PM urges UGC to resolve staff crunch issue urgently

While addressing the diamond jubilee celebrations of the University Grand Commission (UGC) Manmohan Singh said, ‘Premier institutions of the country do not figure among the best in the world and that quality in general remains a huge concern in the higher education sector’. ‘I would urge UGC and other stakeholders in higher education sector to urgently consider the issue of quality and shortage of faculty and find innovative methods of resolving them,’ he stressed while delivering the key note speech.

As per statistics, the IITs alone face a faculty shortage of close to 32 per cent and almost all the central universities in the country are confronted with teaching staff shortage.

The prime minister said that the university system also needs to put much more emphasis on research and more specifically on enhancing the number and quality of doctoral programmes. ‘It is important to note that inter-disciplinary perspectives are the cornerstone of present day research.

We must ensure that inter-disciplinary research takes firm roots in the culture of our universities. We must reverse to today’s situation where individual department largely operates as islands,’ he said.

The prime minister, who himself headed the Commission as an academician in 1991, said though its contribution to higher education has been widely acknowledged over the last 60 years, ‘the best is yet to come’.

In the coming years, he said, the country needs to increasingly focus on employability along with three other Es such as expansion, excellence and equity.
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