here.

Earlier, the Army officers had to deposit the amount of the vehicle to be purchased with the CSD depot in Ambala Cantt and the depot issued them the release order. After submitting the release order with the car dealer, the officers got the delivery of the vehicle.

As per the new system, after getting the delivery of the vehicle, the army officers will have to report to the depot manger along with the vehicle and a representative of the dealer.

After checking the documents, engine number and chassis number of the vehicle, the depot will issue them a sale deed document and then only the officers will be allowed to drive their car. The Army officers have to face a lot of harassment while completing the formalities of the newly introduced system.

Most of the Army officers, even from Haryana, prefer to purchase vehicles from Chandigarh as the rate of sales tax is 2 per cent less there than in Haryana.

Chandigarh does not have any CSD depot that is why the Army officers belonging to Chandigarh generally come to the Ambala CSD depot for purchasing vehicle through the CSD.

Around 35 retired and serving Army officers, including a serving Major from Kargil, went to Chandigarh yesterday to purchase vehicles after getting the release order from the CSD depot, Ambala.

The depot issued them a “Rahdari” slip, which they have to get stamped from the sales tax barriers at Dappar (Punjab) and Dhulkot (Haryana).

Col Jaswant Singh (retd), a resident of Chandigarh, said the officials of sales tax barriers detained them for two hours and refused to put stamp on “Rahdari” paper. They had to further stay in the CSD depot for hours to complete the formalities. He said the situation was very humiliating for an Army officer. Other Army officers also expressed annoyance over the new system.

Meanwhile, regional manager of the depot Lakhwinder Singh refused to comment on the matter. According to information, the depot has been facing an acute shortage of officials, which led to delay in the completion of formalities.
Source: The Tribune



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