Implications of acute shortage of teaching staff in the Madurai Kamaraj University (MKU) were taken to the notice of the Universitys Planning Board which met here on Saturday.

MKU vice-chancellor R. Karpaga Kumaravel explained to the Planning Board the steps taken by the university for recruitment of teaching faculty, fulfilling all legal requirements.

The first ever meeting of the MKUs Planning Board was held with the participation of its members including Higher Education Secretary K. Ganesan, Law Secretary S. Deenadayalan and vice-chancellor of Anna University in Chennai P. Mannar Jawahar.

Mr. Kumaravel presented a status report of MKU and gave a comprehensive picture on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats experienced by the MKU.

According to university officials, the Planning Board members appreciated the systematic efforts taken by the vice-chancellor for recruiting the lecturers by obtaining required legal clearances.

The members unanimously felt that the University Grants Commission (UGC) needs to adopt a more balanced and equitable distribution of funds between Central and State universities.

The Board also suggested introducing an incentive scheme to teaching faculty, particularly of the arts courses, for bringing out standard research publications. The board also stressed the need to have high students intake, without much restrictions, in universities and colleges.

The Board members also asked the MKU to foray into new areas such as educational administration, astronomy, astrophysics, community colleges, tourism and hospitality, biomedical sciences and aviation.

It was also suggested by the planning board that MKU open up additional avenues of higher education like introduction of a comprehensive five-year integrated post graduate-cum-Ph.D. programme.

K. Gunasekaran, UGC director and also a member of the planning board, said the university faculty might approach the Commission for getting funds for various research programmes.

The Planning Board recommended that the university evolve a suitable mechanism for effective implementation of the recommendations made in this meeting.

According to university officials, the Board members appreciated MKU for achieving the prestigious status of University with Potential for Excellence from the UGC.

The chairman of southern regional council of National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAC), C. Thangamuthu; vice-chancellor of Tamil Nadu Teachers Education University, T. Padmanabhan; former Director of NAC, A. Gnanam; former vice-chancellor of Bharathidasan University in Tiruchi, V.R. Muthu Karuppan; MKUs syndicate member V. Alagappan; senior faculty member K. Dharmalingam, and Special Officer P. Gunasekaran participated in the meeting.