On updated UGC Regulations, Sept 2009
The DTF expresses its deep concern over the adverse implications that the updated UGC Regulations will have for the teaching profession and higher education. They envisage minimum scores in the API (Academic Performance Indicators) based on PBAS (Performance Based Appraisal System) for every level of promotion for teachers. Teachers are to collect points for quantity of teaching, extension, co-curricular and profession related activities and research, thus quantifying their performance.
This system has been borrowed mindlessly from other countries, mainly the USA, without taking into account the specific conditions and infrastructure for research, access to resources, student teacher ratio (that is not anywhere comparable to “world standards”) and the prevailing workload norm whereby actual time spent in classroom teaching, continuous and annual evaluation leaves little time for research. By compelling teachers to collect points for each category of work, the Regulation wishes a teacher to become a Jack of all trades and Master of none.
The promotional avenues have been formulated to deny most teachers even the first promotion. Despite the admission by the UGC Pay Review Committee that college teachers are overburdened with teaching/examination work and deprived of opportunities for research, the proposed Regulations insist on research output as necessary condition for any promotion. Further, by insisting on a minimum of three research publications as a requisite for promotion to Associate Professorship, they effectively deny promotion to the vast majority of those who have chosen and wish to choose the teaching profession in colleges as a career.
The effective denial of promotion to teachers will make the teaching profession unattractive for talent and have disastrous consequences for the entire country. Instead of redressing the irrational workload imposed on school and college teachers so that their potential for research and creative work is tapped to the fullest, the Government and its agencies are bent on cost cutting by emphasising quantity (hours of defined work) over quality and creativity. The DTF calls upon people at large to question the Government policy of downgrading the teaching profession in the public funded institutions as part of the policy direction that envisages creation of a few centres excellence for those who can pay whereas mass education is to be reduced to low quality education.
The DTF demands the withdrawal of the bureaucratic point system of performance indicators and amendment of the conditions for promotion to Associate Professor which in their present form will deny promotion to the large majority of college teachers. The DTF calls upon teachers to be prepared for prolonged agitation if the Government and the UGC refuse to listen to reasoning and argumentation.