UGC draws wrath over foreign faculty quota
Delhi University's faculty union has come down heavily on a recent University Grants Commission (UGC) recommendation. As part of its regulations, the UGC has set a provision that foreign faculties should be mandatorily hired in up to 20 per cent of the total allotted positions in category-I Universities/Higher Educational Institutes.
However, earlier in June, Delhi University Teachers' Association (DUTA) responded to the UGC's draft regulations with feedback and called the proposed provision unacceptable.
DUTA had even appealed to the teachers' community to reject the entire proposed draft regulations that
emphasises on privatisation of higher education and autonomy.
DUTA said, "The provision for appointing, without approval, foreign faculty in up to 20 per cent of the total sanctioned faculty posts in Universities/HEIs is an unacceptable assault on the younger generation of post-graduates, who are already suffering from years of contractual and ad hoc employment and lack of job security due to insincere and inadequate initiative in the filling-up of substantive vacant posts."
"It also paves the way for further contractualisation in teaching and research jobs, and contributes to the growing instability of standards of teaching-learning in institutions. Instead of increasing the allocation of substantive teaching and research posts in universities/HEIs in accordance with the need to offer wider academic choices to students, the UGC will end up curtailing and discouraging local talent at the national and state levels even further, unless this provision is
withdrawn," DUTA added.
DUTA president Nandita Narain said: "What this regulation means is that the UGC will reduce their funding of these universities by 20 per cent since the salary of these faculty members will have to be funded by the university/college itself. These funds will eventually be recovered from the students in the form of increased fees structure. The burden will have to be borne by students and their parents. Permanent appointments have not been made in central universities deliberately for the last several years. This way, they can wash their hands from the responsibility of hiring permanent faculty members."
"The UGC's draft regulations also state that salaries for the foreign faculty members will have to be negotiated and paid by the university itself - that the UGC will not be held responsible for any payments. The draft regulations also state that foreign faculty members will be hired on a contractual basis," she added.
Rajib Ray of the Democratic Teachers' Front (DTF) said, "The quality education has nothing to do with having foreign faculty in Indian universities. The UGC claims that the quality of education will improve by having foreign faculty members. But how? There is no dearth of very accomplished scholars in India who should get these appointments."