New Delhi, June 4. The University Grants Commission (UGC) recently issued guidelines for recruitment of faculty in higher education institutions (HEIs) to address rising staff shortages.
“Shortage of quality teaching faculty in HEIs is one among many issues presently confronting the higher education system in the country. This is also affecting the quality of higher education. Therefore, the guidelines should be followed by HEIs to ensure timely filling up of vacant faculty posts with appropriately eligible and competent candidates,” the UGC said in a letter addressed to vice chancellors of universities, colleges and deemed universities.
The UGC guidelines urge HEIs to ensure that the details of all vacant posts are uploaded on the UGC portal and to initiate and complete the selection process within six months. The Union human resource development (HRD) ministry and the UGC will monitor recruitment of faculty through its portal, said the guidelines circular.
Hunger strike called off
Kohima, June 6. An indefinite hunger strike called by the All Nagaland College Students Union (ANCSU) on June 4 in support of a five-point charter of demands, has been called off following intervention of chief minister Neiphiu Rio.
The students’ demands included action against erring officials for allegedly defalcating Rs.1.32 crore from the state technical scholarships fund from 2014-16, and resignation of the technical education director for failing to reveal the names of those involved.
The chief minister called ANCSU leaders for a discussion following police violence against agitating students at the secretariat which was strongly condemned by students and civil society, ANCSU vice president Longchar informed the media. Longchar claimed the state government has agreed to meet all ANCSU demands.
Piramal Foundation initiative
Guwahati, June 18. The Piramal Foundation (estb.2006) — the philanthropic arm of the Mumbai-based business conglomerate Piramal Group — signed a four-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Assam government to improve education deficits in five districts of the state identified by government think tank NITI Aayog.
According to a Piramal Foundation communique, the foundation will support state government and district administration initiatives in leadership and professional development of teachers in Baksa, Barpeta, Darrang, Dhubri and Goalpara districts. The support will be provided through multiple channels of intervention, with the focus on ‘learning outcomes’ and ‘transition rate’ as identified by NITI Aayog.
Jammu & Kashmir
Teacher salaries order
Jammu, June 18. District development commissioner Angrez Singh Rana has directed that the salaries of teachers in government-run education institutions of Kishtwar district be paid only after submission of attendance certificates signed by parents of students and the local sarpanch. “If we want government schools to improve their pass percentage, we need to take some harsh measures, and I am hopeful of cooperation from teachers for the better future of students,” said Rana in a media statement.
The directive was issued following widespread complaints of teacher truancy in government schools which has adversely affected children’s learning outcomes. Most class V students in government schools of the district are unable to count up to 100, state education ministry officials.
ISKCON takes charge
Agartala, June 21. The state government has decided to transfer administrative and teaching control of 20 government schools including 13 defunct institutions in Tripura’s tribal belt to the Indian Tribal Care Trust, a division of the non-profit International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). According to Ratan Lal Nath, the state’s education minister, the 13 schools are not operating because they have “zero student enrolment”. He added that 147 government schools have less than ten students.
“The council of ministers in its recent meeting decided to hand over 20 schools to ISKCON, which agreed to provide quality education in these schools,” the minister informed the media.
Attendance boost incentive
Bhubaneswar, June 22. The Odisha government announced the reimbursement of public transport charges of students of state government-run schools whose homes are more than 1 km from the school, subject to more than 30 percent attendance. This decision was taken at a review meeting chaired by Samir Ranjan Dash, the state’s school and mass education minister.
The government has also resolved to shut down 966 schools statewide with less than ten students. The students of these schools will be relocated to nearby government schools.
Paromita Sengupta with bureau inputs